Liat Shanan, Pet Life Celebrant and Certified Pet Loss Companion
Since early in life, my passions have been creative art and offering my compassion to those in need. I have been fortunate to experience life in different countries, and I appreciate and enjoy diverse cultures, traditions and beliefs.
I have had the privilege to follow and support Dr. Shanan’s dedication to the needs of animals at the end of life and their loving human families from the beginning. As Compassionate Veterinary Hospice’s Pet Life Celebrant and Certified Pet Loss Companion, I see proof every day that our patients are nothing less than family members, and to some of our clients, they are their furry children.
Formerly an active artist in the visual arts, cultural educator, community builder and event planner, I joined Compassionate Veterinary Hospice in 2009. I’m excited to help Dr Shanan develop his life mission creating a veterinary hospice program. I look forward to contributing my skills and experience to supporting pet parents as they prepare for loss, during their grief journey, and as they search for a meaningful way to celebrate and memorialize their beloved pets.
Jodi Wagner – Practice Manager, Director of Nursing Services
I started working with Dr. Shanan and Compassionate Veterinary Hospice in August of 2017, and quickly discovered that veterinary hospice care is a special niche that fits very well with my values and philosophy of veterinary medicine. Throughout my life, I have been passionate about exploring the meaningful connections we share with each other and with our pets, how we form those connections, and how they enrich our lives. With this, I have developed a dedication in my veterinary career to providing pet owners with that level of meaningful connection to their veterinary team, to help pet owners be the best advocates for their pets, and to establish myself as a caring and trusted part of their support system. Throughout my career, I have always been dedicated to providing pets and pet owners with very high standards in medicine, communication, and caring support. Working with pets during their end of life journey, and providing pet owners with the support they need during that difficult time, is a rewarding new path for me.
I have a B.A. from Knox College in Philosophy, with concentrations in Psychology and Sociology. I joined Dr. Shanan’s team after working for over 10 years as a veterinary technician here in Chicago, and 5 years as a veterinary manager. Before joining Compassionate Veterinary Hospice, I was the Clinic Manager and Lead Technician for Tree House Humane Society’s Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic. Being a part of Tree House Humane Society’s mission was a very meaningful part of my career, and sparked my passion for rescue volunteer work.
I enjoy spending time with my wife of 10 years, our 2-year-old son, and our four cats. In our spare time, we love to garden, turning our small Chicago yard into an organic urban vegetable garden. We love to cook, camp, travel, and learn new things together.
I joined Compassionate Veterinary Hospice in May of 2018, and I’m so excited to have such a great opportunity to help pets and pet parents. I have been involved in animal care since volunteering at my local ASPCA as a teen, and I’ve never looked back. After moving to Chicago in 2002, I started working at Tree House Humane Society Clinic, and spent almost 15 years there. I loved learning the ins and outs of veterinary practice from the Tree House dedicated team.
I was drawn to helping the Tree House longer-term [feline] residents at the end of their lives. It was a privilege I am still grateful for.
Hospice practice also provides an opportunity for me to serve people at a vulnerable time, as they confront the loss of their beloved animals. I have a genuine affection for people, and anything I can do to make someone’s grieving experience even a little easier is well worth my time and effort. I am so glad to be in a position where I can help smooth the process and eliminate some unnecessary stress, so pet parents can focus completely on taking care of themselves and their pet during such a difficult time.
When I’m not at work I enjoy knitting, reading, and volunteering at church. I live with my husband on the South Side of Chicago, where we enjoy feeding the feral cats (and occasional possum) passing through our yard.
Irene has 20 years experience with veterinary medicine of all kinds, ranging from Chinese alternative therapies and ophthalmology to wildlife rehabilitation. When she is not trying to make sickly and elderly pets more comfy-cozy, she is being a mom to her human animal and 2 rascally kitties, doing yoga, traveling (Pre-Covid!!), riding her bike to anywhere, and expanding her mind through reading and learning.
I am new to the Compassionate Veterinary Hospice practice but not to the team of people that work here. I dedicated 14 years to Tree House Humane Society working as a veterinary assistant in the clinic. I enjoyed my job working directly with the cats under doctor’s instructions taking part in medicating and rehabilitating thousands of sick, stray, and injured cats with a team of fabulous people. I learned so much about cat’s emotional responses, their health, and behaviors. I took special care in making sure that I did the best for each cat that came through our doors. I am so thankful for the experiences and education I received from working with the many amazing people throughout the years and am proud of all that we accomplished. I am happy to be working with former coworkers Rebecca and Irene. We all really care.
Palliative care and hospice for animals is new to me and I am very interested in learning a new aspect of pet care from both a physical and a psychological perspective. I am hoping that I can help people cope with their animal’s various illnesses that may come with age and help them ease the burden of caregiving. I am very familiar with losing my many friends, both cats and dogs, and people, too, throughout the years and the pain that one goes through. I am hoping I can offer support to other people who are going through that pain.
I enjoy walking my own dogs and being outside. I also have 4 cats that share the house with us. I love gardening both inside and outside and have a strong interest in nature. I always enjoy dancing and singing and continue to study and perform as much as I can.