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.
Animal Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant
Certified Canine Fitness Trainer
Shoko was born and raised in Japan where she earned her degree in English and Education. Since then, she had lived on the small island of Maldives and Canada. She moved to Los Angeles in 2010. She found her path while assisting a veterinarian with the physical rehabilitation of a Cooper's Hawk at the California Wildlife Center where she volunteered. She had later trained under veterinarians and physical therapists specialized in the field of animal rehabilitation and worked with countless patients at California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) for over six years.
Shoko’s passion is neurological and geriatric rehabilitation. She also has a strong interest in the prevention of injury in agility and working dogs. She is a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer through the University of Tennessee and Reiki practitioner. Her next goals are to continue to pursue her RVT license and to continue further coursework towards becoming a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. PAW REHAB is happy to support Shoko with this endeavor.
Dr. Bak worked with Shoko during Shoko’s early days at CARE and is thrilled to be working with her again. She is so proud to see how much she has grown in the field of animal rehabilitation. Shoko’s talents and healing energy are a perfect addition to our PAW REHAB family!
Shoko lives with her husband and her rescue animal family, Doberman mix Emma, two cats Bibimbap and Sukiyaki, three “special needs" birds, and Loabi ("Love" in Maldives) the tortoise.
Animal Rehabilitation Therapy Assistantt
Ruby was born and raised in Eagle Rock, CA and received her undergraduate degree in Cell Biology from UC Davis. Shortly thereafter, she began managing a dog rescue in West Hollywood. There, she helped neglected dogs slowly gain confidence, grow into their personalities, and find their forever homes.
Ruby loves helping animals feel better emotionally, but she wanted a way to make them feel better physically as well. Eventually, Ruby found herself working as a pet therapy assistant at California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) and quickly realized that Physical Rehabilitation was her passion. She has since begun pursuing her Veterinary Technician Associates Degree and is planning on attending the University of Tennessee's Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner program in the near future. Ruby looks forward to furthering her knowledge and skills with PAW REHAB and her dog whisperer qualities make her an excellent addition to our team. Ruby falls in love with every animal she works with and she feels her calm and healing energy welcomes all of her patients to love her back.
Ruby has two dogs, a mini poodle mix and a Swiss Shepherd mix named Frank and Storm.
She also has a calico cat named Molly. In her free time she loves cuddling with her animals, craft projects, and learning how to roller skate. We may want to rethink our PAW curbside service....
Lead Front Desk
Customer Service Representative
Jamie was born and raised in Southern California. Her love for animals started at a very young age and there has never been a point in her life where she did not have at least one pet. Growing up, her family was too busy for a dog, unfortunately, so her house was always full of cats! She may also have overwhelmed her mom just a bit by bringing home a variety of small pets and stray animals! ;)
Jamie pursued her passion for animal care at Mount San Antonio College where she received certificates in Animal Science and Horse Ranch Management. She then moved to Los Angeles 6 years ago where she began her journey in the veterinary rehabilitation field at California Animal Rehabilitation where she had gained valuable knowledge and fell in love with the rehabilitation process. She takes pride in the special relationships she builds with the clients and patients which makes her an excellent member of our PAW REHAB family.
Jamie has two dogs (finally!), both dachshund mixes named Lucky and Flash. Jamie had a personal experience with animal rehabilitation therapy with Flash who recovered from an unknown neurological trauma that caused him to become paralyzed in all 4 limbs at just 5 months old. He now runs around and lives a very happy life!
In her free time Jamie loves to hang at home with her dogs, eat good food, go hiking, and go to the beach.
Veterinary Technician / RVT
Animal Rehabilitation Assistant
Rhianna is a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) with over 15 years of experience working in the field of veterinary medicine. She has a background working in critical care, internal medicine, interventional radiology, cardiology, neurology, as well as surgery and anesthesia. In her previous roles, she has spent time as a head technician, training supervisor, and lecturer at multi-specialty veterinary hospitals. While most of her patients were cats and dogs, she also had the privilege of working with many exotic animals and big cats, such as a lynx, cheetah, and a white tiger!
Rhianna has spent over the past decade honing her skills in the pursuit of certification as a VTS (Veterinary Technician Specialist) in the field of anesthesia, analgesia, or pain management and has completed coursework relevant to achieving this goal. Additionally, her interest in pain management lead to pursuing further certification as a veterinary pain practitioner, during which time she found a love and appreciation for rehabilitative medicine. So much so, that she decided to shift gears to gain more experience and knowledge with a career in animal rehabilitation. With her experience in surgical post-op care and interest in pain management, Rhianna is an excellent addition to our team and PAW REHAB is happy to help Rhianna achieve her specialty goals. We look forward to her growth in this field.
In her spare time, Rhianna enjoys traveling, backpacking, and extreme hiking, and can proudly say she has crossed the European Alps, the Inca Trail in Peru, and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania off her list to name a few! Her leisure time is spent watching movies at home with her bengal Azzy, and finding the best restaurant spots with friends.
April Garcia Giron
April grew up in the San Fernando Valley with her parents and older brother. She then moved to Irvine California to attend the University of California Irvine where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology and Social Behavior. During that time, she also worked at Quail Animal Hospital where she gained experience as a Veterinary Assistant, and her love for helping fur babies and their families grew. After her studies, she spent some time living in Arizona with her husband, and they recently moved back to the Valley.
April’s goal is to pursue her RVT license and to further her interests in rehabilitation therapy and becoming a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner.
April lives with her husband and her German Shepherd/Doodle mix Ozzie as well as her handsome tuxedo cat named Einstein. In her spare time, she loves going hiking and attending HIIT classes. Pre-pandemic, she also loved going to concerts and music festivals! Some of her favorite bands she's seen include Depeche Mode (also one of Dr. Bak’s favorites ;), Arctic Monkeys, and Bad Suns. She is so excited to be at PAW REHAB helping your fur babies!
Animal Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant
Kaitlin grew up in the San Fernando Valley where she was raised by her mom and grandmother. She has always loved animals and has been competitively riding horses since she was 6 years old. Kaitlin attended Moorpark College's America's Teaching Zoo where she graduated with an Associate's Degree of Science and a Degree in Exotic Animal Training and Management. Just before graduation, Kaitlin was lucky enough to travel to Phalaborwa, South Africa where she worked at a baboon rescue and rehab center called Baboon CARE. After college she went on to work as a Zookeeper down in San Diego, CA for 2 years where she taught children about conservation and trained many species of exotic animals. Kaitlin has worked with everything from cats and dogs to giraffes and hyenas. In 2017, she moved to Oregon and began working at an animal shelter where she worked with dogs who had difficulties finding their forever homes. She then worked as a Veterinary Assistant monitoring anesthesia and working with nervous/timid patients in a clinic that treated dogs, cats, and exotic animals before making the move back to California in 2022.
Kaitlin's goal is to earn her RVT license and continue to increase her knowledge of the veterinary field. She enjoys building strong relationships with pets to make their visits happy and enjoyable for the pet, pet parent, and staff.
Kaitlin lives at home with her German Sheppard mix Sophia and her Green Cheek Conure parrot Goose. In her spare time she loves going hiking with her dog, going to the beach, and working out. She is beyond excited to be at PAW Rehab helping your furry friends.
Customer Service Representative
Rebecca has lived in Southern California her whole life. Growing up she had all sorts of pets ranging from mice, turtles, rats and a variety of dogs and cats. There was always an animal in need of rescuing.
Rebecca has always had a passion for pets and their families, lending a helpful hand and a warm smile to anyone’s day. Graduating from Pasadena City College with a degree in Sociology she has worked her whole life in animal care and husbandry. She takes great joy in being a part of a team that touches the lives of so many people and pets in a positive way.
Rebecca lives with her husband, children, and two cats Tito and Bobbie. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, going to concerts, hiking, and spending time with her family.