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animal doctor

Dr. Kjerstin Jacobs, DVM

Dr. Jacobs, a founding partner of Metropolitan Veterinary Center, worked for a veterinarian when she was young and saw such passion and dedication in the way he approached his work that she decided to become a veterinarian, too. “I admired his technical skills and his ability to immediately connect with his clients as well as his patients,” Dr. Jacobs remembered. “I admired the positive impact he had on others every day, and I wanted to be just like him.”

Dr. Jacobs earned her DVM from the University of Wisconsin, Madison School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. Prior to that, she had spent 13 years working in the restaurant business, “which instilled a very strong sense of the importance of excellence in client service.”

After becoming a veterinarian, Dr. Jacobs completed an internship in equine surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. She then practiced on sport horses in New Jersey for several years before returning to Chicago and entering small animal practice.

Today, Dr. Jacobs has a special interest in soft tissue surgery, general and preventive medicine, and emergency and critical care. She is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. She is also a member of the Grey Muzzle Foundation, which provides care and comfort for homeless senior pets. She is also a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). Dr. Jacobs is certified by the USDA to provide Certificates of Veterinary Inspection or ‘Health Certificates”.

“I love every aspect of my job, from the challenges of medicine and surgery to the joy of welcoming a new puppy or kitten into the family,” Dr. Jacobs said of her life as a vet. “Building long-term, trusting relationships with patients, clients and co-workers is ultimately the most rewarding part of my work.”

Dr. Jacobs shares her home with rescue dogs Naya, a rat terrier, Growlin’ Dan, a Chihuahua mix, and Gnarly, a Boston terrier mix. Dr. Jacobs’ daughter is a college student studying graphic design. On her time off, Dr. Jacobs enjoys cooking, Pilates, going to the movies and exploring our wonderful city of Chicago.


Dr. Veronica Cruz-Balser, Medical Director, DVM

Dr. Veronica Balser was born in Mexico City and moved to San Antonio, Texas when she was a small child. Even before she could say veterinarian she was fascinated by animals and loved to greet each one with a hug. That passion for animals and a strong interest in medicine fueled her drive to attend the highly regarded Texas A&M University where she received both a B.S. and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating vet school in 2007 she furthered her education by completing a course in Veterinary Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Her interests include senior pets, soft tissue surgery, feline medicine, preventative care and alternative medicine. She takes pride in her ability to calmly handle highly anxious patients and strives to make every patient comfortable during their exam.

Dr. Balser and her husband moved to the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago in early 2015 with their senior cat, Chula, and lovable pit bull, Tony. When not working at MetroVet or spending time with her pets she enjoys going to live music events, trying to find the city’s best taco spots and hitting the gym.

Dr. Balser is MetroVet's Medical Director,  she was chosen for this position after showing her exceptional medical practices, her dedication to continually researching the best and newest technology and medications, and her ability to lead in affective, professional, and productive manner. We are so excited for her to excel and flourish in this position and know that it will continually improve the way we as a team function, care for our patients, and educate our clients and community. When asked about the position, Dr. Balser had this to say, "My goal as MetroVet’s Medical Director is to ensure we provide consistently compassionate care to our clients and the best medicine possible to our patients through teamwork and positive attitudes."

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Dr. Amanda Ennis, VMD

Dr. Amanda Ennis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and received her undergraduate honorary degree with a major in biology and a minor in Spanish from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA in 2002.  Upon graduation, Dr. Ennis pursued her goal of veterinary medicine by attending the ivy league University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2006 with her Veterinary Medical Doctorate (VMD) degree and a business certification from Wharton Business School.  

Dr. Ennis began her medical career as an associate veterinarian at a busy 5 doctor general practice in the Philadelphia area, and eventually transitioned into general practice and emergency position at a division of Red Bank Veterinary Hospital Emergency and Critical Care Center in New Jersey.  She fell in love with the great city of Chicago during a veterinary continuing education trip in 2012 and decided to move from Philadelphia to Chicago in 2013. Since moving to Chicago Dr. Ennis has worked both in general practice and emergency hospitals before joining the Metropolitan Veterinary Center team in 2017.

Dr. Amanda has felt a passionate interest in animals big and small since she was a young child. She vividly remembers reading National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia books and loved to pretend she was a jungle cat in the wild. Dr. Ennis has a wide variety of experience in small animal practice, but she has a special interest in complex cases, cutting edge diagnostics and treatments, feline specific treatment and care, and innovative pain management.

Dr. Ennis feels that the best way to practice veterinarian medicine is by taking a comprehensive and collaborative approach with the patient and client.  She is motivated to achieve a standard of care and the highest quality of medicine in a practical manner. With over 10 years of clinical veterinary experience, Dr. Ennis looks forward to getting to know you and caring for your special little creatures.  

Dr. Ennis lives in the South Loop and has a mischievous hairless Sphynx cat named Wonton who loves to figure out new ways to try to extract food from any possible source, including the kitchen cabinets.  Dr. Ennis considers herself to be “food motivated” just like her cat, and she enjoys exploring Chicago’s fabulous culinary scene from the new and trendy to her old favorites. Amanda’s other hobbies include scuba diving, running, reading historical biographies and learning new languages.


Dr. Anusha Natarajan, DVM

Dr. Anusha Natarajan was born in Texas and raised in Acworth, GA.  She completed her Bachelors at Emory University and her veterinary medical degree at the University of Georgia in 2007. 

After working in a mixed animal practice with livestock and small animals in rural western Pennsylvania, she then worked for three years in an emergency practice in Pittsburgh PA. In 2016, Dr. Anusha moved back to GA and worked at a small animal hospital until recently when she moved to Chicago. She joined the team at MetroVet in August 2018.

She enjoys playing tennis, traveling and being a part of the local community.

local vets

Dr. Anna Jenstead, DVM

Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Dr. Anna Jenstead graduated from both the University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate program and the UW School of Veterinary Medicine. For 5 years before moving to Chicago, she worked in several positions at a busy emergency and specialty veterinary clinic in the Madison area, where she discovered a passion for emergency medicine. She relocated to the Chicago area with her fiancé in 2017, so that he could pursue his career path, and initially worked in a primary care/ walk-in practice in the suburbs, before joining the team at Metropolitan Veterinary Center in 2018. 

Areas of clinical interest include dermatology (mainly allergies), critical care, soft tissue surgery, and long term management of weight, pain, and anxiety. She prides herself in excellent client and patient communication and works hard to provide options and develop practical treatment plans that work for both patients and their owners.

Outside of work, Dr. Jenstead has one dog, an English Shepherd/ Coonhound mix named Barrett, who is the light of her life. Together, they enjoy long walks, learning new tricks, and going swimming. She also enjoys playing polo on horseback, Ultimate Frisbee, and practicing yoga.