Our Veterinarians

Dr. John R. Abel

DVM, Practice Owner

Dr. Abel is the owner of Harper Animal Hospital and has been treating generations of pets there since 1989. His interest in veterinary medicine dates back to an early age when he traveled from farm to farm with his father, who ran a mixed animal veterinary practice in rural Iowa. Watching his father leave in the middle of the night to deliver calves in sub-freezing weather led Dr. Abel down a slightly different path, however, which brought him to our suburbs in 1988. Prior to that, he received a Bachelors Degree in Microbiology from Iowa State University in 1984, followed by his Veterinary Degree from Iowa State University in 1988.  

Dr. Abel enjoys doing many things with his wife and four children, which include boating, water skiing, biking, golfing, watching movies, and attending sporting events.They share their home with two cats, Juneau and her tormenter, Disco.

Dr. Abel has had the honor of being voted “BEST VET” in the Daily Herald Readers Choice Awards. He is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association.[/spoiler_above]

Photo of Dr. John R.  Abel

Dr. Stephen L. Poduska


Dr. Poduska is the newest addition to the Harper Animal Hospital staff, having arrived in June 2012. He has been practicing veterinary medicine in the Chicagoland area since graduating from Iowa State University in 2009. Dr. Poduska’s love of medicine was fueled during his early years, helping his father at his veterinary clinic in rural Iowa. On many occasions, after school and on weekends, he was walking dogs, assisting or observing surgery, as well as riding along in the vet truck to farm calls.  

Before vet school, Dr. Poduska’s career plan was to join his father in his mixed animal practice. However, he developed a love of small animals during a summer’s externship working at a small animal emergency hospital. After graduation, Dr. Poduska was accepted into a small animal internship in Aurora and Berwyn, Illinois where he obtained extensive training under the guidance of several veterinary specialists.

Dr. Poduska remains an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, Illinois Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association.

Dr. Poduska lives in Palatine with his two cats, Shea and Shelby. When not in the office, Dr. Poduska enjoys cycling, running, and softball. He especially enjoys watching and supporting his favorite teams, the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Cubs and the Bears.

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Photo of Dr. Stephen L.  Poduska

Dr. Mary A. Grabowski


Dr. Mary Grabowski received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2008 from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine with a special interest in exotic and wildlife medicine.  She has extensive experience in Exotic Animal Medicine including birds, reptiles, small mammals and wildlife. She is licensed to treat and rehabilitate community injured wildlife.  One of her future goals is to become a diplomat of American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Avian Medicine and Small Mammal Medicine.

She has worked in the Chicagoland area and suburbs for the past 9 years.  She owned Northwest Exotic Veterinary Clinic in Streamwood, IL for the past 4 years and recently joined Harper Animal Hospital in September 2017. She enjoys practicing and the challenges of exotic, cat, and dog medicine.

Dr. Grabowski lives with her husband and 2 children.  She has a dog, Scout (blue-merle Sheltie) and 4 birds- Tuga (male Eclectus parrot), Remi (Sun Conure), Kiwi (Cinnamon Green-Cheek Conure), and Jojo (Rose-breasted Cockatoo).  She also has a clinic kitty named Tabitha aka Fat Pants that has made the move to Harper Animal Hospital.