Growing up surrounded by pets all his life, Dr. Rich Johnson has found a passion for helping animals. Ultimately, he was inspired by another veterinarian to pursue veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis: College of Veterinary Medicine, where he graduated with Honors. As the proud practice owner of Country Oaks Pet Hospital, Dr. Johnson embraces and implements a gentle Fear Free approach to every visit. He positively addresses the emotional wellbeing of all patients and their caregivers by reducing fear, anxiety, and stress by bringing treats and toys tailored to each visit. In addition to Fear Free techniques, Dr. Johnson appreciates the problem-solving challenges of veterinary medicine. He believes the most interesting parts of this field are internal medicine and ultrasonography.
Outside Country Oaks, Dr. Johnson enjoys playing competitive bocce ball, fly-fishing, playing the guitar and ukulele, and traveling whenever possible. He is also a huge fan of professional and college sports. He and his wife live in a home filled with global Indigenous and Native American art, along with their four happy, entertaining dogs: Bubba, Earl, Ethel, and Vern. In addition, Jake, the rambunctious and loved chihuahua “helps out” at the hospital seven days a week and returns home for the holidays!
As both an animal lover and a massive science nerd, Dr Katie Chiu gravitated naturally to veterinary medicine. She earned her BS in Animal Science and DVM from UC Davis. She is particularly interested in soft tissue surgery and Fear Free practices. She is a champion of the Fear Free approach, valuing the tremendous benefits. For example, pioneering the use of an implanted glucose monitor for her canine diabetic patients gives her valuable insight and more accurate results for insulin therapy, while allowing the pet to remain at home for the weeklong testing period.
A native Californian, she was born and grew up in Palo Alto before moving inland. She enjoys cooking and baking, occasionally making themed cakes: most recently a dog with bones and another with M&Ms. She also like to hike wherever there’s a trail and is currently making a mental list of places to explore in the greater Sacramento area. Adding to her joy-filled list: a succulent garden in tiny, adorable dog-shaped pots!
Irene Fujishima Nakaoka, DVM, Diplomate, ABVP (Dr. Irene)
Following inspiration and a degree in Chemical Engineering from Yale University, Dr Irene discovered her ultimate passion at the UC Davis Veterinary School of Medicine. Her own kitten, Poki, and Dr Joan Teitler became her mentors, guiding her yearning to address compassionate, complete, and comprehensive patient care as a veterinarian. As a Don Low Fellow at UC Davis from 2012-2013 she familiarized herself with ICU and emergency care. Now specializing in feline medicine with immeasurable talent, proven knowledge and expertise above and beyond what is required to practice veterinary medicine, Dr Irene is the only American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) feline specialist in Sacramento, one of only 62 ABVP Feline Diplomates worldwide.
“I believe in taking care of the entire patient- and how important it is to take care of the owners needs, as well as addressing the medical problems of the patient. I am especially proud of my ability to take care of complex feline cases- the kidney patient with heart failure, or the cancer patient with renal disease and IBD… and for my canine patients, letting them eat treats and working around their needs is something I enjoy doing (even if it means rolling around on the floor!)”
Reading a patient’s body language is important to know what they will allow, and to gauge their stress level, are the basis of practicing Fear Free medicine. Dr Irene is grateful to be part of this unique and progressive aspect of medicine where patient’s needs are placed first- not just the medical needs, but emotional needs as well.
Hobbies with her human family (husband Keith and daughter Kianna) are based around weight training, USA swimming, and the Elk Grove Aquatic Club Later Gator US Master Swim program. Her home-based fun is centered around their 5 cats Pico, Boba, Nita, Taki, and 2 dogs Coco-Chan and Mochi.
While working at “Country Oaks, I have an opportunity to work with dogs and exotics, but for my feline patients there is a dedicated cat area – and with the Cat Friendly Practice and Fear Free procedures in place, I really feel I will be able to provide the best stress-free medical care for our feline patients.”
As a veterinarian, Dr. Irene’s 3 words to describe her veterinary care would be – “Compassionate, Complete, and Comprehensive”.
Dr. Imig first became interested in veterinary medicine when she was four years old after finding an injured frog in her backyard. She took the frog to a wildlife center for treatment where she then discovered about the incredible world of veterinary medicine. She was astonished by the passionate veterinary professionals who dedicated and committed to their lives to helping animals. The more Dr. Imig learned about veterinary medicine, the more she could not imagine spending her life doing anything else. From then on, she dreamt of becoming a veterinarian and has since dedicated her life to making that dream a reality. Dr. Imig feels extremely lucky to work in this amazing profession where she can spend everyday helping people and their pets of all species.
“I want every person and pet who walks into my exam room to feel warmly welcomed and well cared for; aiming to form a partnership with each of my clients. Together, we can make sure their pet receives the best care possible throughout their entire life. From dogs and cats to birds and reptiles, our pets are part of our family, no matter the species.”
Dr. Imig’s family consists of her husband, Nathan, an energetic and mischievous English Setter named Lexie, and a laid-back Bearded Dragon named Rhaego.