Maria has worked professionally with animals for over 10 years, with experience ranging from dogs and cats, to exotic animals of all types. She attended Elmhurst College and in 2011 earned her BA in psychology with a focus on animal behavior, and her BA in criminal justice focusing on animal crimes. Before coming to Niles Animal Hospital, Maria was the Animal Care Manager for the PAWS Chicago Rescue & Recovery Center, as well as managing at the PAWS Chicago Adoption Center. She has a strong passion for animal rescue and welfare. During her time at PAWS Chicago, she placed great priority on working with their behaviorally challenged animals, developing treatment and training plans to help them succeed. She currently assists Dr. Jamie Abete with behavior consults offered at Niles Animal Hospital. As both a receptionist and vet assistant, Maria enjoys the opportunity to spend time throughout all areas of the hospital. Maria shares her home with her dogs Scout & Puddles, two cats Bugsy & Lucky, leopard gecko Reptar, puffer fish Deandra & Dennis, and gerbil Pepper.