Meet Our Staff
Annie first joined Paws & Pals as a Pet Care Specialist in the fall of 2005 and also worked in customer service. She now serves as General Manager. In total, she has worked at Paws & Pals for about five years. Before returning, Annie worked as a Veterinary Technician for seven years at the Animal Humane Society and a low-cost Veterinary clinic. She graduated from MSB College with A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology in 2008.
Annie has achieved her certification for understanding canine body language, pack behavior, and group play (Knowing Dogs 101 and 102) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She also has obtained certification from IBPSA for the Basic Canine Specialist. Annie is Red Cross certified for Pet First Aid and CPR and is also a certified Instructor. Annie says, “I came back to Paws & Pals because I enjoy the positive experiences working with the customers and their happy-go-lucky dogs.”
Sara joined Paws & Pals in May 2015 as a Pet Care Specialist and is now Assistant Manager. She also leads our Preparing Your Puppy for Life socialization program. Prior to Paws & Pals, Sara worked for six years at a similar doggie daycare and resort in California.
Overall, Sara has 17 years of experience in the Animal Care industry including Veterinary care and working at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Sara is a Red Cross certified instructor for Pet First Aid and CPR.
She has completed extensive training for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and managing Group Play (Knowing Dogs) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. Sara has also received training for Reiki healing and Tellington TTouch®. The bottom line is Sara loves taking care of dogs and knows her stuff! She says “I like working at Paws & Pals because I love watching the dogs in group play run and wrestle. Dogs bring a smile to my face every day even after all these years in the industry.” Sara lives in Burnsville along her rescue dog Ripley (Husky mix) and cats Rascal and Gubble Gun. Sara has the distinction of being the second person in Minnesota to achieve certification from the Professional Animal Certification Council (PACCC)!
PCS Supervisor/Smart Play
Krista joined Paws & Pals in December 2018 as a Pet Care Specialist and is now PCS Supervisor/Smart Play. She has completed the IBPSA basic and advanced Canine certifications. She has also achieved her certifications for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and managing Group Play (Knowing Dogs 101 & 102) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. Krista recently graduated from St. Catherine University with a degree in Biology. She says, “My favorite things about working at Paws & Pals are getting to know the different personalities of all the dogs, continuously learning more about dogs, and working with great people every day.”
Front Desk Receptionist
Meet Sam! Sam joined Paws & Pals in December 2019 as a front desk receptionist. She has many years of customer service experience and was an early preschool teacher for 6.5 years. She has completed training on understanding canine body language and is currently working on obtaining her certification for understanding pack behavior & group play (Knowing Dogs 101) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. Sam has lived in Prior Lake her whole life and recently bought a house with her boyfriend, Tyler. Sam has her own fur baby as well, a Golden Retriever named Belle. Sam says, “I love creating bonds with dogs every day. The best feeling is a pup running up to you and being so excited to see you when they come into Paws & Pals. We are a family, paws & pals alike.”
Front Desk Receptionist
Sam joined Paws & Pals in May 2018 after her freshman year at the University of Minnesota where she is majoring in animal science with a pre-veterinary emphasis. She started working as a Pet Care Specialist before transitioning to a Front Desk Receptionist. She has achieved her Pet First Aid certificate and training in canine body language. Now, she is working on her certifications for Knowing Dogs 101 and 201 through the Dog Gurus. She grew up with three dogs at home, but most recently calls a Sphynx cat named Ivy her fur(less) baby. Her favorite thing about Paws & Pals are the numerous bonds she has created with her coworkers, adorable pups, and the wonderful pet parents that are there!
Pet Care Team Leader
Krista has worked at Paws & Pals since August 2008. She currently holds the position of Pet Care Team Leader. Krista has achieved her certifications for understanding canine body language, pack behavior, and group play (Knowing Dogs 101 & 102) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She also is IBPSA certified for Basic and Advanced Canine Care. She is Red Cross certified for Pet First Aid & CPR. Krista loves getting to know all the dogs and their different personalities. Krista says, “I love making owners feel their dog is in good hands and will be in the best care while staying with us.” Krista has a black Lab named Shelby and a 13-year-old Pug mix named Mugsy.
Pet Care Team Leader
Maddy joined Paws & Pals as a part-time Pet Care Specialist in September 2017 and has advanced to Pet Care Team Leader. She has completed extensive training for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and group play (Knowing Dogs 101 & 201) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She now works full-time and has advanced to being Pet Care Team Leader. Maddy says, “My favorite things about working at Paws & Pals are that I get to experience something new every day, caring for all different types of dogs, and learning their personalities.” Maddy and her family have many animals on their hobby farm. She has three dogs, Zoey, Zip and Marley. They also have two pigs, a bunch of chickens, some ducks and three cats.
Pet Care Team Leader
Sydney joined Paws & Pals in February 2019 as a Pet Care Specialist and has made her way to a PCS Lead. She has obtained her certification in Knowing Dogs 101, and is working to complete 201, as well as her IBPSA canine certification. Sydney is currently a full-time student and working towards a degree in radiology. Her passion for dogs extends outside the doors of Paws & Pals. She has been a dog sitter and dog walker since the age of thirteen and has no plans of stopping! Sydney says, “Working at Paws & Pals has brought me so much joy. Each and every dog holds a special place in my heart. Every day I am reminded why I love dogs so much.” Sydney and her family are kept busy with their three dogs Vizslas Maverick, Ruby, and Legacy the German Shepherd.
Pet Care Specialist
Mariyah joined Paws & Pals in August 2017. She started as a front desk assistant and is now a Pet Care Specialist. She has completed training for understanding the Language of Dogs and is in the process of obtaining her certifications for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and group play (Knowing Dogs 101 & 102) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She won a Gold medal for her dog handling skills in the 2018 Daycare Games (a national competition)! She says, “My favorite thing about working at Paws & Pals is the dogs and just being able to spend time with them.” Mariyah’s family dog is Gunnar, a 10-year-old yellow Lab. She helped foster Reeses (Husky) at her home, during his extended stay at Paws & Pals, before he was adopted.
SmartPlay/Pet Care Specialist
Stephanie joined Paws & Pals in March 2015 as a Pet Care Specialist. She has obtained her Knowing Dogs 101 certification for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and group play from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She is also Red Cross certified for Pet First Aid and CPR and has achieved her IBPSA Canine certification. Stephanie just graduated from St. Cloud State University with a biomedical science degree in hopes of becoming a veterinarian in the near future. During her days off from work she interns at a Veterinarian clinic in Bloomington. In her spare time Stephanie volunteers at both the Animal Humane Society in the surgical department and also with the MCRS socializing the rabbits in need of a home. Her favorite thing about working at Paws & Pals is “Getting to know the dogs and having them brighten up my day.” Stephanie has a cat named Buddy, and a family dog named Brooklynn (miniature pincher/rat terrier mix). She also has two rabbits, a female named Oreo and a male named Apollo.
SmartPlay/Lead Puppy Trainer
Jen joined Paws & Pals in June 2019 after graduating from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She majored in Animal Science with an emphasis in companion animals. She has achieved her certification in Pet First Aid and Knowing Dogs 101 (Dog Gurus) and is working towards completing 201. She has one fur baby at home, a cat named Mika. She enjoys working at Paws & Pals because she gets to develop relationships with each dog and see them enjoy their time there.
Pet Care Team Leader
Kasey started at Paws & Pals in the fall of 2019. Kasey was born and raised just up the street in Burnsville. She spent a few years playing college hockey at St. Catherine University. She loves spending time outdoors around nature and wildlife. She is in her happy place when she does anything with animals! She has worked in a dog boarding facility setting for totaling over 6 years now and counting. At the end of the day Kasey comes home to her own little fur child, a 6 year old Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog mix named Bella! Kasey has learned countless things while being at Paws & Pals. She says, “The knowledge from all my coworkers is endless and I continue to learn something new everyday. The pleasure of knowing people trust me with their animals is an amazing feeling. I do my best to bond with each dog that comes through the door and the feeling when they come running up to you when they arrive is the best feeling I could have.
Pet Care Team Leader
Amy has worked at Paws and Pals since February 2020. She currently holds the position of Pet Care Team Leader. Prior to Paws and Pals, Amy worked at a similar doggie daycare and boarding facility in Burnsville for 4 years. Amy graduated from Argosy University with a Veterinary Technician degree. She has obtained her certification in Knowing Dogs 101 and 201 from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She is also Red Cross certified for Pet First Aid and CPR. Amy’s favorite part of working at Paws and Pals is meeting new dogs and watching them open up, start to play, and make friends. Amy was born and raised in Lakeville; got married to her lovely husband Gerrit, and currently lives in Farmington. At home, Amy has a red Siberian husky named Master Chief and 2 cats, Jinx and Casper.
Sophie joined Paws & Pals in July 2018 as a Pet Care Specialist and now trains dogs as a Smart Play Coach. She has completed her training in Pet First Aid and is currently completing her certification for Knowing Dogs 101 and 201 (Dog Gurus). She has recently graduated from high school and is taking a break for the foreseen future. Sophie’s favorite things about working at Paws & Pals is seeing all the wonderful pups each day and being apart of a great, hardworking team! Outside of work, Sophie has two dogs named Asia and Charlie. Asia is an eleven year old German Shepherd mix and Charlie is an eight year old Golden Retriever.
Jennifer is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and an Animal Behavior Certified Dog Trainer. Paws & Pals has partnered with her for the last five years to provide Puppy and Obedience classes as well as more specialized one-on-one training. As the owner of Unleashed Behavior and Training Services, she is dedicated to people and families building a fun and trusting relationship with their dogs. Her background includes a B.S. in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and she is always continuing her education in Behavior Modification through classes and seminars. Jennifer is an approved evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Title, a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and a Supporting Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Her specialties include aggression, anxiety and reactivity in canines.
Prior to becoming a full-time dog trainer, Jennifer worked 10 years for the Department of Corrections (DOC) in various positions and at different correctional facilities. She says, “I’ve always been interested in behavior so I decided to resign from the DOC and switch species. Canines are my passion. What I love most about my job is making adjustments that work for each handler and dog team. When I see someone proud of what his or her dog has accomplished, I’m a happy trainer.”