The Pooches management team has a combined 60+ years of experience in handling, daycare, boarding, rescue, and general dog know how. The management team is comprised of 2 former dog daycare owners, a Vet Tech, a Nursing Student, all dog lovers, and a CPA. Let’s meet the team.
Joe (Top Dog), Buddy and Barbie-Q
Joe loves working at Pooches’ because the dogs and clients are fantastic. It’s a bonus that he can bring his furry kids to work with him. Speaking of which, Barbie-Q (“Q” for short) is the boxer mix that likes to play tug-of-war with Joe’s other dog, Buddy who is a Jack Russell /Chihuahua mix that enjoys sleeping under the covers and playing fetch. Dogs have taught Joe how to be a better person by being patient, gentle, and to love all you meet. When he is not at Pooches’, Joe enjoys, geocaching with Holly (ask him about it), making BBQ, hiking, fishing, camping, beer brewing, painting, gardening, sport shooting and picking up new hobbies. If Joe was going to watch a movie, he would probably choose the 80’s film “Better Off Dead”. Want to learn more about dogs? Joe says check out the book “What is My Dog Thinking?”.
Cher – Director of Pack Resources
Cher, the blond in the front and recently retired director of Kansas City Retired Greyhounds as Pets (REGAP), is always happy to greet you when you come in with your pooch. Cher has a problem with foster failing (adopting her foster dogs), however she only has 2 dogs at this time (once she had 12!). At her home is Pippa, a half beagle and greyhound mix who terrorizes the staff at Pooches and the squirrels at home and Marley, the black, old greyhound likes walking, car trips, and distributing the white fluffy stuffing inside of his toys around the house. Nothing is better than being immediately greeted with “happy feet” when she gets home. Cher feels that dogs have a ancient sense that lets them read human emotions and provide support, cuddle time, or playfulness when needed, while never judging. Working at Pooches’ is the best job (of numerous) Cher has ever had. She can’t help but smile when she sees all the joyous faces on our guests. Cher has an artist’s mind and enjoys creating jewelry and designing interiors. If Cher could retire she would spend her days in New Orleans soaking in its energy through the great live music scene, spectacular eats, and countless events in the city with her dude! Cher founded Pooches Paradise in 2005 and formed the base on which we have grown.
Kelly – Resort Manager
Kelly loves the feeling she gets when she walks into Pooches’ and all the dogs get happy. Kelly has been with Pooches since March 2010. Kelly always has a smile on her face and it seems to put the dogs in a great mood. A naturally creative person, Kelly likes to make dog toys out of reclaimed materials. When Kelly is not at Pooches’ she loves being with her kids. Besides being a dedicated mother, Kelly is easy going and is happy to snuggle next to her husband and watch a comedy or romantic movie. To relax, Kelly will pop open a Sylvia Brown book or other books based on real events. Kelly is dedicated to creating a comfortable and safe environment for your pups. She meets regularly with the Shift Supervisors for training purposes and communicating important changes or best practices. Kelly started as a Level 1 Pack Member and has worked her way to Resort Manager by keeping a cool head and even demeanor. If your pup boarded with us, you may receive a follow-up call from Kelly to ensure the stay met expectations and that future stays will be comfortable and fun.
Mary – Director of Training
Mary Sellaro, a former dog daycare owner turned full time trainer, has been training dogs since 1990. She joined the Pooches Paradise management team during September 2012. She has taught group classes and private lessons from puppy level through advanced for pet owners. Mary has also worked with dog owners on behavioral issues, including aggression. She developed and implemented a training class program for REGAP, Retired Greyhounds as Pets. Mary has been the temperament test evaluator for the Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Pet Pal Program since 1997 and Pets for Life, Inc. from 1996 through 2004. She co-owned and operated a dog daycare and obedience training facility for several years. Prior to coming over to Pooches Paradise, Mary served as a Director of Pet Education and Grooming for Pet Resort Inc, a national pet services provider of boarding, daycare, training and grooming.
Mary was a recurring guest on The Chris Baker Show on Talk Radio 710, KCMO. Mary was a returning guest and the canine behavioral consultant for the Scott Voorhees Show aired on KCTE, Hot Talk 1510. She has had several articles published in pet related publications and in 2007 trained and handled her Australian Shepherd for a local television commercial. Mary is also a regular contributor to MetroPet Magazine. For questions, e-mail her at Training@PoochesParadise.com
Mary is a certified American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen evaluator.
Bri – Front Office Manager
Bri is the first smiling face you see when picking up your dog. Bri started at Pooches in March of 2014 and at the beginning of 2015, Bri proposed she take over many of the front office duties and has made many improvements to our operations. Since July, Bri has been adding new treats, toys and foods to our offerings.
From Bri: “My parents frequently tell me that I have always been an animal person and have always gravitated towards animals. Being a dog person and having a small family of dogs has been one of my biggest achievements and most fulfilling thing in my adult life. Pooches’ has offered me the ability to have a career that not only pushes me towards bigger and greater things but also satisfies that ‘Little Bri Animal Lover’ way. My dogs mean the world to me and I frequently think that I am the luckiest person for having my MamaDogg and Dude (Johnny Cash). I look forward to seeing clients with their dogs and visiting with like-minded people who are just as animal loving as myself.”
Rachael – Shift Supervisor
Rachael is a Waldo resident and proud mom to Moses, a white Komondor and Mae, a brindled Am. Staff mix. As well as dogs, Rachael also has a 6 yr old black cat named Malachi. Rachael has been with Pooches since July of 2012 and is a great leader. Rachael is fantastic about balancing her time as Shift Supervisor as well as developing our In-Home Care program. Rachael’s super power is her love and care for the pups. Every dog is special to Rachael and she has an infinite supply of affection for the pups in our care. She ensures no detail will be overlooked and no treat will go un-given. Rachael is an example of the wonderful people that work and care about your pup everyday at Pooches Paradise. We are grateful she is a pack member and appreciate her commitment to making Pooches a better place every minute she is here. Many Woofs Rachael!
Pooches Pack Members
Abby – Level 3 Pack Member
Meet Abby! She has a vibrant personality and joined up in January of 2015. She has recently completed her Level 3 pack member certification and works with our small dog and big dog groups. Abby is also working on her professional grooming skills and often assists with Kelli Neill, Pooches groomer. One of the things Abby likes about working at Pooches is the emphasis on safety through our training program. She loves how everyone cares for each other, it feels like a family. When she isn’t working at Pooches, Abby uses the outdoors as a living classroom for her son.
Danielle (Dani) – Level 3 Pack Member
Danielle (on left) is a Waldo native and proud furry parent of Milo, a large white cattle mix. You may not know this, but Danielle is a talented artist. We often find drawings on our cleaning checklists once she has detail cleaned a room. Danielle passed her Level 3 Pack Member certification in 2015. Danielle might avoid pictures and the spotlight, however, her work and care for the pups makes her standout as a Pack member. Danielle celebrates her Pooches anniversary in October every year since 2014 and is helping to train new staff the “Danielle way”. Thanks to Dani for her hard work and attention to detail.
Devona – Front/Back Office
Since 2008, you have seen Devona’s smiling face when you drop your furry friend off in the morning. Love is the word Devona uses to describe why she has a dog. It is that same love that makes working at Pooches’ a joy, in fact it doesn’t feel like she is “working” at all when she is around the dogs at Pooches’. In the summer, look for Devona at BB’s Lawnside BBQ where she enjoys live jazz, blues, and Motown music. Devona’s quiet hobbies include reading any James Patterson novels, or piecing together huge jigsaw puzzles.
Amy – Front Office and Level 3 Pack Member
Amy splits her time evenly between the Resort and the Front Desk. She is completing her Level 3 Pack Member certification in August 2015! Amy’s superpower is that she speaks dog. Her commitment to maintaining a high level of cleanliness and supervision for dog safety is what makes Amy a great part of the Pooches Pack. When Amy is not at Pooches she enjoying spending time with her 10yr old rat terrier, Minnie. Amy joined the pack in October 2013
Kelli – Groomer / Front Office / Level 3 Pack Member
Kelli is the resident groomer, friendly face at the front desk and dog whisperer in the back. Kelli has been with Pooches since December 2013. We love Kelli! More info to come.