Meet the friendly staff at Tender Loving Care Animal Hospital!

  • Chris Casey

    Chris Casey, DVM, grew up in Dubuque, IA and went to veterinary school at Iowa State University where he graduated in 2007. He works exclusively with companion animals, mostly dogs and cats. Dr. Casey enjoys both the medical and surgical aspects of veterinary medicine and is looking forward to meeting Freeport's 4-legged residents! On his days off you can usually find Dr. Casey out on the water, canoeing, camping, or fishing.

  • Ken Fiedler

    Ken grew up in the Galena area on a small dairy farm and ever since he could remember, he wanted to be a veterinarian. He graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois in 1983. Dr. Fiedler mostly works with dogs and cats, but also sees other species which may include rabbits, guinea pigs, and some birds. He enjoys small animal medicine and surgery, especially soft tissue surgery. Ken is married to Diane and together they have four children - Dorthea, Will, Grant, and Ava. They also have two dogs (Bella & Cooper), and two cats (Socks and Slugger). His hobbies include keeping up with the kids' activities and sports, gardening, working around his home, and traveling.

  • Josh Hillesheim

    Josh Hillesheim, DVM, grew up in New Ulm, MN and graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. Dr. Hillesheim enjoys both large and small animal medicine, focusing mostly on small animal routine and wellness exams while at TLC Animal Hospital. In his free time he enjoys road biking, fishing, canoeing, and following Minnesota sports.

  • Alec Frits

    Alec Frits, DVM, graduated from the University of Illinois in 2018. His professional interests includes a variety of small animal medicine - from small animal soft tissue surgery to primary care medicine and diagnostics. Some of Dr. Frits' other interests include fishing, hiking, hunting, skiing, running and attending sporting events. 

  • Jessanna Darin
    Certified Vet Tech

    Jessanna Darin, CVT, started at Tender Loving Care in June 2018. She graduated from Rockford Career College in 2017. Jessanna is originally from Rockton, but now lives in Durand with her husband Nathan. Like many of our staff members, Jessanna has several roles at the clinic including assisting with small animal appointments and surgery, large animal chute work, and working in our milk quality lab. Jessanna was previously a CBRN Sargent in the Army National Guard for 6 years. She and Nathan have many pets including 2 dogs (Stella and Rosie), 1 cat (Whisker Biscuit), 1 goose (Uncle Waldo), and several chickens. Her hobbies include art, carving, and spending time with her many animals.

  • Stephanie Lopez
    Certified Veterinary Technician

    Stephanie Lopez, veterinary technician, started at TLC Animal Hospital in December 2018 after graduating from Rockford Career College. She grew up in the Pearl City area. Her family has raised dairy goats for several years.She has 2 dogs (Piquin & Olaf), 4 cats, and several pet goats! On her free time she enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family, friends,and pets!

  • Linda Bartosiak

    Linda grew up in the Forreston area and graduated from Forreston High School and Highland Community College with a degree in business administration. She joined the Tender Loving Care team in 1998 as one of the afternoon receptionists. She and her husband have a dog named Tucker. Linda enjoys walking, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

  • Kim Hamilton
    Veterinary Assistant

    Kim has been a veterinary assistant at Tender Loving Care Animal Hospital since 1998. One of her favorite things about her job is meeting our client's pets as puppies or kittens and seeing them through to adulthood. Her hobbies include many outdoor activities and she especially loves hiking with her dog.

  • Lena Cichocki
    Veterinary Assistant

    Lena is a veterinary assistant and has been at the clinic since 2014. She has a fondness for chihuahuas and dalmatians. Her hobbies include reading, volunteering at the humane society, watching movies, and spending time with her family. Her time at the clinic is spent living her dream of caring for animals and helping your fur-babies enjoy their time at the clinic. She has been caring for animals since she was very young and looks forward to providing your pets with tending loving care!

  • Tasha Dyson

    Tasha started at Tender Loving Care in August of 1998 as the receptionist. She grew up in the Pearl City area, and now lives in Orangeville with her family. In her spare time, Tasha enjoys spending time with her two children
    and going to beef shows.

  • Emily Korf
    Certified Veterinary Technician

    Emily Korf, CVT, graduated from Forreston High School in 2012 and became a Certified Veterinary Technician at Rockford Career College in March of 2017. Emily lives in Freeport with her beloved dog named Berkeley and Kiki the cat, who thinks she's a dog. At work, she enjoys working with small animals of all kinds; particularly following pets since their very first appointment and watching them grow up! Emily also enjoys taking her dogs for walks and traveling.

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Freeport Office


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm




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  • "I have taken my fur babies to Tender Loving Care Dr. Heitzman for over 12 years now and won't go anywhere but! Dr. Heitzman and staff have ALWAYS been so caring, gentle and compassionate with my animals as if they were their own! Not only putting animals health first, but listening to my concerns as pet owner. Every concern or question is addressed with the utmost compassion, even silly questions are answered with the same sincere care! Thank You Dr. Heitzman and staff for your compassion, concern and truly caring for my babies as you have from day one many years ago and continuing thru the present to the future!!!!"
    Colleen M
  • "Dr. Heitzman and his staff are so wonderful and caring! They understand that our furry friends mean so much to us. They listen and care about what we tell them. To me and my four legged friends they are truly the best around! Thank you so much!"
    Melissa C.
  • "Super Vet...calm, caring and conscientious! Office staff are efficient and courteous."
    JoLique P.
  • "This is the place to take your pet! I love that when I call them, say who I am, they remember me and my dog. Dr. Heitzman is wonderful and I totally trust him in the care of my furry baby. He also took care of both of my cats before they passed away. I won't take my pet any where else."
    Amy P.

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