Deb began working at Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center in March of 1987. It wasn’t until then that she realized that Niles Animal Hospital was noted for its work with exotic pets. Even before beginning her employment at Niles, as a kid she would bring all her pets, cats, guinea pigs, mice and parakeets to Dr. Lafeber.
Dr. Sakas hired Deb as a veterinary assistant and she showed such great skill in working with the birds that she was put in charge of running the bird hospital portion of the practice. It was such a specialized field at that time so she was trained on the job and has been working with the birds ever since. In her own words, “I consider myself lucky to still have such a passion for my work even after all these years. My goal is to give our hospitalized patients quality care and an environment that helps them recover as quickly as possible, yet make them comfortable while away from home and their owners. I even cook homemade mixes to feed our in house birds as well as patients. I also enjoy learning about bird behavior and try to counsel clients to help them create the best home environment for their avian friends.”
Through her work at the hospital she developed a keen interest in working with wildlife and as a result became a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, a status she has maintained for over 5 years. Deb said, “I have had the honor of working with the smallest hummingbird to a bald eagle.” As Niles Animal Hospital provides medical services to the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation so she still continues to work with the wildlife at the hospital.
At home, Deb currently has a cockatoo, cockatiel and two cats. When not at work Deb loves to cook and garden. Despite working with the birds at the hospital all day, she still can’t get enough of them so she has become an avid bird watcher. She enjoy taking trips to enjoy nature and the birds that call it home.