Genevieve Mariko Wilson Aqua Technician
Wellness Center Helping Animals Enjoy Quality of Life
featuring Genevieve Mariko Wilson, aqua technician
In the US, animal shelters, which protect abandoned and/or abused animals, have been resorting to various approaches to help animals enjoy high quality of life. They include introducing those animals to new owners and setting up numerous dog-runs designed to facilitate healthy and free activities for them across America.
What has recently attracted attention is holistic therapy, an approach to focus on achieving optimal health and wellness for animals. The Animal Wellness Center of OC located in Costa Mesa, which was established in Orange County last year, is one such place which provides holistic therapies.
We interviewed Barbara West and Lourdes Biancardi, co-founders/owners of the center, and Genevieve Mariko Wilson, who works there as the only Japanese speaking aqua technician.
“At this wellness center, we have our staff including resident veterinarians and aqua technicians working together to provide pets with a wide range of care services including hydrotherapy, acupuncture, aquapractic, and therapeutic massage. We help many animals including dogs that need to go through postoperative rehabilitation and animals that are paralyzed because of illness or suffering from spinal diseases. Among our programs, aquatic therapy, which is provided in a heated swimming pool for rehabilitation and exercises, has shown positive results and been regarded highly. It is also our strength that we have the latest equipment including an underwater treadmill machine which enables animals to walk in water.” (Barbara and Lourdes)
Mariko, who works for the center as an aqua technician and volunteer, found the center when she was looking for a rehabilitation facility for her own dog that had its hip paralyzed and was unable to walk. “I was attracted to aqua therapy and rehabilitation and have been working here for the last few months. As an aqua technician, I mainly help animals swim depending on their physical conditions. If a dog has a hip problem, I’m extra careful to make sure it doesn’t get its hip strained. It’s important to keep good communication with our vets and owners to properly understand their animals’ conditions and the objectives of rehabilitation.”
The center’s ultimate goal is to enable animals suffering from illness and disabilities to have quality of life so they can live peacefully and happily. Mariko was strongly attracted to the center for the cofounders’ ambition to improve its services and facilities and make them widely available to people in the local community to achieve the goal. “Owners who have rescued animals that were almost euthanized or were abused to the extent that they have been strained both psychologically and physically, visit us, too. I’d like to work with those people and their animals by strongly supporting them.”
The Animal Wellness Center of OC is the first of its kind animal rehabilitation center in Orange County. Barbara West and Lourdes Biancardi are passionate believers in improving and restoring the quality of life for pet owners’ four-legged family members.
Animal Wellness Center of OC
449 W. Bay St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627