Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants

310 E US HWY 30
Schererville, IN 46375

(219)781-6868

www.chicagovetbehavior.com

 

Our Staff

 

 

Dr. Fiia Jokela, DVM, DABVP (canine/feline)

Dr. Jokela is the owner of Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants and a Resident in the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. 

Dr. Jokela is a 1990 DVM graduate of Purdue University, School of Veterinary Medicine. In 1998 she achieved board certification in Canine and Feline Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). 

Dr. Jokela has practiced in a variety of clinical settings in the Chicago and northwest Indiana areas. In 2001 she opened Deer Run Animal Hospital in Schererville, IN, and developed it into a behavior centered general practice over 15 years.

In 2016, Dr. Jokela left general practice to follow her passion of practicing veterinary behavior medicine full time. CVBC’s founder, Dr. John Ciribassi, DACVB invited her to join Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants in 2017. Dr. Ciribassi sold the practice to Dr. Jokela in 2018.

Dr. Jokela has a special interest in homeless pets in shelters and rescues. Dr. Jokela sees post-adoption pets with behavior difficulties for PAWS Chicago. She is also the Veterinary Behavior Consultant for the A Sound Beginning Program - this unique program works with many shelters and rescues to provide behavior education to shelter staff, volunteers, fosters, and newly adopting families.

Dr. Jokela has three pets. Her first is handsome Mastiff mix, Bentley, who fought his way to survival on the urban streets before finding Dr. Jokela. Her second is Arandano, a graceful Galgo (Spanish Greyhound), rescued from the tragic and tortured life of this magnificent breed in Spain. She also has a very debonair cat named Teppo, who was born of a feral mom in Dr. Jokela’s neighborhood.

When Dr. Jokela is not working, she visits the beautiful Northwoods of Northern Minnesota where her grandparents settled after immigrating to America from Finland in the early 1900s. She enjoys spending time at her family's rustic cabin on an island near Ely, Minnesota, which is located on the edge of the beautiful Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

 

 

Liz Geisen KPA CTP, CDBC

For as long as Liz can remember, she has been fascinated with dogs and cats and their behavior. It wasn't until she volunteered and later worked for a humane society that she realized that she had a passion for a career in animal care and welfare. Liz has worked with Dr. Jokela since 2007, First as a certified veterinary assistant in Dr. Jokela's general veterinary practice. Ten years later, in 2017 she joined Dr. Jokela at CVBC as Dr. Jokela’s behavior consultation assistant and trainer. Liz has studied at Purdue University in the veterinary technician program. She is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, and has completed their Puppy Start Right and Shelter Enrichment courses.

Liz's passion continues to grow as she takes courses and builds her knowledge base. She has completed Dr. Sophia Yin’s Low Stress Handling Course, and has become a Level 3 Fear Free Certified Professional who actively practices those techniques to make pets’ veterinary care experience as stress free as possible. In addition, Liz enjoys helping the community learn about canine communication and safe interactions between children and pets as a Doggone Safe “Be A Tree” presenter and a Family Paws Parent Educator.

Liz loves working with puppies and kittens, but it is the dogs and cats that have been abandoned and discarded that she feels the deepest calling to help. In addition to her work at CVBC, Liz is also a Lead Behavioral Trainer and Educator for the A Sound Beginning Program. Working with shelter and rescue dogs, who often have some trauma behind them, are her favorite students. They have had their world shattered for one reason or another, and yet they still are hanging on to that hope that one day someone will come and love them like they were meant to be loved. To Liz, when she can help build that bond of trust again, it is an amazing feeling!

 

Natasha Mathew, KPA CTP

Natasha is our client services manager and assistant behavioral therapy trainer. She is also a lead trainer with A Sound Beginning Program. Natasha has loved animals for as long as she can remember. She currently has 3 dogs and her life revolves around her 'fur babies'. She has volunteered for different rescue organizations and continues to do so today. She has seen animals end up in shelters for totally avoidable and manageable reasons which is why she is extremely passionate about educating people and equipping them with tools to coexist with animals. To better help people with this, she committed to learning more and recently graduated from the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy. Natasha also has degrees in Hospitality Management (with focus on marketing) and Business Administration.