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Below are the veterinarians of CARE. To meet other parts of our team, please visit our pages for physical therapists and staff.

Jessica H. Waldman, VMD, CVA, CCRT

Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist

Dr. Waldman realized that the unique collaboration of a physical therapist and veterinarian would provide optimal pet therapy outcomes and founded California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) in June of 2007.

Dr. Waldman received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine and received her Veterinary Medical Doctorate in 2004. Dr. Waldman achieved the Dean’s List each year during veterinary school.

While attending veterinary school, Dr. Waldman was the Alumni Representative for four years and volunteered in a program in the Native American Reservations of the Southwest to spay and neuter pets in need. Dr. Waldman completed two additional externships in small animal surgery with board certified veterinary surgeons at the Animal Medical Center in New York and at the Surgical Group for Animals in Los Angeles.

Following graduation, Dr. Waldman completed an additional year of specialty training as an intern at California Animal Hospital in Los Angeles. During this internship year, she worked with board certified surgeons, neurologists, internists, cardiologists, and dentists. Dr. Waldman also published a paper on the topic of critical care in Pulse veterinary publication. Since completion of her internship in July of 2005, Dr. Waldman has enjoyed practicing small animal medicine.

Dr. Waldman completed a certificate program from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She is also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist through the Chi Institute. Dr. Waldman enjoys integrating acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine into her practice of pet rehabilitation.

Dr. Waldman is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association, the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. She is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the states of New York and California. Dr. Waldman is one of the founding members of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians.

Dr. Waldman speaks at veterinary meetings on the subject of canine rehabilitation and has a special interest in neurological rehabilitation and in preventative physical exercise for all life stages. Dr. Waldman loves to see her patients’ quality of life improve, and she counsels in nutrition utilizing a combination of Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine for the best possible outcome. On the personal side, Dr. Waldman enjoys volleyball, hiking, painting, and spending time with her family. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband Stuart and her three daughters Gemma, Delia, and Blythe.

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Dr. Nicolette Bertolone, DVM, CVA, CCRT

Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist

Dr. Bertolone received her Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Pre-Veterinary Medicine from Kent State University in 2004, and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University in 2009. She then completed an intensive one-year rotating internship in surgery and small animal emergency and general medicine at VCA – West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.

From 2010-2013, Dr. Bertolone enjoyed practicing small animal medicine and surgery at a general practice in Los Angeles. She received her Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist training from the Chi Institute in 2011 and began the alternative medicine and acupuncture aspect of the clinic. Dr. Bertolone traveled to China with the Chi Institute to study acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Tui Na in more detail. She has completed several courses in Veterinary Chinese Herbology through the Chi Institute, as well as courses in energy healing through Healing Touch for Animals.

Realizing her passion for pain management and natural healing, Dr. Bertolone decided to focus her energy to pursue the specialty field of veterinary physical rehabilitation. Observing that acupuncture and other alternative therapies were an effective treatment method for many diseases and pain related conditions, Dr. Bertolone wanted to do more for her patients. Physical rehabilitation for pets was the perfect adjunctive therapy for keeping consistent with Dr. Bertolone’s approach to natural medicine. She received her certification as a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in 2014. She truly loves improving pet’s quality of life through the combination of rehabilitation, acupuncture, Chinese medicine and herbs.

Dr. Bertolone also has a special interest and passion for sight hounds, especially greyhounds. She traveled to Spain and volunteered at Scooby Medina in Medina del Campo, Spain – a Galgo (Spanish Greyhound) rescue camp – providing spay/neuter and medical services. She also collected information for, and was the author of a publication in the journal of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, entitled “Serological Study of Selected Vector-Borne Disease in Shelter Dogs in Central Spain Using Point of Care Assays.”

Dr. Bertolone lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, and a mohawked terrier named Pickle. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, traveling, cooking and snowboarding.

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Lori Polkowski, DVM, CVA, CCRT

Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist

Dr. Polkowski received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Biology/Zoology from Michigan State University in 1999 and her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Purdue University in 2004. She moved to Los Angeles and completed an internship at Animal Specialty Emergency Center (ASEC) in 2005. Dr. Polkowski then practiced general and emergency small animal medicine at McClave Animal Hospital in Reseda, CA from 2005 until 2014.

Dr. Polkowski has always loved the holistic medicine approach and became certified in acupuncture in 2012 through the Chi Institute. She is very fond of senior patients and found that acupuncture was extremely beneficial for them, but wanted to do even more for them, as well as other orthopedic and neurologic patients. Finding that many of these patients did not have the opportunity to receive proper treatment at other facilities, she eventually found her way to CARE.

Dr. Polkowski is a member of the American Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (AATCVM), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association (SCVMA), and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS)

She appeared on Hallmark Home and Family Show discussing and demonstrating acupuncture on dogs in the summer of 2014, which was much less treacherous than when she appeared on Wipeout as a veterinarian in 2011.

Dr. Polkowski has a Giant Schnauzer named Uma, the best cat in the world named Stella, and a hen named Kopitar.

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Deanna O’Neil, DVM, CVA, CCRT

Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist

Born and raised in Palos Verdes, Dr. O’Neil is excited to be practicing close to home. She earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Fordham University in New York City. Dr. O’Neil then earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota in 2010. After obtaining her veterinary degree, she completed a one-year rotating internship at VCA All Care. She then continued at VCA All Care where she underwent further training in internal medicine.

Dr. O’Neil achieved her Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist training from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and is in the process of becoming certified in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine through IVAS and the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies. She has a strong interest in senior care. In her spare time Dr. O’Neil enjoys hiking, reading, traveling and spending time with her family. She lives in Redondo Beach with her two beagles, a dachshund, and two cats.

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Krista Welsh, DVM, CVA, CCRT


Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist

Dr. Krista Welsh received her Bachelor of Science in zoology from Washington State University in 2009. She continued her education at WSU, becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. After completing a one-year rotating internship in surgery and both internal and emergency medicine at VCA Hotel Circle, Dr. Welsh moved from San Diego back home to Seattle. There, she bolstered her experience working as a general practitioner at VCA West Seattle from 2014 until 2017.

Animal physical rehabilitation has long been a passion of Dr. Welsh’s, as she has witnessed firsthand the many ways physical therapy benefits human patients. Motivated by a strong desire to help animals in this same way – and by a drive to employ the latest technology to optimize quality of life and mobility – Dr. Welsh completed her certification in canine physical rehabilitation at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute.

Dr. Welsh has been a longstanding member of CARE’s family, as she completed her canine rehabilitation internship here. After witnessing Dr. Welsh’s intuitive treatments and naturally calming demeanor, CARE was excited to invite Dr. Welsh to join our team. We were honored when Dr. Welsh obliged, moving back to southern California to pursue her position at CARE.

In her free time, Dr. Welsh enjoys exercising, traveling, eating good food, and spending time with family and friends. She is also a loving and devoted “mother” to her two kitties, Sam and Zoe.

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Richard Yi, DVM, CVA

Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

Dr. Richard Yi is a native of our fair city, having been born and raised in Los Angeles.  He received his Bachelor of Science in General Biology from University of California – San Diego.  Driven by a desire to turn his love of all animals – especially Golden Retrievers and Siberian Huskies – into a fulfilling career, Dr. Yi obtained his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Ross University.  To widen the breadth of his experiences, he then completed a clinical year at University of Florida.

Not content with simply completing the minimum requirements, Dr. Yi satisfied his passion for excellence, pursuing and successfully completing internships in both small animal medicine and surgery.  Dr. Yi ultimately decided on his beautiful hometown when considering where to live out his dream of practicing veterinary medicine.

Transparency and honesty are hallmarks of Dr. Yi’s practice, as he believes that clear communication is essential to ensuring the best outcomes.  He endeavors to stay on top of the most current trends in the field, enabling him to provide peerless care that is founded on his core values of respect and trust.

Dr. Yi is known around CARE for his lighthearted and jovial nature, which instantly sets patients, owners, – and fellow staff members – at ease.  When not at work, he enjoys staying active in the great outdoors, partaking in hiking and camping.  Dr. Yi also lives his philosophy of fitness by hitting the gym regularly.  Watching movies and listening to music round out Dr. Yi’s free time.


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