Meet Our Veterinarians

David Luttrell, DVM

Dr. David Luttrell is a General Practitioner and owner of  Palatine Animal Hospital since August 2015.

A native of Bismarck, Illinois, Dr. Luttrell says he grew up in a rural community with a population of about 550 people. "I had many opportunities to see people and their connection with all types of animals, such as rabbits, horses, and a wide range of farm animals," he says. "Country fairs are probably the best examples of this because these animals were cared for as much as any dog or cat."

In such an animal-centered environment, it is not surprising that Dr. Luttrell found himself working in the animal care field at an early age. "In high school, I worked as a Veterinary Assistant/Kennel Helper for Dr. Wes Bieritz in Danville, Illinois," he says. "I was impressed by his enjoyment and enthusiasm for his clients, patients and the veterinary profession after decades of service. He helped me to realize the many benefits of being a veterinarian."

After high school, Dr. Luttrell entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences in 1997 and graduated with high honors. In the fall of 1997, he entered the University of Illinois' College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana-Champaign where he graduated with honors after earning a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in the spring of 2001.

Now that he is a veterinarian, Dr. Luttrell says, "I enjoy the bond with the patients. It is very rewarding to see them grow from puppies and kittens into adults, and then through their senior years. I also appreciate the variety of patients and medical issues I see on any given day. Veterinary medicine never gets boring."

Dr. Luttrell goes on to add, "There have been many memorable moments in my career so far. I mostly enjoy the times I can help a seriously ill animal feel better from a timely medicine or surgery. However, some of the most memorable times are the ones when I am with a person and their beloved pet on that final day. These moments always make me realize how special the bond is between people and their pets."

Dr. Luttrell's areas of professional interest include Surgery and Clinical Pathology. He is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, and the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Luttrell and his wife Brenda have taken on the challenge of owning and operating Palatine Animal hospital together. Palatine Animal Hospital has been a part of Brenda's life since she was young. Her sister Wendy began working as a veterinary technician back in 1989. At the age of 13 Brenda would help out in the kennel area because she loved being around the animals. Palatine Animal Hospital has been a part of her life ever since, and she is proud to call it her own. 

David and Brenda have two children. Maddie is 13 years old and Nate is 8 years old. The family also has a 9 year old Schnauzer mix named "Eddie", a 4 year old snowshoe Siamese named "Bella" and a 2 year old doberman named "Jake".  Dr. Luttrell's hobbies include playing video games and following University of Illinois and Chicago sports teams.

James M. Riordan, DVM

Dr. James M. Riordan is a General Practitioner and the former owner of Palatine Animal Hospital.

A native of Palatine, Illinois, Dr. Riordan says that his original motivation to become a veterinarian stems from the time he spent with his predecessor at Palatine Animal Hospital, Dr. George Beatty. "I grew up in the area and frequently accompanied my mother to the animal hospital with our two Labradors," he says. "I was always impressed with the way that Dr. Beatty treated our pets with a firm, but gentle hand. When I was older, I spent a summer working for Dr. Beatty as a technician's assistant, which opened my eyes to the medical challenges veterinarians face in diagnosis and treatment."

Helping ease his way toward becoming a veterinarian was a natural affinity for animals as a kid. "I really cannot remember any specific animal experience growing up," he says. "However, I was always the kid that was not afraid of animals such as snakes and was the one always trying to help an injured critter, whether it was a baby raccoon or kitten. Because of this, I was always hearing that I should be a veterinarian when I grew up, and eventually I took that advice."

Now that he is a veterinarian, Dr. Riordan says there are two sides to the work that he does: the medical and personal. "Although I enjoy surgery and the challenge of medical cases," he says, "I enjoy the interaction between client, pet and veterinarian the most. Many of our clients have been coming here for years, so it is always enjoyable seeing them and their pets again."

Unlike most of his peers, Dr. Riordan's path to becoming a veterinarian started in the History Department of Denison University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1971. He then enrolled in Colorado State University to pursue his interest in science and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in 1975. He also has earned a Master's in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.

Not long after earning his Master's Degree, Dr. Riordan came to realize that his true calling was in the animal care field and in 1978 he enrolled in Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1982 and soon after began practicing on the West Coast.

About nine years later, Dr. Riordan decided it was time to make a change. "One major event in my professional career," he says, "was leaving the West Coast where I had been practicing and returning in 1991 to my hometown as the owner of Palatine Animal Hospital. It really was a dream come true."

Dr. Riordan's areas of professional interest include Ophthalmology, and Soft Tissue Surgery. He is also a member of the American Animal Hospital Association, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, and the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association.

At home, Dr. Riordan has an a Border Collie named Charlie, a Pug named Arnie, and a domestic shorthair cat named Gracie. His hobbies include fly fishing, golf, hiking, kayaking, tropical fish, music and audio equipment.


Heather Janssen, DVM

Dr. Heather Janssen is a General Practitioner and the newest associate veterinarian at Palatine Animal Hospital. 

 Dr. Jannsen is a native of Oak Forest, IL and later moved farther north after graduating vet school. She completed her undergraduate studies at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO with a major in agriculture and a minor in Biology in 1999. She then went on to veterinary school at the University of Illinois and graduated in 2003. Since graduation she has worked in small medicine. 

Her and her husband Rick have a son named Nathaniel. They enjoy family time together which includes outdoor activities or staying inside to play games or watch movies. They go to the zoo often and enjoy time downtown at various museums and attractions. They love visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden in spring and the Morton Arboretum in the fall. She enjoys volleyball two to three times per week and also does cardio kickboxing. She is an avid reader and also meets with friends monthly to scrapbook. Dr. Janssen considers herself camera crazy and she takes lots of pictures, so much so that she thinks her family is probably tired of her asking for them to pose and smile! Her husband and her also have season tickets to the Marriott theater.

Her family currently does not have any pets. Although she loves cats, she is unfortunately allergic to them and she cannot live with them without dealing with asthma attacks. Her dog Lady Bug recently passed away and she doesn't feel quite ready for a new companion. She has been following some of the pets through the Young at Heart Senior Pet Rescue and will likely adopt from there again. 

Additionally, Dr. Jannsen has traveled around Europe and has enjoyed places such as Ireland, France, England, Scotland, and Italy. 

Lastly, she would love to see the Cubs win the world series!

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  • "I really like the staff, very caring and informed! My questions always answered in a timely manner. I have taken three of our pets through the years there and everything I just mentioned above has been consistent through the years,. I highly recommend Palatine Animal Hospital."

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