Our story

Southern Ontario Animal Rehabilitation (SOAR) provides integrative medicine combining rehabilitation, pain management and acupuncture to pets post-injury, post-surgery and treatment of common orthopedic conditions. Our goal is to work closely with your own veterinarian in order to build the best treatment plan for your pet.


SOAR began as a mobile rehabilitation service by Dr. Danielle Anderson in 2013. However, as of June 2015, we moved into our new home at 850 Legion Rd, Unit 5 in Burlington, ON, allowing us to offer more services including hydrotherapy!

Dr. Danielle Anderson, Animal therapy & Southern Ontario Animal Rehabilitation (SOAR), founder for animal physiotherapy in Burlington, Ontario.

DR. DANIELLE ANDERSON

Bachelor of Science, Honours (BSCH)

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP)

Certified Veterinary Medical Acupuncturist (cVMA)


 Dr. Anderson graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2002. After working at several small animal hospitals she developed a keen interest in pain control. In 2006, she was introduced to small animal rehabilitation and physical therapy and decided to pursue her certification with the University of Tennessee. Completion of her certification in 2013 inspired her to open Southern Ontario Animal Rehabilitation (SOAR). She then completed her certification in Veterinary Acupuncture in April of 2016 and now travels to Colorado twice a year to help teach the clinical intensive portion of the course. She is a member of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management and the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians.

In addition to running SOAR, Dr. Anderson is involved with the accreditation committee for the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, and is busy
with a 13 year old son, a 10 yr old daughter, two cats, a dog and a wonderful supportive husband.


JENNA COOK


Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)

Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP)

Certified Canine Massage Therapist (CCMT)


Jenna began at SOAR as a rehabilitation extern in 2016. Jenna has always had a passion for helping animals and has been involved with many different aspects of animal care leading up to, and throughout, her career in veterinary medicine. She graduated from the University of Guelph in 2013 earning a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Animal Biology. While completing her degree, Jenna found her passion for animal rehabilitation. In 2015, Jenna graduated from Seneca College as a Registered Veterinary Technician. She attended the University of Tennessee, earning her credentials as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner in 2016. In addition, Jenna became certified as a Canine Massage Therapist by the Royal Canadian College of Massage in 2016, and has since incorporated this skill into her practice. Jenna began her career as head of the animal rehabilitation department at Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital. However, in January 2017, she joined the SOAR team part-time and eventually as of October 2018, became a full-time employee. Jenna has a special interest in neurological rehabilitation, geriatric care and pain management. She is currently working on becoming a board certified Veterinary Technician Specialist in animal rehabilitation, as well as a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner. She continues to further her knowledge in animal rehabilitation, so she can continue to provide the finest level of care to her patients. Jenna is committed to helping your pet live a healthier and more active life, and looks forward to guiding you and your pet along their road to recovery.


Outside of work, Jenna enjoys going on hikes with her dogs.

DR. SHERRY EKSTROM

Bachelor of Science

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP)

Dr. Ekstrom graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2010. She first came to SOAR in 2018 to complete her externship hours for her rehabilitation certification.  Currently, Dr. Ekstrom works full-time at a veterinary clinic in Caledon, ON, however, was convinced by Dr. Anderson to come work at SOAR part-time doing rehabilitation. 


Outside of work, Dr. Ekstrom has a busy life with two small children and we at SOAR are very honoured that she will be spending occasional Fridays with us!

MICHELLE PEJAKOVIC

Bachelor of Science, Honours (BSCH) | University of Guelph

Animal Rehabilitation Assistant

Throughout her high school and university years, Michelle has always had a keen interest in working with animals and learning about all aspects of veterinary medicine. Working and volunteering at multiple small and large animal clinics, Michelle came to SOAR in the summer of 2017 interested in learning about the new and exciting world of animal rehabilitation. After only a short while, she quickly came to recognize and appreciate the positive impacts integrative medicine, particularly acupuncture and laser, can have on young animals with sport injuries or geriatric animals struggling with pain and mobility. In September 2018, she came on board as an animal rehabilitation assistant while juggling her very busy university schedule and her other job as a barista at Starbucks. In April 2019, she successfully completed her Bachelor of Science, Honours in Animal Biology with a minor in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences. Michelle’s goal is to attend the Ontario Veterinary College and upon graduation orient her career around educating pet owners about pain management in both large and small animals.

In her free time, Michelle enjoys travelling, spending time with her German shepherd, Bundo, and being involved in her Croatian community (e.g., Croatian folklore, picnics and concerts).

PAIGE ANNISON

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Rehabilitation Assistant

Paige joined the SOAR team as a volunteer in 2018.  Her sweet personality and keen work ethic made us quickly realize she would be a great asset to our team.  She started working part time at SOAR in January of 2019 as a rehab assistant.  In April of 2019 she successfully completed her Bachelor of Science and now splits her time working at SOAR and Unleashed Pet Sitters.  

SOPHIE BARBAROUX

Certified In Veterinary Acupuncture through the CHI Institute

Graduated from FMVZ-UNAM


Sophie graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City in 2012. She recently moved to Burlington from Denver CO, having worked in Denver for four years at an alternative medicine clinic. In Fall 2017, she completed her Acupuncture Certification through the CHI institute in Florida. Sophie started volunteering with us in March 2019 but her warm personality and hard work ethic quickly led us to realize what an asset she would be at SOAR. As a result, Sophie is helping us with acupuncture and laser therapy appointments and enjoys seeing interesting cases. Sophie is looking forward to completing her canine rehabilitation certification through the Tennessee University program in the future.


Sophie grew up in Mexico with a French and Spanish heritage. As a result, she is fluent in English, French and Spanish. Her professional interests include acupuncture, laser therapy, holistic medicine and rehabilitation. 


Outside of work, she can be found hiking with her veterinarian husband and her dog Mezcal, at the movies, concerts or exploring and traveling around the world.

EMILY VITORIO

Registered Veterinary Technician

Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner


 Emily was working as a full time RVT when we met her.  With her passion for rehabilitation, she began working with us part time in the fall of 2018, driving from her home in Toronto.  She has since relocated from Toronto to Hamilton and is increasing the number of hours she works at SOAR.  Emily has a huge heart and passion for animals and rehabilitation and with her sweet quiet nature, she is a great addition to our team!

CASSI ZETTLE

Rehabilitation Assistant

Cassi began volunteering at SOAR during the summer of 2018. She officially joined our team as a rehabilitation assistant in the summer of 2019. Cassi is a full time student at the University of Guelph but is continuing to work Saturdays throughout the school year.  

KANDIS HALL

Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT)

Rehabilitation Assistant

Kandis has been working part time with us since 2018.  Kandis has a long history of working with animals, including working as a trainer, working as a receptionist and assistant at Burloak Animal Hospital, and is very involved in IPO/Schutzhund.  We are fortunate to have her as part of our SOAR team, even if its only part time!!!!

SOAR'S BLOG

  • 10/09/2019 - Dr. Danielle Anderson, BSc, DVM, CCRP, cVMA 0 Comments
    Suicide Awareness day

    When I was a kid, I remember wanting 2 things in life. A family, and a career as a veterinarian.  I have the extreme fortune of having accomplished these dreams.  Neither of them was what I expected, but at my current 44 years of age, both have exceeded my expectations.  My staff, my friends, and my clients know me and know that I am an open book....sometimes to a fault.  So most are also aware that I suffer from depression and anxiety.  I actually wrote "have suffered" and changed it as I realized that that is not a true representation. Why??  Because although 99% of the time I am good....really good due to a very strong support system and coping mechanisms. I also know that there are times where that anxiety is lurking and that sad day can spiral pretty quickly.  I am writing this because not only have I know people who have committed suicide, it is becoming far too common in our veterinary community and I felt on today's Suicide Awareness Day, it was something that I needed to talk about.

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  • 03/06/2019 - Dr. Danielle Anderson, BSc, DVM, CCRP, cVMA 0 Comments
    HAPPY 4TH ANNIVERSARY TO SOAR

    Four years ago today we opened SOAR as a brick and mortar building at 850 Legion Rd in Burlington.  There have been so many changes  I want to thank all of our referring clinics and clients for all of your support.  

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  • 31/03/2019 - Dr. Danielle Anderson 0 Comments
    What does it take to be a certified rehabilitation technician/veterinarian?

    We constantly get asked the question of what it takes to become certified in rehabilitation.  What does this certification mean?  Where do you take the courses?  How long does it take?  How much does it cost?  What are the legalities surrounding practicing veterinary rehabilitation?  How come it is not called veterinary physical therapy or physiotherapy?  Hopefully this blog will help you to understand more of what is involved in this growing and complicated field of medicine.

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  • 07/02/2019 - Jenna Cook, RVT, CCRP, CCMT 0 Comments
    ​Weight loss in our Pet’s …..whats the skinny?

    With our temperatures in the GTA dipping well below freezing and the snow and ice storms making for slippery road conditions, it has been virtually impossible to exercise our dogs. Safety comes first when it comes to our best friends, so often we opt for some cuddles on the couch rather than a walk on an ice covered side-walk, or a frostbitten run in the dog park. So what does this mean for our pets? Canine obesity is prevalent all year round, but most of our pets tend to gain some extra weight during the winter months. This is commonly due to inactivity with no dietary adjustments.


    Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat in the form of adipose tissue has accumulated to an extent that it may result in negative health effects. Obesity is proved to have a direct link to the incidence of joint inflammation, osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions such as ACL tears, hip and elbow dysplasia and intervertebral disc disease… to name a few!

    So what can we do to help prevent this epidemic in our pets? Well to start, adjusting our pets treat and cookie intake may be enough to account for their decreased energy expenditure and balance out their metabolism. If your pet has more than just a few pounds to lose, have your pet examined by your veterinarian or a rehabilitation practitioner. At this time, we can weigh and perform a body condition score assessment on your pet and calculate an accurate ideal weight estimation specific to your pet. We will develop a structured weight loss plan tailored to meet the needs of your pet. We can do this by calculating more appropriate quantities of food to be fed, or we can suggest a veterinary prescription weight loss food to promote more effective weight loss long term.

    Prescription weight loss foods are specifically designed for weight loss by containing lower calorie density than pet store “lite” or “weight care” foods. Since these prescription diets are lower in calorie and higher in fiber your pet can actually eat a higher volume of food and feel satiated between meal times…. this means less begging for scraps at the dinner table. Veterinary weight loss foods are completely balanced in protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins and minerals. By restricting your pet’s caloric intake with pet store foods, your pet can actually develop deficiencies which can lead to other detrimental health conditions. Prescription weight loss diets have been through extensive testing to ensure their efficacy in achieving ideal weight. We know these diets work and have seen these diets work their magic in our pets’ lives. So why not give one a try for your pet?


    Talk to us about a weight loss plan for your furry friend! Let us help your pets live a happier and healthier life!

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  • 22/01/2019 - Dr. Danielle Anderson 0 Comments
    Pain Management

    Everyday we have many discussions amongst our staff at SOAR.  We are starting this blog to bring you in on some of the topics we are passionate about and even get you to weigh in on some of these sometimes heated topics.  One of the things we talk about every day is pain management.  Every day we see animals walk in our doors in varying degrees of pain.  When asked what pain medications the are on, the answer is often none at all.  Why is this? Sometimes medications are declined by owners due to their perceptions of "drugs".  Sometimes it is because they have been deemed non-painful by their veterinarian.  Sometimes it is just because these subtle signs we see are not known to be expressions of pain.  So here we go....

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Tuesday 10:00 AM - 07:00 PM

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