Dr. Jill Sackash, DVM
Dr. Jill, as most people call her, has a long story due to her age, experience and history. Many years ago, she graduated from New Haven High School. She married Dan Sackash in 1976 and thanks to his understanding and support and the support and generosity of her parents; she graduated from Purdue Veterinary School in 1984. Her senior year she received the American Animal Hospital Award for excellence in small animal medicine and surgery. After receiving her DVM degree, she was very fortunate to work under the mentoring of Dr. Larry Ackerman and Dr. Doug Bruinsma. They were instrumental in molding her into the vet she is today, especially Dr. Ackerman. Mobile Veterinary Services was her next venture where for 5 years she operated a house call practice and drove a 23 foot mobile clinic around Fort Wayne and the surrounding counties. The mobile van was so well equipped; she could do surgery in your drive-way!! In 1991, she decided to “move” to Indianapolis and work full time in the Animal Emergency Clinic in north Indy…this proved to be a very valuable learning and networking experience. Two years later, the Fort Wayne Emergency Animal Clinic needed another associate veterinarian, so she jumped at the opportunity to come back “home.” As hard as it was, she sold her mobile van and concentrated on emergency medicine for another 3 years. Then came an opportunity she couldn’t pass up, and she purchased an established practice at 905 W. Gump Rd. So on May 18, 1995, exactly 11 years to the day after receiving her diploma from Purdue, Veterinary Services opened its doors with 3 employees including Dr. Jill! Things were slow at first, so because the Indianapolis ER clinic needed help again, she jumped back into part time ER work. In 1999 she was asked to help with ER at Northwood Veterinary Hospital in Anderson, where she continues to work ER to this day! This also proved to be such a gift to her professionally and personally as she has meet and worked with many talented colleagues, especially Dr. Tim Lee. And she continues to be honored to be exposed to numerous veterinary specialists at this practice!
Even though, by reading this, it seems she was worked all the time…in 1996 she managed to “squeeze” in the birth of her very best attribute, her son Mac! Time has truly flown by he will be attending Indiana University in Bloomington next fall!!! So, to stop numerous rumors, she will NOT be retiring for some time, as Mac as aspirations on getting his MBA!!!
In her spare time, she travels with Mac, likes to read, and manages to take care of their 3.5 acres and the menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, goats and 1 hedgehog. But then wouldn’t you worry about a vet who does not have animals? She loves what she does and cannot imagine having a more rewarding profession! God has truly blessed her with a wonderful family, a multitude of good friends and co workers and numerous opportunities that have allowed her to become whom she is today! And of course, she can’t forget to acknowledge all the awesome clients and their special pets she has come to know over the years! She looks forward to meeting many more furry friends in the years to come.
Pat Funnell, DVM
Dr. Pat Funnell graduated from Purdue's Veterinary School just a year behind Dr. Jill! Dr. Funnell has practiced avian, exotic and small animal medicine at Allen Veterinary Hospital for the past 29 years. Dr. Ed Rademaker has been the best mentor and friend there ever could be during her time at Allen Veterinary Hospital. With his imminent retirement, Dr. Funnell decided to take the leap and practice with longtime friend Dr. Jill. Dr. Funnell has been married to Byron for 25 years and has two daughters which were homeschooled through high school. Amanda is currently a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Elementary Education major at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion with the goal of teaching and mentoring school age refugee children. Caitlin is a student at I.P.F.W, majoring in speech pathology with the goal being a speech therapist as a career and, more importantly to her, to someday be a mom. They are both active in the Burmese/Karen refugee population in Fort Wayne and at Heartland Church with their parents. Many pets share the Funnell house and barn: a cockatiel, black labs, goats, horses and the newest addition, laying hens! Dr. Funnell works closely with Soarin' Hawk Raptor Rehab as they rescue over 125 injured and orphaned raptors each year. She has many other interests including white water canoeing, mentoring Burmese refugees, volunteering at Dove's Nest, traveling, creative arts and many other things that will have to wait for retirement and will hopefully someday include grandchildren!
Dr. Nicole Koch, DVM
Dr. Nicole knew from a young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. During high school, she began shadowing Dr. Jill and soon found herself employed as an assistant. Dr. Nicole received her bachelor degree in Animal Sciences from Purdue University. After graduation, she packed her bags for the beautiful island of St. Kitts to attend Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Although 3 years of island life was amazing, Nicole was happy to head back to her alma mater, Purdue, for her clinical year of vet school. She started her dream job back “home” at Veterinary Services with her remarkable mentor and friend Dr. Jill in February of 2010. Dr. Nicole and her husband have a year old son and two dogs. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family, go hiking and visiting the zoo.
Dr. Natalie Houser, DVM
Dr. Natalie graduated from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in the spring of 2013. From an early age, Natalie knew she wanted to work with animals. Through friends and 4-H, she learned to care for a variety of pets from horses and sheep to rabbits and chickens. In high school, Natalie worked at a boarding facility as well as shadowed at Veterinary Services. Dr. Jill saw great potential in her and offered her a job as a veterinary assistant while she was in college working on her under graduate degree. The knowledge and experience Natalie acquired from Dr. Jill and her incredible staff served as a stepping stone to lead her from college to veterinary school. In 2009, Natalie graduated from IPFW with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and began Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine that fall. In her free time, Natalie enjoys helping out with 4-H, traveling, horseback riding, painting, taking her dog Basil on hikes, and relaxing with her family at the lake.