Meet our team of staff at Two Hands Four Paws, consisting of of veterinarians, acupuncturists, Doctors of Physical Therapy, RVTs, and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioners . We are a dedicated group of individuals whose passion is helping animals heal through physical rehabilitation. Each team member is carefully selected based on his or her skill set, compassionate care and commitment to excellence.
LESLIE GALLAGHER MCMAHON, CCMT, CCRT
Founder, president and fearless leader of Two Hands Four Paws, Leslie is a California native whose love affair with animals began during childhood on her family’s farm. After earning a degree in International Relations at Scripps College, Leslie spent the first decade of her career working as the Director of International Affairs for a foreign based media mogul. When he died and left behind an aging German Shepherd, Leslie adopted the dog. A few months later, a groomer dropped the Shepherd in the tub, paralyzing her, and Leslie’s second career was born. Realizing that there were no facilities in LA to help disabled animals, Leslie started her own, ultimately earning a certification as a canine massage therapist from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy. She then went on to get certified in Canine Rehabilitation at the Animal Rehab Institute in Florida. An avid student, having taken classes in veterinary technology, including canine anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, nutrition and first aid, Leslie is also a teacher who not only trains her own growing staff of talented therapists, but who also regularly lectures on the benefits of canine rehabilitation to clubs, schools and veterinary hospitals across the country. Supremely grateful to come to work everyday and do a job that she loves, Leslie’s mission with Two Hands Four Paws is to help every dog that walks through her doors lead a happier, pain free life regardless of age.
STEPHEN ETTINGER, DVM, DACVIM, CCRP
Two Hands Four Paws is thrilled that Dr. Ettinger, one of the most well known, and highly respected veterinarians in the country, has come on board as our Medical Director. Co-author of “Canine Cardiology”, the first veterinary small animal specialty textbook with Dr. P.F. Suter, Dr. Ettinger is also the author and editor of the “Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine”, a two volume treatise that’s been published in five languages. His specialties include small animal veterinary internal medicine, small animal cardiology, hospital management, and professional veterinary development. Dr. Ettinger served as the Chief Medical Officer of PetDRx, a national veterinary practice group, from 2007 until 2010, and was the medical director of the California Animal Hospital Veterinary Specialty Group in Los Angeles from 1980 to 2009. A Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and an Emeritus Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and the American Heart Association, Dr. Ettinger is a true animal lover whose extreme intellect is only matched by his kind heart.
FRANK TSAI, DVM, CVA, CCRP
Dr. Tsai received his DVM degree from University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and completed his internship at Animal Specialty Group in L.A. His drive to find additional pain-management modalities for his patients led him to Dr. Xie at the Chi Institute for his certification in veterinary acupuncture. It then took just one visit to Two Hands Four Paws for him to realize that he had found a group of people with a passion that matched his own. Besides enjoying the SoCal sunshine while biking, running and fishing, he is also a captain in the Army Reserves. There, his duties have included treating the military’s working dogs and participating in humanitarian missions to the Arctic Circle and Guatemala. He lives with his wife, a cat and an ‘exuberant” Doberman named Mei-Mei. He has a subtle but hilarious sense of humor and commutes to work in his zippy all-electric vehicle!
MASAMI SEPLOW, DVM, CVA, CCRP
Dr. Seplow was born and raised in Kobe, Japan. She received her degree from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville. She’s a Gator. Dr. Seplow perfected her craft at clinics and hospitals in Miami and Seattle before relocating to Los Angeles. She has had an interest in holistic medicine since the start of her career, which led to her graduating from the Chi Institute as a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. She attributes her enthusiasm for canine rehabilitation to the many successes of her acupuncture patients. Working with many senior and disabled pets over the years increased her knowledge of and interest in physical therapy so much so that she took the important step of becoming a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee. When she doesn’t have a stethoscope in hand she’s either armed with a musical instrument or a cooking utensil. She plays viola in the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra and cooks for her three Chihuahuas! How does she do it? Where does she find the time? We don’t ask. We just admire.
A San Franciscan native, Bryan earned his undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He started his career in electronics, living in the Bay Area, London, Milan and India before moving to the Southland to pursue acting. Although he only achieved minor success, he did meet his wife, Leslie, who changed his life for the better. Having never owned dogs as a kid, it seems ironic that Bryan has such a special bond with them. The staff is used to his continuous conversations with patients, helping them, encouraging them, pushing them, rooting for them. The creator of the hugely popular “Sunday Fun Swims”, and one of the premier canine swim ‘instructors’ in the country, Bryan has a unique ability to make dogs feel comfortable in the water. He also designed a custom pool filtration and sanitizing system capable of handling our large number of swim clients. Although a total knee replacement put an end to his running and Ironman-distance triathlons, he continues to surf and race bikes. He loves applying his training and competition expertise to the rehabilitation and condition of our patients. In addition to being our pool guru, he is responsible for business development, marketing and writing the Facebook posts, newsletters, and our eagerly anticipated Christmas cards.
RVTS AND PHYSICAL THERAPISTS
SUSAN ELLIS, RVT, CCRP
Originally from Ohio, Susan moved to Los Angeles to dance in the ballet. Unfortunately, injury curtailed that career path, and she was forced to figure out plan B. She received her Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) certification from Pierce College in Woodland Hills, and was a surgical tech for 15 years before moving over to City of Angeles Advanced Critical Care Department of Internal Medicine. She got involved with Two Hands Four Paws when she met Leslie through work, came by to check out the facility, and simply never left. With her history as a surgical tech, she knew how life altering canine rehab could be, but she’s blown away with the daily results she sees here. An “out of the box” thinker with a huge heart, and great smile, Susan is a huge hit with our four legged friends.
KENDRA METZ, RVT, CCRP
A native of San Diego, Kendra has lived in the LA area for over 6 years. She is a Registered Veterinary Technician and graduated from Pierce College’s RVT program. Kendra is also certified as a canine rehabilitation practitioner (CCRP) and combined with her excellent RVT knowledge, she has a comprehensive skillset. She has loved animals since she was a child, and her education led her pursue becoming an RVT. Her team spirit and eagerness to learn has made her a favorite among our 2, 3 and 4 legged clients. Kendra continually gets a kick out of swimming the dogs, and if you have ever seen her swim you can tell that both she and the dog are having a blast. She has a dog Brandy, and Panda the Guinea pig, Abbot the chinchilla, and Little Bit the hamster.
AMANDA LEE-LEVITEN, RVT, CCRP
Amanda Lee-Leviten is a recent transplant from Boston, MA. She is a Registered Veterinary Technician and has had a lifelong passion for animals. Her cat, Baby needed extra-special care when she met him in a shelter so she tube-fed him at home until he recovered. In 2009 Neeka, her 14 year old Labrador had severe arthritis so Amanda gave hydrotherapy a try. It was there she witnessed the power of physical rehabilitation as her dog’s quality of life improved. Amanda loves hearing from clients that their pets are happier, want to play with toys again, and walk further than before starting therapy. In her spare time, Amanda can be found hiking the Santa Monica Mountains with her 12-year-old Hound mix, Molly and going to the beach with her niece and nephew.
NAMI SUGIYAMA, RVT, CCRP
There’s no such thing as too much talent. With the addition of Nami Sugiyama we’ve just raised the bar even more. Nami brings years of human and small animal acupuncture expertise, along with Eastern Medicine knowledge to our strong team of therapists. She is originally from a small town outside of Tokyo, Japan and came to the U.S. after she graduated high school. She earned her Bachelors degree as a Pre-Vet major and her Masters degree in Oriental Medicine. Nami has been living it up in sunny Southern California for 8 years now and we’ve told her she is not allowed to leave. She shares her home with her husband, one dog and four cats: Crispy, Spicy, Buffalo, Chicken, and Wing!
Our favorite volunteer-turned-steadfast-and-trusted-employee! Nicole began her time at Two Hands Four Paws to satisfy a High School community service requirement and, once that had been met she never left. She is great with animals. More than anyone else, Nicole is responsible for keeping the water in our pool balanced and crystal-clear. A hard-core Packers fan, she is originally from Wisconsin and prefers colder weather but appears to be thriving in sunny California despite having to balance school and work. Nicole lives a vegan lifestyle and plays a mean electric guitar. She also enjoys hanging out with her friends and playing music. Once she completes her education Nicole has plans to continue working with animals with a goal of eventually establishing her own animal rescue organization.
SHELBY AND AMELIA REXFORD
No, you are not seeing double and it isn’t special effects. We’re not that good with Photoshop! Twins Shelby and Amelia are Montana natives where they were adopted by more than 30 peacocks, bunnies and fish over the years. You could say their adoration of animals developed due to repeated exposure! This love blossomed into a passion for dressage, also known as “Horse Ballet,” a form of equestrian training that they have been committed to for over 20 years. These ladies have a lot in common including a love of skiing, Biology degrees from Sweet Briar College in Virginia and plans to apply to veterinary school but they are also individuals with their own likes and dislikes. For instance, Shelby loves classic movies and chocolate while Amelia prefers her chocolate in milkshake form. Amelia, given the option would prefer to avoid spiders while Shelby wants to avoid spiders and snakes….see, so different! Two things they surely have in common are their excellent work ethic and dedication to the patients we see.
Casey is a member of our night staff. She is one of the luckiest people on our payroll because she gets to have a sleepover party with our boarding dogs every night! A San Diego native, she attended Pima Medical Institute to earn her Veterinary Assistant certificate. She then immersed herself in the business of animal care. She has experience in a variety of hospital positions including Kennel Attendant, Grooming Assistant, Receptionist and Veterinary Assistant. She is wonderful with special-needs animals and provides a “homey” touch to our overnight guests. She dedicates much of her spare time to her rescue dog, “Meat.” Casey recued Meat from a life of fear and abuse. With patience and a natural ability to calm nervous animals, Casey is slowly helping Meat overcome her fears. Away from the office she and her dog can be found at the beach or doing yoga…together.
Mayra is one of our awesome Veterinary Assistants! She is currently registered in an RVT program at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. Although her dream is to become a Veterinarian, she fell in love with Canine Physical Therapy after starting at Two Hands Four Paws. Mayra is from Glendale, California where she lives with her 4 year old Terrier Mix, Fusha. When Mayra isn’t busy helping around Two Hands Four Paws or studying (or driving!) she loves to pamper herself and dance at concerts. Mayra is a true foodie, she absolutely loves trying new restaurants. If you’re craving something, she can recommend the best spot for you!
Paola is a key member of our back staff team. She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and when she was 22 she decided to make the big move out to Los Angeles! Her ultimate goal is to become a licensed RVT and to work with an animal rescue organization. In her spare time, Paola loves to enjoy time outdoors whether it be hiking, swimming or just having a relaxing time at the beach (weather permitting of course). When she’s not off adventuring, Paola stays home with her 6 year old German Pointer Mix, Bandit.
Jose is a fan-tastic member of our Back Staff and all of the dogs are big fans of his. Jose is a true Californian native. He was born and raised right here in Los Angeles, California. He loves to work with animals but, his real passion is music. Basically he is the Jimi Hendrix of his generation and on the weekends he likes to rock out with his band. In his free time he likes to go camping and hiking. Jose currently lives in Downtown Los Angeles with his wife, Alejandra and their 8 year old cat, Missy.
Val is a rare true California native, having been born and raised in Encino, CA. She graduated from CSUN with a BS in Political Science. In 2006 she joined the Two Hands Four Paws team, helping Leslie develop the business. Combined with Val’s efforts, Two Hands Four Paws has been able to help hundreds of pets get the help they need. Val loves seeing how the entire staff comes together for the benefit of the dogs and their owners. Val lives with her husband, 9 year old son and their 2 cats and 2 dogs Bailey Angel, Nicky and Bentley.
Hailing from Lancaster, California, Erin has been a cherished member of the Two Hands Four Paws team since 2012. As chief traffic controller of the front desk, Erin’s is one of the first faces you’ll see when you walk through our doors. Calm, courteous and kind, she’s a lifelong animal lover with two rescue dogs and cats of her own who puts her money where her mouth is, having been a vegan since 2005. Active with numerous animal rights groups, Erin is also an amateur photographer who takes pet portraits in her free time. Her favorite thing about her job is getting to see how much people love and cherish their animal companions. It reaffirms her faith in humanity.
Rizza is a key member of our Front Desk staff. With her kind voice and darling smile she has somehow managed to make our already Zen facility even more pleasant. She was born in the Philippines and came to the states when she was ten years old. Ten years later she had earned her degree in Social Science and set off to join the work force. She has been active in the veterinary industry for three years and has experience both as front and back staff. She may be an angel by day but, come evening she is a straight up D-I-V-A. One of Rizza’s cooler after-dark activities is competitive karaoke. She’s been singing since she was a toddler. Does she take requests? We don’t know but it might be worth a shot to ask!
Shaina a member of our front desk team and also helps out with our Marketing program. She obtained a Bachelor in Fine Arts with an emphasis on Creative Photography from California State University, Fullerton. Even though she loves art – her true passion is helping animals (and being vegan!). Shaina is a part of various animal rights groups and in her spare time she likes to paddle board, visit art museums and attend concerts. Shaina lives in Redondo Beach, California with her Husband, Gabriel and their (crazy) kitten, Little Beans.