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Meet CARE-Free Pets


My name is Jana, and my rescue dog Roxy and I had been fostering dogs for a while. I saw pictures of a beautiful blue pitbull named Joyce at East Valley Shelter with a giant mass on her back and it made my heart hurt. A shelter affiliated vet volunteered to remove that mass but it was a highly complicated procedure and she did not do well. She suffered a stroke during her surgery and when she woke up she was unable to stand or walk. Of course this made me want to help more so I volunteered to foster this girl through a local rescue. At first, I carried her everywhere she needed to go. Her care was more difficult than expected because she was determined to re-learn to walk. She was always so happy go lucky despite her condition, so I re-named her Joy. She learned to push herself up on her front legs first, then she gradually learned to drag her legs. I was not experienced enough at the time to know that she needed shoes to protect her feet and she started to drag her back legs resulting in major wounds on her back leg, thus requiring specialized wound care interventions. We were then referred to CARE rehab, and the rescue raised some funds to help with her rehab needs. Sadly, just before we started rehab we got word that her 10+ pound mass was cancerous. Joy was diagnosed with mast cell cancer. So, we were faced with fighting cancer and starting rehab to learn to walk. Of course many people said we should “just put her down”, but this was not an option. Joy not only wanted to live, she wanted to thrive and to run one day. She had two surgeries prior to rehab and had two more during her rehab process plus she started IV chemo. Despite not feeling her best Joy gave rehab her all. She worked hard every other day at rehab and continued with her home exercise program after I got off work. I have never met anyone or anything more determined to thrive. With the help of Dr. Waldman and the amazing staff at CARE rehab, not only did Joy learn to walk, she learned to run. She also managed to beat cancer after several more surgeries.

It goes without saying, I’m the biggest foster fail ever and my baby girl continues to thrive. I will always be grateful to CARE rehab for giving my girl her leg function back. Most people thought that she would never walk again, but after 6 weeks of rehab, including acupuncture, she learned to run. We went to the beach to celebrate her graduation. I could not be more proud of my baby girl, nor more grateful to CARE rehab.

With gratitude,
Jana, Joy, Roxy, and the new addition, Toby


Last August, my Cavalier King Charles/Chihuahua mix, Brando, had emergency surgery to remove herniated discs from his spine. It was sudden, terrifying and I was pretty devastated afterwards and not sure where I should go for rehab. It was actually one of your previous clients who recommended me to C.A.R.E. and thank God she did!

Since the costs began to mount, I started a Go Fund Me project for Brando. And in the process, I created Instagram and Twitter accounts for Brando that involved me taking many photos at C.A.R.E., which featured Brando’s recovery process and many of the incredibly wonderful and gifted C.A.R.E. specialists! (you should take a look!!)

Our therapy sessions included laser and acupuncture treatments, massages and even some walking time on the underwater treadmill. But most importantly, our time at C.A.R.E was full of love, concern and a cheerleader- like belief that Brando was going to walk again. And around December of last year, he did! It was a miracle!!! It’s hard to believe that only a year ago– we were in the thick of it. I can’t thank my friends at C.A.R.E. enough. They are truly angels with hidden wings. Dr. Lori walked me off a ledge one night when I’d thought Brando had re-injured himself and was contemplating taking him back to the E.R. That was a fun night 😉 and Lori’s kind and sage advice was touching and exactly what I needed.

Being “a single mom,” and a working one at that, the additional care this process took was quite stressful but everyone at C.A.R.E. made it a breeze for me. I don’t know what we would have done without the CAREFREE program. It literally saved us! Thanks to you guys, Brando was able to return to a normal way of life. Something we didn’t know was actually in the cards for us. We are eternally grateful and every time I hear of or see a sick dog (and I’ve actually seen many with Brando’s previous condition) I tell them to go straight to C.A.R.E. Every single one of them, every single time.

Thank you CARE. Thank you CAREFREE. We are indebted to you– for your kindness, love and heartfelt generosity. THANK YOU!!!!

All of our love,
Michelle and Brando



My name is Jf Pryor and I am one of the leads of the non-profit rescue group known as The REAL Bark. We LOVE all animals, but have a certain affinity for those that are deemed ‘special-needs’ – as our logo artwork of our pup Thor might suggest. Thor was paralyzed, diseased, and dying on the streets of Mexico, and was crossed with the intent to let him go – humanely. Something in Thor’s eye communicated to me that he, in fact, was not ready to leave…but rather TO BEGIN. That said, we are not doctors, and needed to find a place where Thor would be understood, adored, and rehabilitated with consummate professionals, whose skill sets outrank all others.

Enter Dr. Jessica Waldman and her exceptional staff at California Animal Rehabilitation. Thor was an extreme case, and had been ‘down’ for a long while, yet Dr. Waldman warmly and confidently conveyed to us that we would not need to order Thor a cart/wheelchair, as he would someday walk. Know that ALL other doctors said this could NEVER happen. Thor received much international press, and his early plight was well documented. For desire of not detaining you here much further, let me tell you that Thor has not seen his wheels in a year. He is an always happy, tenacious, and loving reminder that ANYTHING is possible…especially when you surround yourself with the INSPIRATIONAL doctors and technicians from CARE.

From front of shop to all the way through back, I have noticed on a weekly basis how absolutely happy all the employees are to be at CARE. That starts at the top, and is so appreciated. Oh, and Thor has moved us to save other paralytic pups. From Bert, all the way from China, to Elf, currently at CARE with Dr. Waldman, we are THRILLED to have found such an exceptional group of kind, brilliant people, who are also beyond generous.

As a non-profit, were it not for the CareFree program – which has been a literal life-saver for us – we would not be able to save as many lives as we do. There are a few, true life HEROES out there in life…and Dr. Waldman and staff are those folks, in our estimate. Thank You.


My little Nugget could fit into a clear plastic cup when I got him. A neighborhood rescue he was, and runt of his litter, he was born in my boss’s back yard in Savannah, GA. An orange tabby with an overbite and a distinct gait, I knew he was special. As he grew, his walk got more characteristic and his back legs hopped around and pounced about while the front of his body stayed steady. We loved him. We would make impressions of him and he made us laugh and he gave the best kisses ever! Nugget changed my life.

When I moved from GA to CA, Nuggets legs got noticeably worse. He had started dragging them. Maybe it was all the stress of moving? Was it my stress from moving going into him? I reached out to so many doctors and none of them knew what was wrong with him. So we continued to live life as best we could. We still played and laughed and his brother Sammee kept him company when I was at work. We were a happy family. I googled his condition and found that it was probably Cerebellar Hypoplaysia, a lot of cats live and function with it. That’s when their hind legs don’t receive the messages from the brain and therefore don’t function properly. A few years later Nugget became incontinent. Every day I came home from work there was a mess to clean. He was ruining my home, but funds were tight and I didn’t want to go on without him.

I began reaching out to all vets asking if there were some form of assistance and what could I do to save my NugNug. Each different place led me to another. Finally I reached out to California Animal Rehab! That sounded perfect! I didn’t even know that type of place existed! Rehab for animals? Genius! They wrote and told me that they could help Nugget! Wow! Really! ? I couldn’t believe it! Nugget and I went to Cal Animal Rehab 3 days a week. He did water treadmill training, he got put on better food, he got acupuncture and lots of love and attention. They gave me exercises to do at home and we trained Nugs from the house. It was amazing. His hind leg movement and strength increased tremendously. He improved so much! We were getting healthier and my family was happier. Nugget was walking more and I was so excited to see his growth.

California Animal Rehab helped my Nugget have a better quality of life. They gave him back the ability to walk more than drag his legs. They gave us hope and happiness. They helped heal not only Nugget but me as well. It’s heartbreaking to watch an animal go through physical trauma or pain, especially when that animal is your best friend. I highly recommend Cal Animal Rehab to anyone and everyone experiencing a similar situation. The doctors and nurses there really CARE and they will do everything in their power to help you and your pet. I love Cal Animal Rehab. Trust them, they will heal!

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