Since she was 12 years old there has only been one career path for Dr. Foote: Veterinarian. Although she never seriously considered any other career paths, she did look into other medical science fields as a backup plan in case she didn’t pass the rigorous admissions tests, applications, and interviews for veterinary school admission. Her heart and soul have always been dedicated to being a veterinarian.
The decision to become a Veterinarian was the culmination of a couple of factors: she really liked science and has a particular interest in biology; she liked being around people and truly enjoyed helping them to solve problems; and she also felt that animals had a special way of communicating with humans and she wanted to learn to understand that communication style. Even though she didn’t have a lot of animals around the house while she was growing up, it was her pet dog, Sean, who helped her to know the importance of having a companion animal.
She diligently worked hard at her studies and sought out every opportunity she could find to advance through her undergrad studies at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. After 2 years of study at Purdue University, Dr. Foote transferred to the University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine where she graduated as part of the Class of 1984.
Over the course of a few years of practicing veterinary medicine, Dr. Foote discovered a passion for understanding pet behavior and how that affects the pets bond with its owner. After taking additional courses and training programs, such as those found at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, she became a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant and is now able to offer more behavioral medicine and therapy services in her veterinary practice. She has even earned the title Certified Feline Behavior Consultant by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.
“Adding behavior services to our practice has enriched my career and helped many families and pets enjoy a healthier life together.”
Through the utilization of low stress / pet friendly handling procedures in her veterinary clinic she has witnessed a major difference in being able to help clients improve their pet’s behavior.
“I have always looked at a pet’s health in a holistic way for considering both the physical and behavioral health. When I see clients understand the importance of nutrition, preventative care, and good behavior for their pets, I feel we have done our job.”
As she continued her daily career of attending to animals at the Okaw Veterinary Clinic in Tuscola, IL, she became aware of veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and author, Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS, and her company CattleDog Publishing. Beginning a lifelong friendship with Dr. Yin, Dr. Foote learned about her training seminars, books, DVDs, and certification course which revolved around the topic of Low Stress Handling®, Restraint, and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats.
After completing the certification course and becoming Low Stress Handling™ Silver Certified, she then had the rest of her clinic staff also become certified, thus allowing the Okaw Veterinary Clinic (as a practice) to be fully certified as well. Since then she has seen firsthand how once aggressive and difficult to examine dogs and cats now pull their owners through the door because they want to come see the veterinary staff at Okaw Veterinary Clinic. It is seeing changes like this which keeps her invigorated to continue each and every day, even after the most difficult cases.
After Dr. Sophia Yin (founder of CattleDog Publishing) passed away on September 28, 2014, Dr. Foote was brought on as Executive Director of the company and was charged with leading it into the future. Even though there were many hardships, initially, with leading the company, she and the staff of CattleDog Publishing have discovered a renewed dedication to continuing “The Legacy of Dr. Sophia Yin.”