WHO WE ARE
JOANNE BAK DVM, CCRT
Rehabilitation Therapist, Veterinarian
Medical Director/Practice Owner
Dr. Joanne Bak is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist with over 15 years of experience in the fields of physical rehabilitation, acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Dr. Bak earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, graduating with honors, from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She attended a specialty externship in surgery and neurology with the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York. She completed an advanced post-graduate clinical internship in small animal medicine and surgery with ASG, the Animal Specialty Group of Los Angeles. Thereafter, she practiced general medicine and surgery as an associate staff doctor for twelve years with VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, an emergency and multi-specialty veterinary center which is now among the largest animal hospitals in America. There, she worked alongside various specialists in the fields of surgery, neurology, oncology and internal medicine. While experiencing acupuncture for her own cat who suffered a cruciate ligament knee injury, Dr. Bak found her calling in canine and feline rehabilitation therapy. She completed continued educational coursework through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society as well as coursework in advanced acupuncture, Chinese medicine and Food Therapy obtained in China through the Chi Institute. She had been mentored by pioneers in the fields of veterinary acupuncture, rehabilitation therapy, chiropractic, and holistic medicine. Her special interests include pain management, geriatric and neurological rehabilitation.
Dr. Bak has previously introduced and implemented rehabilitation services for the VCA West LA Animal Hospital and the Animal Specialty Group. She developed and directed the Rehabilitation & Integrative Medicine Department for ASG for five years and brought her expertise and skills to California Animal Rehabilitation prior to pursuing her own vision. Her passion for enhancing the quality of life of aging pets, providing comfort for pets in chronic pain, support for pets with chronic illnesses or cancer and mobility solutions for debilitated pets, led her to create PAW REHAB, the Pacific Animal Wellness Rehabilitation Center. She brings a vast array of knowledge and skills to her practice which utilizes an integrative approach to healing and recovery. PAW REHAB has been featured on “This is LA” and as one of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians spotlight practices.
Dr. Bak has contributed to the veterinary community by educating and training veterinary doctors and staff regarding the topics of rehabilitation therapy and acupuncture and by mentoring veterinary interns and students. She has lectured for veterinary teaching hospitals as well as for the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Bak has been a guest on “The Pet Show” and Animal Planet’s “The Pit Boss” which showcased her patient’s remarkable recovery from a complicated fracture. She was a veterinary consultant and fitness expert for Purina’s “Project Pet Slim Down”, a website series and weight loss program for overweight pets. Joanne Bak is a resident of Studio City and is very happy to be bringing rehabilitation services to this area of the Valley. In her free time, she enjoys music, photography, cooking, nights at the Hollywood Bowl and watching her favorite TV shows, but, mostly spending time with her family and dog, Apple, who you might recognize as our logo dog!
Fiona M Little VMD, DACVS, CCRT
Veterinarian, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist
Dr. Fiona Little received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990 and returned to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School to graduate Summa cum Laude with a Veterinary Medical Degree in 1996. She completed a one year rotating internship at Rowley Memorial Animal Hospital in Springfield Massachusetts in 1997. After one year of general practice in Virginia, she pursued and completed a surgery residency over the next three years at Iowa State University. Thereafter, she moved to Southern California for her first surgery position and achieved surgery board certification in 2002. Dr. Little has been published in the 5 Minute Veterinary Consultation textbook.
Dr. Little has practiced in Southern California and Phoenix, Arizona and ultimately settled in South Pasadena at CM Surgical Specialty group in 2008. She had been a co-owner of CM Surgical Specialty Group until selling the practice to VCA in 2018. She thereafter and continues to practice orthopedic and select soft tissue surgeries at VCA TLC PVSE and joined the PAW REHAB team in November of 2021 to pursue practice in rehabilitation therapy. Dr. Little developed a strong interest in physical rehabilitation therapy for animals and has achieved certification as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT) through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute. Dr. Little currently divides her time between surgery and rehabilitation therapy.
With her background in orthopedic and neurologic surgery, Dr. Little is especially interested in postoperative rehabilitation to improve the entire recuperation process for pets undergoing surgery. She believes from what we know from human medicine, that surgery alone does not completely address the issues that the body undergoes when having surgical procedures to correct orthopedic or neurologic disease; physical rehabilitation with muscle stimulation and other therapeutic modalities improves recovery and helps to retrain the muscles to their normal functions. PAW REHAB is pleased to have Dr. Little’s expertise in the surgical field to complement our practice as well as to support her in her endeavors and career in animal rehabilitation therapy.
Dr. Little has also completed coursework in veterinary acupuncture and incorporates this in our holistic approach to rehabilitation in order to enhance comfort during recovery as well as for pets with arthritis and senior pets. Multimodal pain management and comfort treatment with acupuncture and supplements help to ease and support the geriatric body to improve the quality of our pets’ golden years.
In her down time, Dr Little spends time with her family and ever changing number of cats and enjoying all the activities of southern California.