Our History

Dr. Michael “Doc” Warren Skinner

Michael “Doc” Warren Skinner earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1978. Dr. Skinner began working alongside his father in Joliet before starting his own practice in Wilmington. In 1995, he opened Skinner Animal Clinic at our current location on Water Street.

Dr. Skinner discovered he had cancer in June 2010. He underwent treatment, but unfortunately his cancer proved incurable. Dr. Skinner wanted to make sure his employees and all of the wonderful clients and pets at Skinner Animal Clinic were well cared for after he passed away, so he made an agreement with the owners of Dwight Veterinary Clinic, Pine Bluff Animal Hospital and Lakewood Animal Hospital to add Skinner Animal Clinic to their group of veterinary hospitals in October 2011. Dr. Skinner lost his battle with lung cancer shortly thereafter in May 2012. “Doc” will be remembered for his famous quote: “My charge to you is to have a good day.”

While we miss Dr. Skinner, we strive to carry on in his name, and continue to provide veterinary care for our beloved patients.

Dr. Robert K. Gay

Dr. Robert K. Gay, the founder of Dwight Veterinary Clinic which evolved into the Dwight-Pine Bluff-Lakewood Animal Hospitals, LLC passed away on February 14, 2005. Our clinics lost an extremely talented veterinarian and a true friend. Dr. Gay was a renowned mentor of many young veterinarians and set up the partnerships which would keep our practices thriving.

Dr. Gay graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College and Ontario Veterinary College of the University of Guelph, Canada in 1950. He opened his first clinic in Dwight in 1951, followed by Pine Bluff Animal Hospital in 1975, and later Lakewood Animal Hospital in 1992.

He will be remembered for his undying love of animals and his devotion to the people of Central, Illinois. In his own words, “I don’t know what I would have rather done and I don’t know a place I’d rather have done it in. It’s been a wonderful life.”

Farewell, good friend.

Our History

In June of 1951, Dwight Veterinary Clinic opened its doors under the ownership of Dr. Robert K. Gay. At this time, the practice was predominately related to livestock. However, with the change in agricultural practices during the late 1950’s, Dr. Gay’s practice gradually shifted to treating companion animals. In

1975, Dr. Gay opened Pine Bluff Animal Hospital and expanded his practice to six veterinarians. At this time, the practice was 60% small animal and 40% large animal. An L.L.C. was formed in 1999 with Dr. Gay, Dr. Louis Cronin (Kansas State, 1975), Dr. Larry Johnson (Missouri, 1976), Dr. Brian Schmidt (Illinois, 1982), and Dr. R. Todd Gay (Illinois, 1983). With the addition of six new veterinarians, the practice now solely focused on small animal care.

To better serve the pets and pet owners of Morris, Illinois, Lakewood Animal Hospital opened its doors in 1992. In 2011, the practice added its fourth clinic, Skinner Animal Clinic, to serve the Wilmington, Illinois area. All four locations are full-service hospitals offering general medicine, surgical procedures, dentistry, nutritional and behavioral counseling, and emergency services. Pine Bluff Animal Hospital is our referral center, performing orthopedic and soft-tissue surgeries for our patients, as well as other clinics in the area.

It is our greatest pleasure to serve our clients and care for their four-legged family members! We welcome you to come in and meet our highly-trained staff. Feel free to also stop by for a tour of our facilities! If you cannot visit, you can learn more about our dedicated staff and state-of-the-art facilities on our associated clinics websites.

“We love what we do… We love who we do it for!”