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Dr. Cruz grew up in central Illinois, spending much of her time in horse barns, mucking stalls, and helping care for the odd cow and pig tenants. Her cherished experiences spanning 14 years with her horse and her dog fed her passion for the veterinary sciences. She attended the University of Illinois to obtain both her B.S. (Animal Sciences) and D.V.M., and greatly valued her 8 years in Urbana-Champaign. Throughout her teens and time in school, she was fortunate to complete an array of externships and programs, from captive wildlife husbandry and enrichment to reproductive sciences laboratory research.
After graduating from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Cruz elected to spend a year training at the 24-hour ER and specialty veterinary hospital in Aurora, IL, prior to moving north to join the Animal Hospital of Woodstock. Dr. Cruz' passions are theriogenology and encouraging the human-animal bond; she is also happy to discuss appropriate nutrition for dogs and cats.
Since completing her internship (working primarily with the Emergency and Medicine services), Dr. Cruz has set out to explore all of the forest preserves in the neighboring counties with her English Springer Spaniel, Fancy. Her degus, Curry and Nutmeg (collectively, the Spice Girls), stay home for these excursions. On her days off, Dr. Cruz volunteers at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center's veterinary and rehabilitation hospital. She also enjoys dancing, playing the piano, photography, and tries not to make too much of a mess when painting.