Meet Our Staff
General Manager, Owner
Konrad started the planning process for the creation of Paws & Pals in 2003 and has been its General Manager since it’s opening in June 2005. He also likes the title of Head Poop Scooper. “I’ve always loved dogs and know that they are important members of people’s families. I wanted to build a business that had a special purpose—to be a trusted place for owners to bring their pets to stay or play—a place where dogs would receive the best possible care while having a great time!” Konrad is Red Cross certified in Pet CPR and First Aid and has completed extensive training for understanding canine body language and pack behavior. He has also achieved advanced certifications from the Pet Care Services Association; and most recently gained certification for the advanced education of Pet Care professionals at the 2012 Boarding & Daycare conference.
Konrad and his family have two dogs, Daisy a long-haired Dachshund and Mille a Mountain Cur mix. Daisy was the inspiration for starting Paws & Pals. Millie was recently adopted from the Golden Valley Humane Society. They also have a brown tabby cat named Tinker. She refused to have her picture taken with two dogs!
Pet Care Manager
Jenna joined Paws & Pals as a Pet Care Specialist in March of 2015. She was recently promoted to Pet Care Supervisor. Jenna previously worked as a Vet Tech with a mobile spay/neuter company, at the Humane Society and with a company that trains service dogs. Jenna is certified in Pet First Aid and CPR and is close to becoming a Red Cross instructor. She 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. Jenna says her favorite thing about working at Paws & Pals is “Getting to know the clients and their pets. It’s a joy to see how much people love and spoil their dogs, and I enjoy giving them that same love and attention while they stay with us.”
Jenna lives in Lakeville with her beloved pack of dogs: Yukon Cornelius (Lab mix), Dolly Parton (Golden Retriever), Rue McClanahan (Black mouth Cur mix) and Summit a Greyhound. In her spare time, Jenna enjoys volunteering with several local animal rescue groups as well as international groups. She has traveled to Canada to volunteer with Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force, and worked with the TCSPCA in Turks and Caicos. Jenna also has the distinction of being the first person in Minnesota to achieve certification from the Professional Animal Certification Council (PACCC)!
Pet Care Supervisor/Head Puppy Trainer
Sara joined Paws & Pals in May 2015 as a Pet Care Specialist and is now a Pet Care Supervisor. 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.
Pet Care Supervisor
Amelia joined Paws & Pals in August 2015 as a Pet Care Specialist (PCS) and is now a Supervisor. She has achieved certification for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and group play (Knowing Dogs 101) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She will soon have her Knowing Dogs 201 certification completed. She is also recently certified for Pet First Aid and CPR and has achieved her IBPSA Canine certification. Amelia attended the May 2016 Pet Care and Boarding Educational conference (PB & D) in California. (The classes she attended included How Dogs Learn, Assessing Sociability in Dogs, Alternatives to Standard Daycare and Playgroup Success). She also got to meet the Dog Gurus (Susan Briggs and Robin Bennett) while attending their seminars.
Amelia says, “I love Paws & Pals for these reasons. Our playgroups provide the needed outlet for safe physical activity but to be well rounded all dogs also need emotional connections and mental stimulation. I love that our one-on-one cuddle sessions give us the opportunity to really bond with our clients’ dogs personally and give them the love and extra attention they deserve. This helps make their stay much more enjoyable by reducing separation anxiety when their parents are away on vacation and I get to learn more about your pup’s personality and what kind of attention each dog craves. I also love that Paws & Pals firmly believes in staying up to date on the latest information in the industry and are always providing staff with opportunities to gain more knowledge through experiences like the PB & D conference. These are great chances to meet up with other professionals who also are striving to provide the best care possible.”
Amelia and her husband have three dogs, Whisky a 7 year-old Morkie, Jango Fett a 7-year-old Shepherd mix adoptee from the Nashville Humane Shelter, and Obi Wan Kenobi a 2-year-old Norwegian Elkhound that was a rescue from a puppy mill through Underdog Rescue MN.
Krista joined Paws & Pals as a Pet Care Specialist in August of 2008. She is now a Team Leader of our pet care staff and is certified in Pet CPR and First Aid. Krista has extensive knowledge of dog behavior and has many hours of experience safely managing dog play groups. The care of animals has been a lifelong passion of Krista’s, so it was only natural for her to find a career in the pet services industry. She likes to participate in animal related fundraisers such as the Humane Society’s Walk for Animals. Krista has a black Lab named Shelby.
Team Leader/Puppy Coach
Grace joined Paws & Pals in August 2015 as a Pet Care Specialist (PCS). She has achieved certification for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and group play (Knowing Dogs 101 & 201) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She is also recently certified for Pet First Aid and CPR and has achieved her IBPSA Canine certification. Grace has a college degree in Biology and her career goals are to someday be a veterinarian and a dog trainer. Grace says, “My favorite thing about working at Paws & Pals is seeing all the different dog personalities and having the ability to learn more about dogs every day.” Grace has three dogs, Goose a 2-year-old yellow Lab, Gauge a 1.5-year old Pudelpointer and Breezer an 11-year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
Customer Service/Pet Care Specialist
Bridget joined Paws & Pals in December 2015 and previously worked at two other facilities. In total, she has worked in the dog care industry for over 3 years. She has achieved certification for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and group play (Knowing Dogs 101) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus and is working towards her 201 accreditation. She is certified for Pet First Aid and CPR and has achieved her IBPSA Canine and Advanced Canine certifications. Bridget says, “My favorite thing about Paws & Pals is, of course, all of the perfect dogs! Each dog has their own special personality and I just love being surrounded by them each day. I also love being at the front desk and developing bonds with the owners!”
Bridget has 4 dogs at home, Stella (Toy Fox Terrier), Ted (Chihuahua/Jack Russell), Merlin (Australian Shepherd) and Tillie (cattle dog). They are all rescues. Needless to say, Bridget is super passionate about rescuing/adopting pets. She loves to exercise her dogs and to take them hiking at the north shore when time allows.
Customer Service/Pet Care Specialist
Holly joined Paws & Pals in July 2016. You can usually find her at the Front Desk assisting pup parents. She is also 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 was just recently certified in Pet CPR and First Aid. Most importantly, Holly has perfected the belly rub and the back scratch. Holly loves working at Paws and Pals because, in her words, “Well, isn’t it obvious. I enjoy our clients and all the amazing fur babies that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I love the cuddles, kisses, and hugs I gets on a daily basis…(from the dogs J). It is such a rewarding job and I also feel lucky to be part of such a great team. The Paws & Pals staff are truly amazing. Such a fun, caring, and knowledgeable group. I have learned so much from them, and I truly appreciate each one.”
In her spare time, Holly enjoys participating in animal related activities/fundraisers like The Humane Society’s Walk for Animals and volunteering to lay trails for the canine Northstar Search and Rescue team. Holly has 3 dogs (Weimaraners) of her own. “Akasha, Keeper, and Izabel make me feel blessed every day. I love waking up to their sweet faces.”
Customer Service/Pet Care Specialist
Taylor joined Paws & Pals in March 2017. Prior to Paws & Pals, she worked for about 5 years at a doggie daycare facility in the metro area and also had her own in-home pet sitting business. She has a Veterinary Assisting certificate from Penn Foster. Taylor says, “I’m often referred to as “animal obsessed” and frankly, I am. I always knew I would end up in a profession that reflected my passion for pets. Growing up our house was always full of our multiple dogs, cats and foster pets. Many different breeds and sizes were adopted into our family. My favorite part about working at Paws & Pals is seeing all the familiar faces of the dogs and building a bond with them! I’m very excited to see where my future leads me and the friends I make along the way.” Taylor and her husband have two wonderful fur-babies of their own; Tessie, a 10-year-old Shorkie and Olive a 2-year-old Golden Retriever.
Advanced 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.
Advanced Pet Care Specialist/Puppy Coach
Jake joined Paws & Pals in March 2016 as a Pet Care Specialist. He had previously worked at a pet food store so he has a good knowledge of dogs’ dietary needs and nutrition. He has achieved certification for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and group play (Knowing Dogs 101) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus and is working towards his 201 accreditation. He is interested in getting more involved with our Training services and has been shadowing our professional trainer for several weeks while she conducts classes. He also recently began assisting in our new Puppy Socialization program. Jake says, “I absolutely love this job. Puppies are the best part of working here. No stress when there’s a puppy involved.” Jake has a 12-year-old English Lab named Melissa.
Pet Care Specialist
Jenna joined Paws and Pals in August of 2016 and is working as a Pet Care Specialist. She has completed basic training for understanding canine body language, dog care and handling, and pack behavior. She recently won a Silver medal in the Recall completion during the national 2017 Daycare Games. Jenna says, “My favorite thing about working at Paws and Pals is meeting and interacting with new dogs. I also love having the opportunity to learn more about dogs and general pet care through my job.” Before starting at Paws & Pals, Jenna trained dogs through a local 4-H program. During the first few years she trained her old dog, Whiskers. During her fourth year she trained a shepherd mix from the Carver-Scott Humane Society, who got adopted shortly thereafter. Currently, again through 4-H, she has been training her dog Revel who started at the Humane Society but became part of her family. In addition to Revel (black lab mix), her family has two cats, Butterscotch and Shadow. Not surprisingly, Jenna has always loved working with animals and hope to eventually become a veterinarian.
Advanced Pet Care Specialist/SmartPlay Coach
Callie joined Paws & Pals as a Pet Care Specialist in November 2015. 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 is currently a group coach for our SmartPlay daycare program. Callie says, “I really enjoy my job at Paws & Pals because I get to pamper all the pups that come stay with us and I get the opportunity to learn more about dog behaviors.” Callie’s own dog is a red heeler mix named Milo. Her mom adopted Abby (lab mix), who was a foster dog at Paws & Pals.”
Pet Care Specialist/SmartPlay Coach
Cat joined Paws & Pals as a Pet Care Specialist in January 2017. She has completed intensive training and achieved certification for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and group play (Knowing Dogs 101 & 201) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She has also achieved her IBPSA Canine and Advanced Canine certifications. She is currently a group coach for our SmartPlay program. Cat says, “Honestly my favorite thing about working for Paws & Pals is the freedom given to me to be able to explore new ideas and get creative with the dogs for our SmartPlay program. I also love seeing how much each staff member genuinely enjoys their jobs and loves each dog too. You can always hear employees talking to the dogs when they think nobody can hear them! I love the team so much and plan on sticking around!”
Cat currently has 15 dogs at home! Her two personal ones are a Doberman named Deacon and a Chihuahua mix named Rocco. The other 13 she’s fostering (Bette) and 12 of them are newborn puppies! Cat lives on a hobby farm and likes to train and ride horses.”
Advanced Pet Care Specialist
Amisa joined Paws & Pals in June 2015 as a Pet Care Specialist (PCS) and is now an Advanced PCS. She has recently obtained her certifications for understanding canine body language, pack behavior and group play (Knowing Dogs 101 & 102) from the nationally recognized Dog Gurus. She will soon be certified for Pet First Aid and CPR and has achieved her IBPSA Canine certification. Amisa won 3 gold medals in the 2016 national Doggie Daycare Games for demonstrating her excellent dog handling and pack management abilities. Amisa says, “My favorite thing about Paws & Pals is the amount of knowledge I’ve gained about individual dog behavior and pack dynamics. That and getting to know so many different kinds of dogs; the dogs are the ones who keep me excited about coming to work!”
Amisa has a 7-year-old male black lab mix named Uno. Her hobbies include anything that has to do with being outside: hiking, camping, canoeing, travel…activities like that. She also loves to read. A true animal lover at heart, Amisa also has another job at a horse barn which she loves because working with horses is her ultimate passion!
Pet Care Specialist
Shannon joined Paws & Pals as a Pet Care Specialist in November of 2015. She 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. Shannon’s mom is a vet so she always had a passion for animal care. She previously volunteered for two years at the Minnesota Zoo. Her favorite thing about working at Paws & Pals is “Working with the dogs of course! I really enjoy seeing regulars who are always so happy to see you. The most rewarding part for me is having a new or shy dog come in and working with them until, by the end of the day, they are playing with the group.”
Shannon and her family have numerous pets including Kodiak (Lab mix), Sydney (Schnauzer mix), Mina and Teddy (Chihuahua mixes), and Lucy a Chihuahua. Mina and Lucy were rescue dogs. They also have two cats, Mariah and Loki. Loki is an 8-month old kitten they adopted from a local rescue. Just to keep things interesting, they also have a 10-month-old White Capped Pionus (bird) named Nikita. In addition to working, Shannon is currently going to Normandale Community College to get her general classes finished. She enjoys reading and drawing in her leisure time.
Cherie has been grooming at Paws & Pals for three and a half years. Cherie graduated from cosmetology school in 1987 and was a stylist for many years. Her love for animals sent her in another direction, and that was learning how to groom. Cherie’s mom is a dog breeder so Cherie has cared for animals her entire life. She continues to develop her grooming skills and learn new techniques at industry leading educational seminars such as the Super Styling Session.
Cherie shares her home with her wonderful dogs Junebug (Lab mix), Lucy (Doberman mix) and Chica (Chihuahua) and Cherie’s horse Dixie. Junebug and Lucy were both rescue dogs that came from difficult situations and are now gentle and loving family members. In addition to dogs, Cherie also love horses and has ridden and trained for many years. Pictured with Lucy, Chica and Junebug.
Sue has been grooming at Paws & Pals since we first opened in 2005. She received her formal training and certification through the professional pet grooming course at Anoka Hennepin Technical College. Sue has continued to develop her skills and learn new techniques at industry leading educational seminars such as the Super Styling Session. Overall, Sue has been grooming for 13 years.
Sue has two standard poodles, Gracie and Libby, and a medium haired cat named Piper. Gracie has earned her Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International titles. Libby is undergoing training to also become a certified therapy dog. Sue truly enjoys having the opportunity to help animals in need and has fostered dogs for the Humane Society.
Cassandra (Cassie) joined Paws & Pals as a Groomer in July 2014. She also helps take care of our 4-legged guests as a Pet Care Specialist. She moved to the area from Massachusetts where she worked for over three years in a grooming salon. The past two years of which she apprenticed under a professional Groomer. She has mastered most small dog grooms and is continuing to broaden her breeds and skills. Her career goal is to continue her education at a certified Grooming School.
Cassie has also worked at a doggie daycare and as a Veterinary Assistant. She has completed training for understanding canine body language and pack behavior as well as previously completing small animal management courses for grooming, anatomy, nutrition and veterinary technician. Cassie says, “my favorite things about working at Paws & Pals are that you actually have time to get to know the dogs and that everyone works together as a team.”