Dr. Avni Hajela
What is your educational and work background?
I graduated from University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign with my Bachelors degree in Animal Sciences. Afterwards, I decided to take a year off and work at an animal hospital as a veterinary assistant before pursing my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. Go Fighting Illini & Wolfpack!
What made you decide to become a vet?
I grew up going to India for many summers and always found it so disheartening the amount of sick, stray animals wandered the streets there. As a child, I would always tend to many strays wounds or find myself taking them to vets myself. I was so inspired how the vets there took care of numerous helpless animals which made me quickly realize how much I wanted to be an advocate for animals and help them in whatever capacity I could. Since then, I’ve worked on my goal of becoming a veterinarian.
Why did you decide to join the Companion team?
Aside from this practice providing me everything I was looking for, it was ultimately after meeting the team which made that decision easy for me. I’m so excited for work with such a smart, helpful, and fun staff! I know I’ll learn a lot from them.
Do you have any special interests in vet medicine?
I think neurology is a very interesting field. I’ve also loved working with exotic animals in the past, it’s very fun working with such unique animals, you never know what you’re going to see!
What is the most unusual pet you have helped treat?
A grey seal or lemur
What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?
I definitely have the travel bug and will take any chance to explore somewhere new! I’m also a huge foodie – I’m always trying new restaurants in the city
Favorite place to visit?
India so I can see my extended family and obviously eat the best Indian food ever
To be determined! I’m new to Chicago so always open to suggestions.
Thai or sushi, I could eat it every day of the week!
Very cliche for a veterinarian, but Zootopia