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!
DEANNA O'NEIL DVM, CCRT, CVA
Rehabilitation Therapist, Veterinarian
Born and raised in Palos Verdes, California, Dr. Deanna O’Neil earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Fordham University in New York City.
Dr. O’Neil then went on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 2010. After obtaining her veterinary degree, she completed a rotating internship at VCA All Care.
Dr. O’Neil achieved her Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist training from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS). She is certified in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine through IVAS and the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies and Veterinary Food Therapy through the Chi Institute. She received her certification as a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI) and went on to do an internship at the prestigious Animal Rehabilitation Center in Velm, Belgium. She has spent the past five years practicing at California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) where she specialized in animal rehabilitation and acupuncture. She has a strong interest in geriatric, neurological and canine sports medicine.
Dr. O’Neil resides in the South Bay with her spouse and her celebrity dachshund, Lady Bug. Abandoned by her previous owners, Lady Bug (a.k.a. “Bug”) was introduced to Dr. O’Neil through a rescue. Lady Bug had suddenly become paralyzed and no longer had a home. She luckily found the right veterinarian, as Dr. O’Neil not only got her walking (and chasing squirrels!), but also found a forever home with her. Lady Bug has since raced in the 2017 Wiener Nationals and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, KTLA Morning News, CNN, People Magazine and countless other news stations due to her triumphant run!! In Dr. O’Neil’s spare time, she enjoys traveling (especially to the Hawaiian Islands), gardening (a self proclaimed succulent specialist), and going to Disneyland (an avid Jungle Cruise fan).
Laura Kirschbaum RVT, CCRP
Registered Veterinary Technician
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner
Laura began working with animals in 2006, volunteering at animal shelters and assisting with medical procedures. From there she was hooked and went on to earn her associates degree in animal science through Pierce College and became a Registered Veterinary Technician. The first animal hospital she worked at concentrated on orthopedic surgeries and internal medicine. Laura found her way into rehabilitation in 2014 and has never looked back! She continued her education though the University of Tennessee, becoming a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, and hopes to further better herself in light of healing animals. Behind Laura's quiet demeanor is a genuine compassion for animals, a desire to be helpful and an innate healing energy.
Laura currently has three fur babies of her own, two pitbulls: Murphy and Echo as well as a Carolina Dog mix, Myer. She enjoys spending her time painting, hiking, and meditating but mostly loves lying on her couch in a dog pile.
EV Gonzales Technician, CVA
Certified Veterinary Assistant
EV Gonzales is a Certified Veterinary Assistant. She has been in the veterinary field for almost 10 years. She has gained most of her experience at a general practice and has volunteered at numerous emergency clinics. She is currently back in school to continue her education in order to receive her RVT License and will continue to pursue her dreams in becoming a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant thereafter. Her gentle and calm nature gives EV a "dog whisperer" quality. EV is outgoing and passionate about her work and is an awesome team player that Paw Rehab is proud to call one of their own :)
EV has two small fur babies, Prince the Maltese/Pomeranian and Mumble the Shih Tzu. In her spare time you will find her on the basketball court shooting hoops or in the kitchen cooking up a storm for her roommates.
Bridget is a veterinary assistant and aspiring veterinary school student from Richmond, Virginia. She began working in the veterinary medical field in 2013 when she landed a position at the Washington Humane Society in Washington, D.C. After earning her bachelor’s degree from George Mason University she continued her passion for veterinary medicine working at a general practice clinic in her hometown before moving across country. Bridget most recently completed a wildlife rehabilitation animal care internship at the California Wildlife Center.
She is excited to be a part of the PAW REHAB team and grateful for the opportunity to work in such a unique and rewarding specialty in the veterinary field. Bridget lives with her 3 year old Beagle-Pitbull named Paxton whom she rescued from Hurricane Irma. In her free time she enjoys hiking, taking Paxton to the dog beach, dining at Italian restaurants, and eating frozen yogurt.
Cassidy Abrahamson RVT
Registered Veterinary Technician
Cassidy graduated from Platt College with a degree in Veterinary Technology and is a Registered Veterinary Technician.
She has always had an interest in holistic medicine and after graduating, she decided to work for an integrative veterinary practice that included a rehabilitation center. Cassidy found that her enthusiasm for working in animal rehabilitation therapy grew as her patients’ quality of life improved. She looks forward to becoming a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner and eventually attending veterinary college. PAW REHAB is happy to have Cassidy as a member of our team and to be supporting Cassidy with these endeavors.
Cassidy volunteered at the Los Angeles Zoo during her high school years and for Wildlife Care of Southern California while in college. She became a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator in 2014. She also volunteers as a foster mom with Kitten Rescue and keeps in touch with many of the families that adopted her foster kitties over the years.
Cassidy has two cats and a dog, all rescues. Penelope (rescued from a parking lot after being abandoned along with her four kittens), Phoenix (who is a traumatic brain injury and coma survivor), and Serenity, a one-eyed, poodle mix. When Cassidy isn’t studying or volunteering, she enjoys hiking, game nights with friends and challenging herself at a rock-climbing gym.