Veterinarian & Practice Manager: Dr. Melissa Francis
Biography: Dr. Melissa Francis is a Midwestern native who always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. She grew up in Paris, IL with dogs, cats, horses and hamsters. Dr. Francis graduated with honors from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999 and completed her clinical residency at Oklahoma State University.
Dr. Francis began her veterinary career in Phoenix, AZ at a clinic that specialized in dogs, cats and exotic pets. Her years of veterinary practice in the Southwest gave her invaluable experience treating exotic pets. She later practiced in southeastern Oklahoma for four years before she and her family were able to return to their Midwestern roots here in Monroe County. Bloomington has been her permanent home since 2011.
Dr. Francis is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Indiana Veterinary Medical Association, and the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians. She has a special interest in small mammals and reptiles.
When not at work, Dr. Francis and her husband, Chris, are raising their two daughters and caring for their two dogs and one rabbit. She enjoys reading, camping and singing with her church’s praise team.
Philosophy & Goals: “I want to improve the intimate bond between pet parents and their pets. My first practice goal, therefore, is to educate pet parents about their pet’s health issues. A well informed pet owner can provide me with additional insights into their pet’s symptoms and behavior, which will improve my diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
“Ultimately, pet owners must be well educated in order to make the best decisions to improve their pets’ quality of life and strengthen the bond we all share with our pets. This is true for disease prevention, behavior improvement and treatments when inevitable health issues arise. It starts at birth and continues through the end of life, whether the pet is a dog, cat, hamster, ferret, rat, turtle, lizard or rabbit.
“With the help of well-educated pet parents, my goal is to provide the highest quality, compassionate medicine for my patients, no matter what the species.”
Veterinarian: Dr. Melissa Dickinson
Biography: Dr. Melissa Dickinson is the most recent veterinarian to join the Clinic team at BloomingPaws. She was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. She moved to the Midwest, with her parents, as a teenager. She received a Bachelors degree from Denison University in Psychology before deciding to become a veterinarian. She worked at a veterinary clinic as kennel help at first, and eventually as a veterinary technician, before going off to vet school.
Dr. Dickinson attended the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine. While there, she did an externship at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, in California, in the Behavior Department. Also, while at the U of I, she volunteered at the Wildlife Ward, and worked for the Decatur Zoo, in Decatur, Illinois. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2002.
Since graduating, Dr. Dickinson has worked throughout the Midwest, including at an all-exotic animal clinic, and a homeopathic clinic. She has a husband (Eric), a cat (Pepsi), 2 dogs (Dottie and Chopper), and 3 birds (Dusty, Phineas, and Ferb). In her spare time, she likes to go camping. Melissa Dickinson is a British car enthusiast, and she likes to write short stories.
Vet Clinic & Customer Service Supervisor: Lisa Broukal
Biography: Lisa joined our clinic as a Veterinary Assistant in March of 2013. She has a deep love of animals and the cookies she carries in her pocket are designed to make a pet’s experience at the doctor’s office a positive one. She graduated high school at 16 and attended three years of college for business before deciding to pursue her passion and dream of working with animals. Active in the veterinary field since 1994, this Chicago native brings a depth of experience from her work as kennel help, veterinary assistant, and surgical assistant for several veterinarians. She took correspondence courses in animal care while taking time off from work to be at home with her five children and continues her education whenever she can.
Lisa’s husband, Ray, is a diesel mechanic and small business owner. Together they are the parents of five children from age 10 to 22. Their son, Devin, inherited his mother’s love of animals by volunteering as a wildlife rehabilitator at WildCare Inc. Lisa and Ray are pet parents to a Boxer mix, an English bulldog, and a Pomuahuah. They also have 5 cats, 2 lovebirds, a tortoise, and a pot-bellied pig named Rosie.
Philosophy & Goals: My personal mission is to make positive experiences for both the pets and their parents by building a bond with the pet. The more positive the experience, the more likely the pet parents will bring in their pet for preventative care and therefore result in a healthier and happier life for the pet and the parents. Also, a close existing bond with a pet will allow me to treat the pet more quickly and with less stress in the event of an emergency. I believe it is never too late to earn the trust of a pet. Whether it is through patience, slow movements and a soft voice or through treats, ear scratches and belly rubs, I hope to achieve the end result of a compliant, happy pet that loves to go to the vet.