Our Doctors

Alicia Guarino, DVM, Practice Owner

Dr. Alicia Guarino returned to the Rockford area in 2009 after a 10 year absence. She earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Missouri -College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 and was practicing in Wisconsinfrom 2004-2009. Her professional interests include small animal medicine and surgery as well as exotic and wildlife medicine
Outside of work, Dr Alicia loves spending time with her family enjoying the outdoors, especially in northern Wisconsin,and traveling. Her sons share her avid interest in wildlife and nature which makes for the most interesting discoveries!

Chris Hart-Lizer, DVM

Dr. Chris Hart-Lizer is a native of the Rockford area. She graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Her professional interests include small animal medicine, specifically otology and dermatology, and also small animal surgery. Outside of work she enjoys camping, fishing and gardening. Dr. Chris also enjoys cooking. She feels that it helps decrease the day-to-day stresses of life and finds it very relaxing. Her animal family consists of two dogs (Darien -- a happy Rottweiler, and Divea -- a bouncy red lab pup) and four cats (Jenetta, Seager, Glenn and LC).

J. Michael Harter, DVM

Dr. Harter graduated magna cum laude from Colorado State University as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. Prior to and during vet school he worked in Diagnostic and Research Microbiology. He has advanced training in radiology and consults on the Veterinary Information Network. Dr. Harter's professional interests also include internal medicine, pain management, microbiology and infectious disease.


Jim Buhl, MS, DVM, Practice Owner

Dr. Jim Buhl, a Rockford native, earned his veterinary degree from the University of Illinois in 2002, graduating in the top 10% of his class.  He completed his B.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois, and his M.S. in Biological Sciences from Northern Illinois University.  He is Fear Free Certified, and his interests include internal medicine and surgery.  In his free time, he loves spending time with his wife, Margaret and daughters Taylor and Georgia.  He has a border collie named “Sadie”, and a cat named “Charles”.


Dr Katie Racek-Peters 

Dr. Katie Racek-Peters has been practicing in the the Greater Rockford area since 1996. She is a member of the AVMA, ISVMA, GRVMA, VECC and  Association of Avian Veterinarians. She has a strong interest in exotic pets (parrots, reptiles, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, hedehogs, sugar gliders)  but she loves seeing dog and cats also. "It is all about quality of life for our pets and the love that we share.