Get to Know Us at Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation
& Sports Medicine!

Get to know us

“There is no greater joy than to do what you love and bring happiness to others along the way. Our animal companions do that for us, so we do rehabilitation therapy for them.” ~ Tari Kern, DVM

Our Patients

At Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine, we exclusively treat canine and feline patients. This emphasis allows us to focus on the injuries and diseases specific to these species. A rehab certified veterinarian is physically involved in every case.

Our Philosophy

The focus of our philosophy is three-fold:

  • Deliver compassionate veterinary rehabilitation and physical medicine services designed to reduce pain and improve the quality of life for your pet.
  • Provide pet owners with exceptional service and individualized therapy programs for their pets, offering the patients clinical progress as our measure of success.
  • Afford referring veterinarians the opportunity to offer unique therapeutic options to their patients and clients.



Dr. Tari Kern

Dr. Tari Kern earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery. She obtained her rehabilitation therapy training through the University of Tennessee and is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP). Dr. Kern believes that veterinary patients benefit greatly from an integrative approach to healing through blending both traditional medicine and holistic care options in her physical medicine practice. Her passion to provide the best clinical options for her patients has driven her ongoing commitment to learning. Currently, Dr. Kern is engaged in residency training through the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

In keeping with her commitment to provide new and innovative pain management and neuromodulation options for her animal patients, Dr. Kern obtained her veterinary acupuncture certification through Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians, now Curacore. She pursued training in Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy through MyoPain Seminars in Texas to help address difficult to manage muscle pain in her patients. Additionally, Dr. Kern is certified in Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy (VSMT, aka “animal chiropractic”) through the Healing Oasis Wellness Center. She has also taken canine sports medicine courses through Canine Rehabilitation Institute.

Dr. Kern pursued additional training in Veterinary Orthotics and Prosthetics (V-OP) care through Canine Rehabilitation Institute and is excited to provide new treatment options for patients with unique needs. The use of V-OP devices can provide wonderful improvements in quality of life for patients when appropriate rehabilitation plans are implemented. The adventure into orthotic care has resulted in Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine becoming a partner veterinary practice with OrthoPets, a world leader in veterinary orthotics located in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Kern serves on the Board of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians as its treasurer. She is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management.

Locally, she is an active member of the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, and the Macomb County Veterinary Association. For 15 years, Dr. Kern coordinated an annual community event called People, Pets & Vets, sponsored by the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association.

Along with her husband, Chris, two dogs, and two cats, Dr. Kern resides in Southeastern Michigan, where she enjoys scuba diving, photography, yoga, biking, camping, volleyball, gardening, and other outdoor activities.

A personal statement from Dr. Kern about the creation of Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine:"Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine was founded for the love of a dog. Veterinary medicine had always been my passion, but the needs of my aging canine companion brought the benefits of rehabilitative veterinary medicine and ‘wholistic care’ into clearer focus. I joke that a cat sent me to vet school, but a dog sent me to rehab!"

Jenna MacDonell, DVM, CVA, CVMMP


Jenna MacDonell, DVM, CVA, CVMMP

Dr. MacDonell grew up in Redford, Michigan and attended Michigan State University prior to completing her doctorate at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. After veterinary school, Dr. MacDonell completed a Small Animal Rotating Internship at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where she rotated between positions in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Orthopedic Surgery, and Soft Tissue Surgery. During this time, she realized a passion for teaching, which led her to become the Clinical Instructor for Junior Surgery and Shelter Medicine at the University of Illinois. After her stint at the university, Dr. MacDonell transitioned into general practice, where she became more immersed in alternative therapies.

Dr. MacDonell strongly believes in an integrative approach to patient care. As part of her doctoral degree, she was privileged to study Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and Acupuncture at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, China. She received her Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture from the Chi Institute, and she achieved her certification in Veterinary Medical Manipulation from the Integrative Veterinary Medical Institute. Observing the power of these modalities on patient health and quality of life led Dr. MacDonell to Pawsitive Steps. She is excited to continue enhancing lives through alternative modalities and expanding her scope of practice to include small animal rehabilitation.

When she is not taking care of your fur family, Dr. MacDonell enjoys gardening, kayaking, hiking, and traveling. She recently developed an interest in pottery and throwing on the wheel. Most of all, she loves spending time with her husband, two dogs, (Hank and Hazel), and cat (Ripley).

Certified Veterinary Rehabilitation Technicians

Cathryn Adolph, LVT, CCRP


Cathryn Adolph, LVT, CCRP

Cathryn has loved animals all of her life, especially dogs. While growing up, her family was never without one. Currently Cathryn shares her life with Locke, a German Shepherd Dog Mix, and Indie, an Australian Shepherd Mix, two turtles, and a Guinea Pig. Most of whom found their way into her life through the veterinary office or kennel where she worked.

Cathryn earned her Bacheolor's Degree in Biology in 2003 from Eastern Michigan University. Working as a veterinary assistant since 2001, she left staff the veterinary field briefly when she moved to Florida. However, she missed working in veterinary medicine and, upon moving back to Michigan, got back into the field. Feeling she had reached a plateau as a veterinary assistant, she entered Macomb Community College's Veterinary Technician program. During her time in the program, she received an annual SEMVMA scholarship, was nominated for leadership awards, and served as her class Vice President. She graduated with honors in 2013. She joined Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine in August of 2014. In June 2017, Cathryn completed University of Tennessee's Canine Rehabilitation Program and became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner.

Colleen Lum, LVT, CCRVN


Colleen Lum, LVT, CCRVN

Colleen always had a passion for animals ever since she was a child and knew that she wanted to pursue a career helping them. In 2010, she graduated from Baker College’s veterinary technician program and worked for 3 years in a small animal practice prior to joining the Pawsitive Steps team. In December 2015, she completed the Canine Rehabilitation Institute rehabilitation curriculum and became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Veterinary Nurse.

In her spare time, Colleen enjoys crafting, oil painting and trying out new foods with her boyfriend Cody.

"I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career. I believe that our pets are family. For many of us, they are our children. We would do anything to improve their lives and give them what they need. That is why I am in this field. We are their voice."

Angelia Oliverei, LVT, CVMRT


Angelia Oliverei, LVT, CVMRT

Angelia knew early on in life that she had a passion for animals and decided she wanted to make a career of it. In 2014, she graduated from the Baker College Veterinary Technician program. While attending the vet tech program, she became very interested in rehabilitation therapy for pets and knew that was what she wanted to focus on. Prior to joining Pawsitive Steps, she worked in a small animal and exotics practice, as well as working in emergency medicine. In 2019, Angelia completed the Veterinary Massage and Rehabilitation Therapy program at Healing Oasis Wellness Center, earning her CVMRT credentials. Angelia has one dog of her own, a Rottweiler named Frankenstein. He is her world and does everything with her. Together, they enjoy outdoor activities with friends. She also enjoys going to concerts and sporting events.

Licensed Veterinary Technicians

Autumn Danford, LVT


Veterinary Assistants

Colleen Davis

Samantha Ruel

Tori Foxworth


Office Manager

Kim Schur


Kim Schur

Kim knew from an early age that working with animals was her life's passion. For nearly 30 years, she has worked as a receptionist, assistant, technician and office manager at two veterinary hospitals in southeast Michigan. In September of 2013, she joined the team at Pawsitive Steps. Kim is married to Earl and has 5 four-legged children - 2 dogs and 3 cats.

"I have been an animal lover my entire life. I am grateful to be able to do what I love for a living. Working with a truly compassionate and caring team to better the lives of our patients is my dream come true."

Hercules, CEO (Canine Executive Officer)


Hercules, CEO

Everything happens for a reason or so they say. Hercules is Pawsitive Steps' "little big man". He is proof that love and rehab can enhance quality of life. He started out with a pretty rough start, but is happy and playful now. He suffered 3 fractures in his rear legs at 4 months of age, which were left staff to heal abnormally before he was removed from his original home by animal control.

His story was so sad and moving that the local Detroit media covered it in May 2012 Story link 1 , Story link 2

Besides the fractures and pain, his injuries resulted in quadriceps contracture, which is a permanent fibrotic change of the major thigh muscles and affected both his rear legs. He already had significant arthritis in both of his stifles (knees) before his first birthday due to the fractures. Additionally, his left rear leg ended up being 1.5 inches shorter than his right rear leg as a result of his prior fractures. Over time, Hercules will develop arthritis earlier in his "normal" joints due to how he compensates for his handicaps, so he will require some rehabilitation care throughout his life. In December 2015, Hercules got a fabulous orthotic device for his left rear limb to help correct his limb length discrepancy and this has really helped him to get around better. While wearing his “corrective shoe”, he is more comfortable and can run and play longer!

When we met, Hercules was skinny and only toe-touched with his rear legs. He really made amazing strides since then! Hercules became a permanent addition of Dr. Kern's family and also assumed the role of Canine Executive Officer of the Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine team. Hercules was pleased announce the release his movie trailer on our YouTube site back in 2013, which shows his progress from rescue into rehabilitation superstar over the first 3 months of his rehab journey. Drop by the office, he would love to meet you!

Case Report

At Pawsitive Steps we want you to know about the types of cases we see and treat! Our case reports outline the clinical problems, rehabilitation goals, modalities used, assessment, and plan for a variety of pets and conditions.

View Reports

Hospital Tour

Our hospital tour allows you to take a look inside our facility as well as see some of our therapy equipment in action.

Tour our Veterinary Practice