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Meet the Physical Rehabilitation Team

Jennifer Palmer, DVM, CCRT, Staff Veterinarian Physical Rehabilitation

Dr. Palmer is a veterinarian who is also certified to practice physical rehabilitation. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. Jenny has worked in general practice for multiple years. During that time, she became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute. After certification, Jenny developed the physical rehabilitation program at her general practice until moving to MSPCA-Angell West to initiate the Angell Physical Rehabilitation program with Amy Straut, DVM, CCRT.

Amy Straut, DVM, CCRT, Staff Veterinarian Physical Rehabilitation

Dr. Straut is a Massachusetts native and a graduate of the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.  With a particular interest in pain management, Dr. Straut received her Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT) certification in 2011.  Prior to joining the Angell-West Rehabilitation Team, Dr. Straut practiced small animal general medicine at a progressive canine wellness facility in the Boston area, where she developed a rehabilitation service.  Dr. Straut is a New Englander at heart and enjoys the beach and hiking trails, during all seasons, with her young English Lab, “Birdie.”

Lillian Ciardelli, Pet Rehabilitation Aide

Lillian Ciardelli earned her BA in psychology from Emory University in 2010, focusing her studies on animal behavior. She stayed in Atlanta, working as a researcher at the Language Research Center at Georgia State University, and interning at Zoo Atlanta in their Program Animals Department. Spending time in both the research and zoo fields led her to pursue a Master’s degree in animal behavior to learn more about the psychological enrichment of animals in captivity. In 2015, she graduated from Hunter College with an MA in Animal Behavior and Conservation. While at Hunter, Lillian studied how to assess and address animal personality differences in a captive environment. Her MA thesis was published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology in 2017. Following graduation, Lillian traveled to Australia for three months to work in animal rehabilitation with everything from lizards to wombats.

Lillian moved to Boston in 2016 to pursue further certification in animal behavior. In addition to working at MSPCA-Angell West Physical Therapy, Lillian is an apprentice dog behavior consultant at Dog Willing LLC. She also volunteers at the Museum of Science in their Live Animal Collection to get her weekly dose of slithery, prickly, and feathery things. Lillian is a contributing member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and recently published an article on the physical therapy and behavioral management of one special foster cat. Although she doesn’t have any pets of her own yet, Lillian fosters cats for the Animal Rescue League of Boston and aspires to own the biggest dog in the world.

Patti Fluegel, Pet Rehabilitation Aide

Patti graduated from New England Institute of Technology with an Associates in Science Degree in Veterinary Technology.  She will be completing her courses at the University of Tennessee in March of 2018 to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner.

 

Prior to starting at MSPCA-Angell West Physical Rehabilitation, Patti worked as a hydrotherapist at The Canine Joint rehabilitation facility, where she gained experience using both an underwater treadmill and a swimming pool as modalities for canine therapy.

 

In addition to working at Angell, Patti volunteers for the Humane Society of the United States as well as the ASPCA working with the Animal Rescue Team and has assisted in the setting up of shelters for the Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team.  She is as passionate about her canine patients as she is when coming home to her family including her three dogs Jewels, Coco and Angel.

Alyse Luurtsema, Pet Rehabilitation Aide

Alyse has been working in the animal care field since 2009, starting as a dog walker and canine daycare attendant in Boston’s South End. Through the years, she has taken courses and received certifications in canine massage, pet first aid, and CPR, and as a behavioral training aide. Alyse has spent the last 7 years working as a lead Canine Aquatics Specialist in Boston, running a hydrotherapy program and catering to dogs of all sizes and conditions from introduction, to swim, to medical cases, to endurance swims with working and police dogs. Wanting to learn more about the ever-expanding animal physical therapy world, she enrolled in Penn Foster’s Veterinary Technician program making Dean’s List in her first semester. She is currently enrolled and working toward her Certified Canine Rehabilitation Aide certification (CCRA). In August of 2017, Alyse became a part of the Angell family as a Physical Rehabilitation Aide. In her free time, Alyse volunteers with a local rescue group, fosters handicapped and senior dogs, boards medical and non-medical dogs in her home, and runs RudeBoots Studio where she paints pet portraits and memorial portraits with ashes incorporated. At home, Alyse has 3 rescue dogs of her own; Manny, an 11-year old grumpy Puggle, Lola, a 9-year-old beautiful blue-eyed Boston Terrier/French Bulldog mix, and Ruca, a – year-old sassy terrier mix. Feel free to say “Hi” when you see her around Angell West Physical Therapy, as she is always excited for a good conversation and ready to give tons of love to your wonderful pets!

 

Marcia Rotondo, Pet Rehabilitation Aide

Marcia graduated from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 2001. She completed her certification in Small Animal Massage through Bancroft School of Massage, and joined MSPCA-Angell West’s Physical Rehabilitation team in 2017.

Prior to working at MSPCA Angell, she worked with a range of species in a variety of different fields combining her interests in animal behavior, medicine, cognition, therapy, rehabilitation, and the human-animal relationship. She worked with horses and physical therapy patients at Ironstone Therapeutic Riding Center and worked with capuchin helper monkeys at Helping Hands from 2016-2017. Marcia also spent time as an aquarist working with marine and freshwater species where her favorite task was creating enhancement games and puzzles for the Giant Pacific Octopus.  Marcia has extensive experience with dogs,  cats, and bunnies working as a doggy daycare attendant, veterinary assistant, and with her own massage clients.

In addition to her work at Angell, She is also a professional dancer and has taught dance professionally at MIT, the A.R.T. Institute of Harvard University, Boston University,  the Boston Ballet, Ballet Hispanico of New York, and other local dance studios.  She loves to spend time hiking with her two dogs: Moomba and Pili.

Jessica Lipsey, Client Care Specialist

Jessica earned her BA in psychology from Rutgers University in 1995.  She has worked for the past 20 years providing support services for diverse populations, needing information and providing advocacy. Jessica worked as a case manager for United Cerebral Palsy in Watertown and the Somerville Homeless Coalition in Davis Square.  Having a lifelong respect and love of all animals, the opportunity to work in the MSPCA-Angell West’s Physical Rehabilitation service combines Jess’s love of animals and her passion to support their owners in the wellness and care of their pets. When she is not at Physical Rehabilitation, Jessica spends her time with her two teenage children and her 3 year old French Bulldog, Tonto.

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