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About Us

About Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital

Chicago Exotics has been in business since November 26, 2000. We've established ourselves as the region's premier avian and exotic animal hospital. Our mission is to be the best care facility in the Chicago land area for avian and exotic animals.

We do offer 24 hour critical care services in association with our emergency partners, Blue Pearl Skokie, located in the same building.

Take a tour of the facility.

Meet our Staff

Thanks to TurtleBug Photography for this photo!  It is from a special book about Remy, the bird in this picture!


Susan Horton, DVM, pictured above with Remy the parrotlet.

Dr. Susan Horton is a University of Illinois graduate (class of 1995). Her interest in birds and exotic animals followed her into veterinary school where she worked for four years with the Director of Exotic Animal Medicine at the veterinary college, Dr. Kenneth Welle ABVP avian.  With Dr. Welle, Dr. Horton gained valuable experience and knowledge in the care of reptiles, birds, sugar gliders, hedgehogs and other small mammals, as well as ostriches, emus, and fish. Also while at the University of Illinois, Dr. Horton took an elective course in reptile and aquatic medicine through Texas A&M University (Aquamed) and the aquatic rotation and University of Florida CVM, Gainesville.  She attends several of the yearly veterinary conferences on avian, reptilian, and exotic animal medicine.  Through these venues she has continued her education in medicine, surgery, cytology, radiology, and all other aspects of avian, reptilian, and exotic animal medicine.

Dr. Horton has not confined her knowledge and expertise to the walls of a veterinary hospital. Both Brookfield Zoo and the Shedd Aquarium have used her services.  She has also worked with the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources in censusing the zoonotic diseases (contractible by people) of the local and statewide population of raccoons. She has lectured to the The Aviculture Society of Chicago, the University of Illinois,  and many other local venues and has been published in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, Journal of Herpetologic Medicine and Surgery,  and "Invertebrate Biology".  She is a member of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians where she is the current President Elect and she is also a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, AAZV, and AVMA.    She has been an associate editor for the Journal of Reptilian and Amphibian Medicine and the Exotic DVM Magazine.  The Red Door Animal Shelter, (http://www.reddoorshelter.org) uses her rabbit expertise with their many wonderful bunnies.  She is also Medical Directory for HAPPE Parrots and Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue.  Dr. Horton has studied and spoken nationally and internationally in Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery.  Her she is pictured with her endoscopy class at University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Pictured below with Dr. Horton is Boris the iguana and Misty the Black Palm Cockatoo.





















Dr. Horton has her own assortment of exotic (and not so exotic) pets including: geckos, quaker parrot, frogs, fish, and one dog. In her "spare" time, Dr. Horton likes gardening, scuba diving, bird watching, camping, canning, brewing, bee keeping, and beading (and working on this website).

Dr. Horton appeared in a Chicago Magazine article profiling Chicago's top veterinarians as well as being featured in the JAVMA recently.




Stephanie Moy, DVM

Dr. Stephanie Moy graduated from the University of Illinois in 2010.  While attending school, she volunteered in the wildlife clinic.  During her third year, she became a team leader.  She was active in several student organizations.  During her senior year she did two externships; one at John G. Shedd Aquarium and one at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife at Sanibel Island, Florida.  After graduating from veterinary school, she still continues to volunteer at the John G. Shedd Aquarium.  Prior to joining Chicago Exotics, she worked at another animal clinic where she treated dogs, cats, and exotic animals. 

Dr. Moy’s love of exotics stemed from her 25 year old cockatiel.  In her spare time, Dr. Moy likes to read, listen to music, cook/bake, and trying to be crafty.  Dr. Moy was recently featured in a JAVMA article on Small mammals!



Kristin Claricoates, DVM

Dr. Claricoates is a graduate of the University of Illinois Class of 2013.  During school she was an active member of the wildlife clinic and was the exotic mammal representative of the non traditional species club.  She also spent her summers and externships in veterinary school learning exotic animal medicine from the Belize Zoo, Decatur Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, the Bird Hospital at Mexico City’s UNAM, and the Carolina Raptor Center. She is the newest doctor to join Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital. 

At home, Dr. Claricoates enjoys learning and practicing foreign languages and is proficient in Spanish.  She also enjoys playing guitar and holds a captive audience with her two chinchillas and pet cat.





Deanne Strat-Zenoni, DVM is one of our part-time veterinarians.  She is a 2003 graduate from Michigan State College of Veterinary Medicine.  She loves exotic medicine, but also practices emergency, acupuncture and chiropractic medicine.  She is pictured below holding a Lemur from the Torango Zoo. 


Dana Varble, DVM joined our staff in 2011. She pictured above.

She received her DVM from University of Illinois in 2003 and her Zoology B.S. from Southern Illinois University in 1990.  Her special interests are venomous bites and stings, exotic pets, wildlife, and zoo animals, working canines, soft tissue and non-invasive surgery techniques.  Dr Varble is currently the Executive Director of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Medicine.

In her spare time she volunteers for Search and rescue operations and trains her bloodhound, Calhoun, as a trailing search dog. She also has a Rottweiler mix - Dottie, one cat - Abe, and several ball pythons.

“I like to put myself in my patient’s and client’s position and use the knowledge I have to strike a balance that best serves both of them.” DV


Kelly, pictured below, comes with lots of avian experience.  She also loves rabbits and guinea pigs.






Pictured above is Rachel with a Lion head rabbit.  Rachel has joined our full time team of technicians.  She is very interested in animal behavior!


Pictured below is Erica, CVT.  She is an avid herpto-culturist who has given talks locally and nationally on reptile medicine and husbandry.  With the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, she is the technician liaison.  You can see many or the care sheets we provide on this website have been written by her!  She is working on her specialization as a certified exotic animal technician.




Pictured below is Marcia.  She works as a receptionist and an assistant.  You can see she likes chickens, but her favorite animals are rabbits!!  She is also involved with Red Door Animal Shelter.   She is a journalist when not helping us!



Kim joins our technician staff with zoo experience as well a a small menagerie at home.  She enjoys keeping tarantulas as well as fostering reptiles for a local shelter.


Pictured here is Jessica.  She enjoys all exotics but seems to really love guinea pigs and rabbits!

Pictured below is Heather our newest member.  She just finished an externship at the Shedd Aquarium!



Here is our front Desk Manager Lamor.  She is pictured below with some of her favorite pets.

I finally caught Tina on film!  She's pictured below with Lemiwinks, our past mouse mascot.  Tina is one of our daytime receptionists.  




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