Meet the Team

Meet the Team


Christy Cooper</br>DVM  photo

Christy Cooper

Graduated from Purdue’s School of Veterinarian Medicine in 2003. She also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 1999. While attending Purdue she received the Bastien Award for exceptional care of canine patients. She held the position of Treasurer for the Exotic Club for two years and was involved in SCAVMA, AAFP, Pet Safe and SVECCS.

Dr. Cooper started hanging around here back in 1995 straight out of high school. She spent time shadowing the doctors and helping out where and whenever needed. After a couple of years, we hired her as a veterinary assistant! The rest is history, now she is part owner! Dr. Cooper likes the puppy/kitten visits setting up the human-animal bond. She also enjoys ultrasound and surgery. She is currently a member of AVMA, IVMA and CAVMA

While not at work, Dr. Cooper enjoys spending time with her two wonderful children and perfect husband. She loves playing soccer, volleyball and outdoor sports, such as rafting, hiking and scuba diving. When not outside she enjoys scrapbooking, photography, reading, and traveling.

Lisa Preston</br>DVM  photo

Lisa Preston

Received her DVM from Purdue’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 1988. During that tenure, she was involved with SCAVMA, and a member of the Phi Zeta Honor Society. Dr. Preston started working here in 1989 and has been co-owner for the past 13 years. She received the IVMA Public Relations Award in 2000 and held the position of President for the CAMVA. She currently is a member of CAVMA, IVMA, and AVMA.

Melissa Buggie</BR>DVM  photo

Melissa Buggie

Graduated from Purdue’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. While attending Purdue Dr. Buggie was involved with the SCAVMA and AAHA. After graduation, she had many offers for employment and we were lucky she chose us! She has worked here at St. John Animal Clinic since graduation, and is now one of the owners!

She is an active member of CAVMA, IVMA, and AVMA. Veterinary medicine is her passion; she enjoys preventative medicine and soft tissue surgery. She is also our resident Heartworm Treatment Doctor. Dr. Buggie loves spending time with her family (especially her amazing son and daughter), and her pets. She also loves to go fishing, boating, doing crafts, is an avid reader, and enjoys beekeeping. She even finds time to volunteer as a 4-H assistant leader, and mini 4-H leader.

Associate Veterinarians

Katrin Asbury</BR>DVM  photo

Katrin Asbury

I graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. While in school I volunteered with the Wildlife Medical Clinic, and was a member of the Integrative Medicine Club, Non-Traditional Species Club and Phi Zeta Honors Society. I am one of the founders of the Animal Well-being Club, which created a forum for discussing issues related to animal welfare and the human-animal bond.  When I’m not working at St. John, I am the staff vet at the Humane Society Calumet Area, where I was extremely lucky to meet Dr. Preston.

Before becoming a vet I was a sculpture professor. Most of my artwork explores the connections between people and animals.  When not working or making artwork, I love going on adventures with my wonderful husband and two most precious girls.

Melissa Dunn</BR>DVM  photo

Melissa Dunn

Dr. Melissa Dunn graduated from Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. Her undergraduate degree in biology was completed at Butler University in 2010, while participating on the varsity softball team. In veterinary school, she participated in several clubs including SCAVMA, AAFP, Shelter Club, and Exotic Club.

After graduating right across the street at Lake Central High School, she began shadowing the doctors here at the clinic. Soon after, Dr. Dunn was hired by the clinic as a receptionist and veterinarian’s assistant, while attending college. In the final stretch of veterinary school, the owner’s offered Dr. Dunn a position as an associate. She loves the preventative medicine aspect of office visits as well as surgery and every puppy and kitten that walks through the door. One of Dr. Dunns most rewarding moment as a vet was after a long foreign body surgery, the owner was so thankful that it made the very long, stressful day worth it. Dr. Dunn enjoys discussing animal behavior in order to help owners better understand their animals and live happily together. Dr. Dunn is currently a member of the following organizations: AVMA, IVMA, and CAVMA.

Outside of the clinic, Dr. Dunn is an early morning person, which allows her to enjoy fishing trips with her husband whenever she can. Her and her husband have been together since high school, and they have enjoyed the journey through eight long years of schooling. She spends a great deal of time training her two energetic pups. Dr. Dunn also spoils her five cats and bunny daily.


Shirley Niebling</br>Office Manager  photo

Shirley Niebling
Office Manager

Started working at St. John Animal Clinic in 1988. She graduated from Purdue Calumet with an Associate’s Degree in Business and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management. She became our office manager in 2002, which we are lucky for. She spoils us with lots of fun activities and goodies throughout the year. She even has grill out days for the entire clinic!

Since 2001 she has been involved with raising money and awareness for breast cancer. You will often see her wearing lots of pink! Aside from loving her job and coworkers, she loves to spend time with her family and friends. She also cherishes being a grandma!

Magdalene Amanatidis, BS, RVT</br>Technician Manager  photo

Magdalene Amanatidis, BS, RVT
Technician Manager

Maggie received her Associate in Applied Science in 2002 and her Bachelors in Science in 2003 from Purdue University Veterinary Technology program. While there, she was a member of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Her studies focused on animal behavior and management and she is our in-house behavioral specialist. During her pursuit of a veterinary technology degree, Maggie was able to assist in surgery on a camel and a wallaby. Maggie has always wanted to work with animals as long as she can remember and when she interviewed with SJAC, she knew she had found the perfect match!

Maggie has two pets at home, a cat named Cindy and a Pomeranian mix named Mr. Fluffypants, known as “Pants” here in the clinic, who was rescued from an overcrowded shelter  in China. Some fun facts about Maggie that you might not know are she loves to sing and dabbles in community theater, she is a published author, and her favorite place is Disney World.

Registered Veterinary Technicians

Alena Kobus</br>RVT  photo

Alena Kobus

Alena received her Associate in Applied Science from Fox College Veterinary Technology Institute in 2013. She  was the secretary of the Veterinary Technology club as well as a kennel supervisor and animal trainer during her time there. She developed her passion for caring for animals at a young age when she used to go to work with her babysitter who was employed at Schererville Animal Control. After spending time there, Alena fell in love with helping animals, as you can tell from her passion she brings to work with her every day here at SJAC!

Alena has had her heart set on working at SJAC since she interned here during high school. She worked as a receptionist while she went to tech school and she has been working here ever since. We are very lucky to have her!

A fun fact you might not know about Alena is that her fiance proposed to her here at SJAC because this is where they first met and got to know each other as she care for his sick dog. They have plenty of pets between the two, Lucy the rat terrier, Gracie the dachshund, Archie the yorkie, and their cats Fletcher and Forrest!

Emily Shilling</br>RVT  photo

Emily Shilling

Emily received her Associate degree in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from Joliet Junior College in 2009. While there, she was an active member of the Veterinary Technology Club.

St. John Animal Clinic was lucky that when Emily was finishing up her externship at another clinic she came to us eager and ready to be a part of the team. She’s been a perfect piece in the SJAC puzzle for over 9 years now!

Her own fur babies include 2 pitties named Mia and Yukon. But if you ask her about her most exotic animals she’s worked with she’ll probably tell you her kids!(On a serious note she had owned several exotic species including an iguana, turtle, and a tortoise!)

Outside of working with animals Emily enjoys reading and attending supercross races with her husband. Now that their 3 young children are getting older she and her husband are enjoying getting back into camping. Fun facts about Emily: she is obsessed with polka dots, and of course turtles!

Holly Hart</br>RVT  photo

Holly Hart

Holly recently graduated from Purdue University in 2013 with her AS in Veterinary Technology. Holly has been with the clinic since she was in high school and started out as a receptionist. Holly loves all animals, but has a special place in her heart for Mastiffs.

Jessica Bates</br>RVT  photo

Jessica Bates

Before deciding to fully immerse herself in the animal world, Jess received an Associates's in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor in Elementary Education from Purdue University Calumet. Her journey with veterinary medicine, and us, started here when she needed a job while finishing her degree.

Throughout her time teaching, she continued to work as an assistant at SJAC (where we’ve been proud to have her on the team for over 14 years!), but after teaching 6th-grade science for a year she felt she wasn’t spending enough time working with animals. Between her love for animals and her love for the science behind veterinary medicine, she was compelled to go back to school again and received her Associate in Veterinary Technology from Penn Foster in 2018. After having recently passed her board exam, she is our newest registered technician!

Her four-legged children include Scout and American Bulldog/Boxer mix, and 3 kitties: Scar, a Japanese Bobtail, Clark a domestic shorthair, and her newest addition Cosmo, a domestic shorthair.

She is also a single mom to 3 two-legged children that she is proud to have raised while attending the veterinary technician program and also working full time. In her spare time, she takes her children to the bowling leagues and on camping and hiking trips at state parks.

Jessika Majszak</br>RVT  photo

Jessika Majszak

I obtained my Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology in 2016 and passed the VTNE (national exam) the same year. I am a certified animal trainer through the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy, and I am also working toward my specialty in behavior, also known as a VTS. I love working with cooperative care training, and I have experience working with anxiety and aggression cases. I work with positive-reinforcement marked-based training. What this means is that I focus on rewarding the desirable behaviors and ignoring undesirable behaviors. If you have a pet with any training or behavior concerns, feel free to contact SJAC so we can consult with you and get your family the help you need!

I personally have a Boxer named Otis, a Hound Mix named Vader, and a cat named Nox. In my free time, I work on new behaviors with my animals and research new and old behavior books and articles. In the summer, I enjoy hiking with my dogs, fishing, and horseback riding

Clinic Mascot

<strong>MEET OUR HERBIE!</strong>  photo


Herbie is our clinic kitty. He came to us from someone who found out they were very allergic to kitties. He is a wonderful addition to our staff. He is spoiled rotten, so full of love and sass and constantly brings us laughter and joy!

Herbie in an e-collar aka “the cone of shame”

He LOVES crawling into them and hanging out!

St John Animal Clinic
8661 Wicker Ave.
St. John, IN 46373

For general information, questions, appointment requests, call us at:

Phone: (219) 365-8531
Fax: (219) 365-1032

For emergencies please call North Center Veterinary Emergency Center (219) 881-1600


Monday 7:30 am - 8:30pm

Tuesday 9:00am - 6:00pm

Wednesday 7:30am - 8:30pm

Thursday 9:00am - 6:00pm

Friday 7:30am - 6:00pm

Saturday 7:30am - 12:00pm

Sunday Closed