Dr. Holly Richards is originally from Michigan but spent several years in Chicago. Over her years in Chicago, she attended both Loyola University and Northwestern University for 2 different purposes and 15 years apart. Her first career was at Brookfield Zoo where she was a zookeeper for 12 years, taking care of everything from newts and kookaburras to polar bears and rhinos.
She attended the University of Illinois for her veterinary degree and had been practicing medicine full-time at an all-exotics animal clinic in Chicago since graduation in 2015. Some of her interests include surgery, dentistry in rabbits and rodents, behavior and enrichment, and diagnostic imaging (ultrasound and radiography). She is experienced in the care of all of the species that we see at the Exotic Animal Veterinary Center including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. She loves caring for a wide variety of species and the challenges faced daily as an exotic animal veterinarian keep her on her toes. One of her hidden talents is on-the-spot improvisation; whether it is to make adjustments to improve patient care or complete tasks more efficiently. She keeps a stash of tape, Velcro, cable ties, and other doohickeys and gadgets nearby.
Dr. Richards is an excellent rabbit and rodent dentist, and recently started her journey to become an acupuncturist!!!
Having cared for exotics for many years as a zookeeper, Dr. Richards now prefers pets that relieve themselves in designated areas and she shares her home with 2 older kitties named Digger and KC. Despite this, she really worries that she could fall victim to both rabbit and cockatiel ownership at any point. One of her favorite aspects of the job is nurturing the intense connections that owners share with their pets. And she thinks that one of her role models, Temple Grandin, said it best – “animals make us human.”
Favorite pastimes include traveling, being outside, paper art and card making, and locating and consuming delicious food with friends.