Our Careteam

Molly Burke

Veterinary Assistant

Molly was born and raised in Orland Park, IL. She graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in May of 2014 with a B.S. in Animal Science. She hopes to continue her education and attend veterinary school in the fall. 

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about”

Molly has a sassy cat named Willow who she adores. When Molly is not spoiling her cat, she enjoys hiking, watching movies, and spending time with her boyfriend, her family, and her friends. 

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Sylvia Splinter


Sylvia has been employed at Merrick since 1991. Originally, she was to fill in answering the phones while one of the receptionists was on vacation for two weeks. The rest is history. She has thoroughly enjoyed the many close relationships that she has developed over the years. Working at Merrick also turned out to be a form of “therapy” for Sylvia, when her husband, Brad, passed away a few years after she started working here. Since she enjoys meeting people and loves animals, this proved to be a good fit.

Sylvia has shared her life with three wonderful dogs: two Pugs and a Boston Terrier. One pug lived to be 16 years old. Her Holly was almost 17, and Penny the Boston Terrier was also shy of 17 years old. Sylvia credits the good care they received at Merrick with helping them to live to the the ripe old ages they did. She still misses them a lot, and is starting to really think about searching for a new furry friend.

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Leeann Mayr


Leeann started at Merrick in 1972. An animal lover forever, this was the perfect job for her. In 1980, she left to raise her family only to return in 2000. Leeann and her husband share their home with Frankie, a 4 year old Bull Mastiff and Bailey, a  very high energetic 7 year old Min Pin. In her free time, Leeann enjoys volunteering at T.L.C. Animal Shelter, baking, reading and playing with her grand babies. 

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Brittany Taglia

Veterinary Assistant

Brittany was born and raised in Berywn, IL. She started as a kennel assistant at Merrick Animal Hospital in May 2009. She has a Beagle named Toby and an orange and white tabby cat named Simba. Brittany’s animals are her life and they mean everything to her. She’s been an animal lover since she was little, which is why she plans on eventually attending school to become a veterinary technician. In the meantime, she loves going to Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks games.

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Aurora Gattas

Newsletter Contributor

Aurora has been an animal lover for a very long time. She loves all animals but holds a special place in her heart for all her feline friends. She stays busy with her school activities such as basketball, volleyball, cheerleading and singing in the school choir. 

“Animals are Guardian Angels in disguise”

Her hobbies are singing, dancing, reading, grabbing  paper and a pen to write her own stories, spending time with her family, watching movies,  going to the zoo, shopping, helping her Nonna (grandma) and Nonno (grandpa) and planting flowers in their garden. 

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Jennifer Zajda

Veterinary Technician – Certified

Jennifer has always had a strong love for all animals.  She graduated from Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois and completed her certification in 2004. She joins Merrick Animal Hospital with over 11 years of technician experience.

“If you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life.” 

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her three cats, Parker, Trouble and McNugget. Jennifer is a movie fanatic, especially Academy Award nominated ones. She also spends her time shopping, reading Amish novels and spending time with family and friends.  

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Jenny Veed

Veterinary Technician – Certified

Jenny always had a passion for animals, and wanted to find a way to spend her life helping them. She discovered the veterinary technician path and has never looked back!

“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance  like nobody’s watching”

Jenny was born in Hinsdale, Illinois, and lived there until her early twenties when she moved to a home in Woodridge in 2011. She attended school at Fox College in Tinley Park, passing her certification test in 2013 to become a certified Veterinary Technician.

Jenny has two wonderful daughters Joan Marie and Ava Lynne that are her world. All together they now have one rabbit, a bearded dragon, two cats, and two lab mixes. Jenny loves spending time with her family, her pets and they all enjoy going to the Brookfield Zoo to see the penguins and the okapi.


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Michelle Neal

Veterinary Assistant

Picture and Bio soon to come

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Monica Morales

Veterinary Assistant

Picture & Bio soon to come

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Brittney Reaves

Veterinary Technicican

Ever since she was a kid, Brittney had an enormous love for animals. She decided to pursue a career in the field by attending Sanford College, where she received her veterinarian’s assistant certification. For school, she needed to complete 120 internship hours, and chose Merrick Animal Hospital. After she finished her hours, she didn’t want to leave, and instead applied for a job! 

“Just keep swimming”

At home, Brittney has a pitbull named Sada, and two birds named OG and Pretty. In her free time, she enjoys watching Disney movies. She also spends a lot of time at the Animal Care League helping out in any way she can!

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Daniela Gattas


Being born into a true Italian family, Daniela has 2 older sisters and one younger brother. When Daniela would visit her extended family in Italy,  she would spend most of her time befriending the homeless cats by giving them food and water, and a lap to snuggle in. While in Italy, I also enjoyed visiting my uncle’s farm and feeding the horses, chickens and pigs. Animal lover from the beginning you could say.
 ”For it is in giving that we receive”
 Daniela met her  husband 20 years ago and together they  have a lovely daughter who keeps them on their toes. When she’s not working she  enjoys, volunteering at her daughters school and cheering her on at her sporting events. She loves to bake, cook, spending time with her family, watching movies and cuddling with her cats.


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