Arrin Colgan, DVM
“From a young age, I knew I wanted to do something with animals. When people started asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was easy…”a vet”. I was stubborn enough to go through with it too. Nothing could deter me, not even being bit by a dog when I was about five (it was totally my fault, as I really, really wanted to pet the blind and deaf dog). I was determined that all animals would love me. I have fond memories of playing fetch with my grandpa’s Chihuahua, Edna….who hated children (aka me). She would get the ball and go to my grandpa’s lap. I would then bug him to get the ball and give it to me so that I could throw it. Edna would race to get the ball and then go back to his lap. I couldn’t touch her but we played fetch this way for what seemed like forever.
As I got older, I learned that I also really liked helping people. Becoming a veterinarian was the perfect fit for me: I could work with animals and help people. With hard work and dedication, I was able to get into vet school here at the U of I after graduating from the U of I with a bachelor’s degree.
While in vet school, I knew I wanted to get hands-on experience so I volunteered at the Wildlife Clinic. This was an amazing experience teaching me many invaluable lessons in life and medicine. One of my favorite cases was a 35 lb. snapping turtle that had its shell damaged from a boat and later found to have swallowed a fishing hook!
I graduated in 2011 and worked as a doctor at the same clinic that I had started out in (volunteer and then as an assistant). When that clinic changed ownership, I made a comment to Dr. K that she should open a clinic and I could run it for her. The rest is history.”
Dr. Colgan lives in Le Roy with her husband (Chuck), her son (Dominic), and pet family consisting of two dogs (Layla and Zuko), one cat (Motzu), and two goldfish (Torri and Creamsicle). In her spare time, she likes to paint and draw. Keep an eye out for her artwork throughout the clinic.
Ellen Kuchenbrod, DVM
“As a child I discovered animals were amazing creatures. I was always bringing home critters that I would find - even a snake once! Though, my parents never let me keep them. My mother didn't like animals.
I also had a curious mind. I first thought of being a veterinarian when I was in high school. Sadly, that idea was quickly followed by “girls don’t become vets.” (This was back in the 60’s.) Despite that, it was the only career that appealed to me. I wasn’t interested in human medicine. I wanted to help animals. Needless to say, I pursued my heart.
Becoming a veterinarian was everything I wanted. I loved seeing pets get healthier because of my help. I also loved the challenge of figuring out the puzzle when pets had a problem that wasn’t obvious. Every day was different.
In 1990 I learned acupuncture then studied herbs and supplements. A whole new world of possibilities opened up. I knew when cancer patients came to me that I had a better chance than most to help them because I had more options. What could be better than helping pets have months and years of quality life beyond what was predicted? What a great way to help pets!
In recent years the talk among veterinary leaders has been how to reduce stress for pets, especially at veterinary visits. I knew we could make things better for pets and I wanted a place that did it right. We have state-of-the-art equipment but who sees our x-ray machine! All you see is how we care for you and your pet and we wanted to be the best. Loving Paws Pet Clinic was born.”
Dr. K lives in Tolono with the love of her life, her husband Ralph, and their spoiled cats, Aspen, Merlyn and Drake. She is active with the local Boy Scout council and the Champaign County Search and Rescue team. She grew up in Milwaukee but hates winter! She is an avid reader and spends much of her free time curled up with a book. She and Ralph love to find treasures in thrift stores and have an extensive library built up from it.