Atlas Rehabilitation for Canines

Atlas Rehabilitation for Canines is Santa Barbara's only free standing, full service animal rehabilitation facility led by certified professionals. In June of 2017, Karen Atlas, MPT, PT, CCRT, teamed up with Dr. Bill Otto, DVM, to open ARC and offer physical rehabilitation services to pets. ARC is fully equipped with the latest underwater treadmill, cold laser therapy (class 3b), therapeutic ultrasound, Alpha-Stimulation (CES and MET), pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF), electrical stimulation (NMES and TENS), as well as innovative land based exercise equipment.




We are so grateful to work with Karen Atlas and her team.  Cyrus (yellow lab, 11yrs) has had double TPLO surgeries, and as he ages it’s critical to keep his back end and joints functioning well.  The assessment and protocol provided by Atlas Rehabilation for Canines are superb.  The team is professional, compassionate, and focused.  Thank you!

Cyrus’s mom

Bodie and Crouton

I have Agility/ranch dogs that are always on the move and very active. I'm so very thankful for Karen's program. She keeps my dogs in great shape so they can work on the ranch and compete in Agility sound and healthy. She and her entire team are top notch and it's a pleasure every time we visit ARC. One of my dogs loves her treatments with Karen while my other one is much more shy and hesitant. Karen takes her time with him and always has an understanding attitude. If you have a performance dog or a dog that needs rehabilitation I wouldn't hesitate to visit Karen. I highly recommend her to all my family and friends.

-Ashley Salter


Best place for disabled canines in the Santa Barbara area! Your best friend will feel better, walk better, and live a better quality of life. Karen and her team of professionals will help your dog rehabilitate faster.

-Barbara Teti


The words "Thank you" seem to fall short with you. The longevity, and QUALITY, of her years were in large part due to you. Your compassionate care for the lame, sick, and elderly of our four legged friends touches hearts and lives so profoundly. You and the team did more than just help her to feel better physically, you brought her genuine joy. Her trips to see you were the absolute highlight of her final two years. My gratitude is immeasurable.

-Colleen Reid



Karen and the whole team at Atlas Rehabilitation are top notch!My 5 year old Pit mix has been through two cruciate ligament repairs and one meniscus surgery. Without the team at Atlas she would not be where she is today! Happy, healthy and enjoying life. I can't thank them enough for all they've done for Rozwell and me.

-Mimi Vickers


If I could give ARC ten stars instead of only five, I would. Karen Atlas and her team are absolutely wonderful!
In August of 2016 our dachshund, Sasha, was crippled with back pain. She had constant muscle spasms, was unable to walk, and had lost her will to live. At one point, she was getting daily injections for pain relief, on top of her oral pain relievers and muscle relaxants. It looked like the only way to relieve her suffering might be to put her down. The thought broke our hearts, but her welfare was our first priority.
Our veterinarian recommended taking her to Karen Atlas, a physical therapist who had turned her training and skills to helping dogs.
Karen carefully, gently examined Sasha, determined the main problem spots, and began with cold laser therapy. I had never heard of "cold laser" before, and was skeptical that simply shining a light on our dog's back could possibly make her feel better. It sounded like voodoo. Well, it wasn't.
Sasha's improvement was immediate. She clearly felt better after the very first cold laser treatment. I was blown away!
Karen and her team monitored Sasha closely. When they felt she was ready, we added the underwater treadmill to some of her sessions. As Sasha continued to improve, Karen added some gentle land-based exercises as well.
Within the first week or two, aside from the rare, occasional incident, Sasha no longer needed injections to relieve her pain. By November, we were weaning her off her other pain medications as well.

Today, Sasha is back to a normal, happy life. She plays and runs without pain. She is clearly happy again, too. Watching her move, you would never know that she'd ever been incapacitated.
We still take her to ARC for maintenance exercises and cold laser treatments, but we're now working at a preventative level. Also, I don't think Sasha would let us get away with not visiting ARC regularly. She's fallen madly in love with the whole ARC team.
During our visits, I've watched Karen and her team work with other dogs as well. In every case, they exude kindness, gentleness, and caring. They pay constant attention to their patients' comfort and limitations, they listen to the owner's observations and concerns, and they immediately adjust their treatments accordingly. They can't, of course, fix everything, but in every case they do their utmost to alleviate suffering and improve quality of life.
Because of Sasha's dramatic response to the cold laser treatments, my wife sought out, and found, someone who provided the same therapy for humans. After years of pain she, too, noticed an immediate improvement. It does work. I'm still surprised by that, but it really does work.
ARC is a wonderful, caring, highly professional operation. As I said at the start of this, I give them ten stars out of five.

-Daryl Metzger


I am so grateful ARC exists! As a veterinarian, I can appreciate the unique skill set a physical therapist brings to the table for animal rehab. Because of Karen Atlas, we were not only able to successfully prevent surgery, but Gina's quality of life is actually better now than it was prior to the original injury! My drive from San Luis Obispo was definitely worth it!

-Dr. Patrice Boroughs, DVM


Karen and her team are angels. They are so knowledgeable, kind and compassionate as well as having a new state of the art facility. They have helped our dog Bleau soooo much. I don't know what I would do without them.

-Troy Mosier

Henry and many foster dogs

I have been bringing dogs to Karen Atlas for going on seven years, and have spent a lot of time watching her work on them as well as on many other animals. What I've learned is that a talented animal rehabilitation therapist can do things for an ailing or injured animal that no other animal professional can do. And Karen is as talented as they come.
My own dogs have mostly just needed rehab after orthopedic surgery, nothing fancy, but still unheard of 15 years ago. Because of Karen's expertise and skill, the post-op dogs I have brought to her have recovered more quickly, and been able to return to full activity much sooner, than was the case before she started offering her services. That's been a godsend. My old cattle dog Bindi was able to get back to the beach a month sooner after her TPLO because of good physical therapy -- and that's a month she really needed, as an old girl!
I've also seen Karen work wonders on seriously disabled dogs. The most remarkable was a quadriplegic yellow lab who could do little more than lift his head when he was first brought to her. Karen and her staff worked diligently and lovingly with him for months, until he was able to go home ambulatory -- one leg never worked quite right, but he could WALK. It was truly a miracle.
If you have ever had physical therapy for an injury or after surgery, you know that physical therapists have a unique skill set for helping with healing and return to function. Karen is a licensed physical therapist in California, with hundreds of hours in specialized canine rehab training; she's come to be considered an expert, and offers seminars to veterinarians and physical therapists to help them improve their animal rehab skills. We could not be more fortunate to have her and the dedicated people in her office here in Santa Barbara!

- Dr. Lee Heller