Pet Care

Animals play an important part in the lives of most communities, but particularly in suburban and semi-rural areas like Grayslake. So, medical and even day care facilities for those furry family members play an integral part in the life of the community.

Best Friends Animal Hospital

Best Friends Animal Hospital and its general practice veterinary staff have been caring for area cats, dogs and other small animals since 1997 when Dr. Donna Rauch and Dr. Roberta Scarbeck built an animal hospital at 1203 N. Illinois Route 83. Both are graduates of the University of Illinois’ School of Veterinary Medicine.

“We currently care for the animals of between 3,000 and 4,000 area families, handling regular check-ups and inoculations, emergencies like wounds and dogs who have eaten something stupid, diagnostics involving cytology and biopsies, and even animal dentistry,” Dr. Rausch said.

They focus their energies on being an animal hospital, so they do not board animals unless they are recovering from surgery or an illness.

Best Friends also cares for injured wild animals and for stray domesticated animals. In 2001 Best Friends initiated the “Good Samaritan Animal Relief Fund” to pay for the care of these homeless animals. Once the domesticated animals are well, they are offered for adoption on the hospital’s website and Facebook pages, as well as through Pet Finders.

“I chose to establish my practice in Grayslake because I knew that there were lots of folks here who think very highly of their pets. They see them as an extension of their families and I wanted to practice somewhere where people felt that way,” Dr. Rauch said.

For more information, visit or phone 847-548-2626.

Central Bark Doggy Daycare

Doting dog owners who are often absent from their homes for long periods of time are increasingly turning to doggy day care providers these days to entertain and care for their furry friends when they cannot be there. In Grayslake that task has been handled by Kevin and Laura Bloss at their Central Bark Doggy Daycare facility at 256 Commerce Dr. since 2007.

“This is our dream job!’ Kevin said. “We get to hang out and work with dogs every day.”

The Blosses began looking for an appropriate facility in 2006 and found one not far from their home. Now that they have been in business for more than a decade, they can no longer imagine doing anything else, Kevin said. They care for dogs of all breeds and sizes, six days a week, usually 70 to 80 per day. They also employ three groomers for both dogs and cats; and offer overnight boarding for dogs who patronize their day care service regularly.

The Blosses and their employees separate their day care clients according to size and temperament. Each morning they play “fetch” and encourage them to enjoy Central Bark’s canine gym and playground equipment. Then, from noon to 2 p.m. each day, the dogs are placed in individual kennels to allow them to rest up for the afternoon’s enthusiastic play in the recreation area.

Puppies as young as 12 weeks and even dogs with special dietary needs can be accommodated.

Central Bark also has retail space for the sale of pet toys, food and other equipment. For more information, call (847) 548-BARK or visit

Village Veterinary Clinic

A graduate of the University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Koryn Swearingen has been caring for dogs, cats and other small animals from her Village Veterinary Clinic at 320 E. Neville Dr. since 2005 when she purchased the clinic from its founder.

She first came to the clinic as a relief vet while working full-time as part-owner of the Lincolnshire Animal Hospital. For seven years she owned both facilities. Then, in 2012 Dr. Swearingen decided to commit full-time to Grayslake.

Today she has four veterinarians who work for her – Dr. Cindy Marks, Dr. Amanda Johnston, Dr. Joe Armagno and Dr. Megan Mosier – offering services six days a week. They also have a groomer on staff.

“We all care for dogs and cats and Dr. Johnston has a particular interest and expertise in guinea pigs, gerbils and other small specialty animals,” Dr. Swearingen said. “But we do not care for birds or large animals like horses. Nevertheless, we currently have approximately 6,000 active patients.”

Village Veterinary Clinic concentrates on soft tissue surgeries and dentistry. The clinic refers out patients who need orthopedic surgery. Boarding is limited to cats and to animals recovering from surgery. The clinic also offers the Wisdom Panel/Genetic Health Analysis Screen, a DNA breed test, for those who want to know the breeds that went into creating their loveable “mixed breed” dog.

“I try to make my clinic feel like a home. We handle our patients without using excessive restraint or sedation, whenever possible. We even have comfortable dog sofas in all of our exam rooms and use kitchen islands as our exam tables,” Dr. Swearingen said.

For more information, call (847) 223-5593 or visit