Meet the Pekin Veterinary Clinic Doctors

Dr. Joel Jess, DVM, CCRP

I am a 1986 graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. I acquired my love of animals growing up on a cow-calf farm in western Iowa. I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was ten or eleven years old. I guess I was lucky to know what I wanted to do with my life at an early age. Combining my love for animals and medicine has allowed me to live a fulfilling, wonderful life.

Although I enjoy all aspects of veterinary medicine, my areas of special interest include gastroenterology, soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, and canine rehabilitation. I became certified in canine rehabilitation through the University of Tennessee in 2005. Practicing medicine gives me a great deal of pleasure when I can help not only our four legged friends but the owners as well. I strive to offer an array of options according to the owners’ desires. Flexibility is the key when consulting clients, and I try to provide the most current options and treatments available. I continue to update my professional skills to meet those demands. My passion is to help patients and their moms and dads with the most compassionate and complete care I can provide.

My pets include an independent tabby cat named Tuesday and a very soft-hearted, smart English Shepard named Lance. When not practicing medicine I enjoy spending time with my family, playing “over the hill” baseball, fishing, working at our Virginia, IL, land, and umpiring girls’ senior and junior high softball. I’ve been practicing veterinary medicine for 30 years and love doing so more now than when I started.

Dr. Rachel Wiles, DVM

I grew up in central Illinois and I am a 2018 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. I am honored to be able to practice medicine in my home area and serve the local community. My interests include preventative care, rehabilitation and surgery. I enjoy building meaningful relationships with my clients and their pets. As a lifelong learner, I am constantly updating my skills and knowledge to benefit my patients.

Outside of the clinic my spare time is mostly consumed by my three black lab mixes- Ruby, Raylan and River. I also enjoy hiking, reading and baking.

Dr. Kate Dovenberg, DVM

Hello! I’m Kate Dovenberg. I grew up in Decorah, Iowa with my parents, two brothers and a sister. Growing up, we had a variety of animals including dogs, cats and rabbits. I have always enjoyed being around animals and interacting with them. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be an “animal doctor” to help them feel better when sick.

I attended DePaul University in Chicago for my undergraduate education and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. Then, I returned to my home state for veterinary school and graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine 2019. I joined the Pekin Veterinary Clinic staff in June 2020 and am very excited to work with the other doctors in the practice to provide the best possible care to every patient that comes through the doors.

At home, I have a 5-year old calico cat named Marble, who joined me on the veterinary school journey and put up with me using her as a study tool when needed. I also have a 2-year old Golden Retriever named Gracie, who I adopted in October 2019. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my animals at home, taking walks in the park with Gracie, reading, and hanging out with friends and family.

Dr. Liz Vander Vennet, DVM

I grew up in central Illinois and am a 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining Pekin Veterinary Clinic, I practiced small animal medicine in northern Virginia and eastern Illinois. My veterinary interests include dermatology, dentistry, ophthalmology, ultrasonography, and preventative care. I look forward to forming relationships with clients, providing the best care to my patients, and helping strengthen the bond between clients and their pets in central Illinois.