We only use scientifically proven, reward based, force free methods when walking or caring for your pet. That basically means your pet will get rewarded for everything he or she does correctly when they are in our care. We do not ever punish bad behavior, but will do our best to positively show your pet a better way to do things. For example, a dog who is still learning to potty outside will get tons of treats and praise for doing its business outside, but will never be scolded by us if we have to clean an accident inside. Scolding a dog for accidents will teach the dog that it is bad to potty anywhere, which will sometimes cause them to hide to go potty. On the flip side, getting treats and praise for doing #1 and #2 outside makes it fun and lets the pup know exactly where you want "the job" to be done.
We offer "after hours" dog walking and pet sitting by trained people who will love your pet as much as you do. We give dog owners, who work nights, holidays, and/or abnormal schedules, the opportunity to have their pets cared for in the comfort of their own home and taken for fun, play-filled walks at times when pet care is normally unavailable.
My name is Doug Kelley and I am the new and very proud owner of Happy Hound Playground. I very recently took early retirement from the City and County of Denver after 20 years including 12 years as the Director of Denver Animal Protection and the Denver Animal Shelter. I honestly planned to take some time before I decided what was next for me, but on Day 1 of retirement, I saw the ad for Happy Hound Playground. As soon as I read the website and learned the business model, I was hooked and knew I had to find out more. I have spent much of my professional life educating people about Reactive dogs and advocating for positive reinforcement training techniques. Add to the mix that the Happy Hound Playground caretakers are so well trained, and that expanded hours are available for those working nights, and it truly matched my passions and experience, and seemed ‘meant to be’. On Day 9 of retirement, I had the pleasure of meeting with Andi and Sydney. After about 5 minutes of talking to them, I was totally captivated and humbled with their level of commitment, passion, and expertise. They both care so deeply about the dogs, the cats, the customers, and the caretakers. I later told Andi that it was immensely apparent that the business model of what they built and how they approach it needs to be maintained and not compromised. On Day 11 of retirement, I “un-retired” – and I’ve never been happier or more excited than I am knowing that I’ll be working to serve you and your pets, and to continue to provide the level of service and commitment that Andi and Sydney, and everyone else at Happy Hound Playground has done so well for so long.
A little about me – before Denver, I worked for the cities of Westminster and Lakewood - first as an animal control officer, then as a police officer, then as an animal control supervisor. At Denver, I worked with Reactive dogs on a daily basis, and developed the first behavior assessment, training, and treatment program for dogs in a Colorado public-sector animal shelter. I worked closely with rescue organizations and limited-admission animal shelters to provide a resource for those dogs needing longer-term training and care. I was a two-time president of Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies, and a charter member of the Metro-Denver Shelter Alliance and Shelter Director Alliance. I have presented to state, national, and international animal welfare audiences about forming effective strategic alliances, animal abuse, and emergency preparedness. I was the first public-sector employee in Colorado to become a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator.
I live in Lakewood with my furry family members. I have a bachelor’s degree in organizational management and a master’s degree in public administration. In addition to my animal activities, I work with youth programs in music, hospitals, and entertainment. I grew up on a farm near Broomfield, and I have a lifetime of personal and professional commitment for assuring the humane treatment of animals.
I am sincerely looking forward to meeting you and your awesome pets, listening, and learning.
Creator and Former Owner
Andi is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter through Pet Sitters International. After working nights for several years as a First Responder and parenting a dog who was super irritated with her schedule, Andi realized a need for dog care for people who work hours beyond the normal 9-5.
Before creating Happy Hound Playground, Andi trained as a Dog Training and Behavior Specialist Apprentice. Her dog, Gonzo, picked her to be his mom when his foster mom brought him to one of the classes Andi was helping with as an apprentice. Andi has done extensive work and training with Gonzo and his dog reactivity issues and has watched him go from extreme dog aggresssion, to actually being able to happily play with other dogs.
Andi also worked as a Certified Pet Care Technician at PetsHotel and volunteers with Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies in order to learn as much as possible about dog behavior, dog training, Pet First Aid and CPR, and pet care in general. She has some training in TTouch and has studied the works of Dr. Sophia Yin, Victoria Stillwell, Dr. Patricia McConnell, Turid Rugaas, and Grisha Stewart, to name a few.
Sydney F -
My name is Sydney, the General Manager of Happy Hound Playground! I have been with Happy Hound for 6 amazing years! Time flies when you do what you love and are a part of such an amazing business. I have built so many incredible relationships with our sitters, clients and so many adorable fur babies. I am Certified in Pet CPR/First Aid and a Certified Professional Pet Sitter through Pet Sitters International.
I have always had a passion for animals, especially dogs. I currently own four Shar Peis that are all spoiled rotten. Yes I know wrinkles and puddles of water everywhere! Koda and Harley are both my reactive babies, one is dog reactive and the other is people reactive. With tons of positive reinforcement and patience, Harley and Koda have come to learn not all dogs and people are bad. Zoey is a total sweetheart and shows her siblings how to be affectionate and the art of taking multiple naps throughout the day. She LOVES her naps! Zoey is deaf and partially blind, but that doesn't stop her from being the sweetest Shar pei I know. My newest addition Kenai, is a bundle of wrinkles that just loves to be the center of attention. Of course he loves to play with his siblings and they love him so much, just not at 2am when he wants to wrestle. That makes two nine year olds, a five year old and a 7 month old... crazy I know!
As a pet owner, it feels amazing to build a connection with "reactive" dogs. Not only does your companion have so much trust in you but it also gives the feeling of satisfaction that you rescued an animal they said wouldn't be a good addition to your family. To those who do have reactive dogs, it's not easy but with time, love and patience they will be forever grateful for their new homes. If you have any questions about tricks to help with your reactive babies, please let me know.
Hello! My name is Rebekah and I’ve grown up with all different kinds of animals my whole life. I am originally from Maryland where I grew up with a black lab (Calvin), a lizard gecko (Flashy), a guinea pig (Lenny) and spent a few weekends out of the year at my uncle’s farm taking care of his horses.
I am trained in Positive Reinforcement, Pet CPR and First Aid, and have experienced years of puppy raising to older dog care. I have been there for the teething, the puppy training classes, the cuddles, the accidents in the house, the thousands of tennis balls thrown, all the chew toys, the dog beaches, the face-lickings, a couple torn dog ACLs, the vet visits, wrapping meds in cheese, getting sprayed by the post bath shake, and more.
I volunteered for Last Chance Animal Rescue for a couple years at their adoption events helping rescued dogs from high-kill animal shelters find a loving home. My family ended up adopting one of the rottweiler pups and named him Mason. It took our 9- year-old yellow lab (Riley) at the time a little while to figure out Mason was home for good, but they are the best of friends now.
Since moving to Colorado, I have fallen in love with running and hiking in the mountains. But I definitely miss my dogs who stayed back in Maryland! I currently live with a cuddly cat (Symba) and hope to get a dog of my own soon. I am very excited to be working for Happy Hound Playground and helping you take care of your furry family!
Hello, I'm Sabrina. Born and raised in Colorado. I have traveled and helped family in Florida take care of horses as well as many other animals. I have owed and loved many animals growing up. At one point we had 25 animals in the household, they were all treated as family.
I currently own a one year old pup named Sky, she's my world.
I worked at Camp Bow Wow in the past and have learned a lot about bathing, CPR, as well as dog behavior. I am very excited to be able to help take care of all of your fur babies.
I hope they love me as much as I will love and care for them!
Hi!! I’m Michelle and I live in the Lakewood area. I’ve always had a deep love for animals ever since I was little. I grew up with a Labrador Retriever but currently have a Greyhound mix and a Charteux kitty. When I lived in Chicago, I volunteered with Animal Care League and got received plenty of experience walking all types of breeds with different needs. I strive to provide a safe, comfortable and fun environment for all animals in my care. I can wait to love, exercise and cuddle your furry companions! I’d love to help you with all your pet care needs and will provide the best possible service!
Hi pet parents!
My name is Lizzy! I’m a dog & cat mom and have owned multiple different breeds throughout my life and different species as well! I have worked at a doggie daycares in the past and have cared for both reactive and non-reactive dogs. I know how hard it is to leave your babies behind but I will treat every animal as if they are my own and would love to bring that comfort to fellow pet parents. I can't wait to start working with all of you and your furry babies! I am so excited to be able to build my own special bond with each and every one of them.
Hi everyone! I’m Sofia and I live in the Englewood area. I currently have one cat, but recently moved from my family home in Nebraska where I had two dogs and two other cats, one of the dogs being reactive. I have experience sitting for family and friends over the years, as well as 3 years of volunteering at the zoo in my hometown. There I mainly working with bunnies, other small rodents, and reptiles. I have always loved animals and seen them as an equal part of the family. I know how hard it can be to leave them behind, even for a day, and I promise to give your fur babies the best care possible. I’m excited to take care of your pets and get to know each of them!
Hello fellow pet parents!
I'm Motif, I am born and raised in Colorado. I grew up on a small farm outside of Erie and have always had a mix of amazing animals around me. I currently have 3 senior dogs and 1 senior kitty. All require medication and have all their own special needs. I understand how scary it can be to leave your babies in the care of "just anyone". I will love, protect and care for your fur babies as if they are my own. I look forward to spending time with all of them.
Hi, my name is Adam and I'm a Colorado native. I am Pet CPR certified and will be your animal's best friend. I have always had a passion for animals and love working with them. I've owned dogs and cats growing up and have always treated them like family members. My sister and I have worked with human aggressive dogs growing up and have been working with them daily to overcome their challenges. Being able to give them a loving home is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy helping stray animals find their way home.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with such amazing animals. I have learned so much being a part of the team. Not only have I learned techniques of positive reinforcement to help with training at home but I have learned how to care for many other animals in the process. Thank you for trusting me to take care of your furry animals.
Hey everyone, my name is Alexandra, I go by Alex as well. I am originally from New Orleans, Louisiana but moved with my family to Denver when I was 11 years old. Ever since I was little, we always had pets in our home. At one point we had a dog, 2 cats and 5 guinea pigs! My very first pet was a hamster, then a guinea pig and then I had an opportunity to have my first puppy. Her and I have been together for 9 years now! It has definitely been a rollercoaster due to her health at times but it is so worth it. Now I have three doggies that span from ages 2-14.
I became a Vet Intern at Denver Animal Shelter in my senior year of high school. In the Internship I would help feed and walk dogs, as well as clean their kennels. I would help transfer dogs of all sizes and cats from the clinic to the rest of the shelter. I've also worked with reactive dogs inside and outside of the shelter. I assisted with animal medications and would help the vet bandage any injuries. I was in the internship for a year but halfway through it I fell in love with a cute little dog who was sadly hit by a car and still has an injury to this day. The day we met it was an instant click and now she has been with me for a year!
I am extremely excited to be a part of this community and get to know all of your little fur babies.
My name is Abi, I am a Colorado native that grew up in Grand County and made my way to the city in 2007. I have had pets my entire life and also helped on several ranches. I have 13 years professional experience from operating a dog daycare to the veterinary world assisting in surgeries. I’ve been with 250 dogs and with 1 dog and enjoy it all the same. I am pet first aid and CPR certified and take the care of any pet like they are my own. I have 4 dogs and 5 cats. Wow, I know. I love it! I have experience with dog aggression and reactive pets and love making that special bond with that special personality. I can’t wait to meet your fur babies!
Hello everyone, my name is Adrianna! A little about me, I am a Phoenix, Arizona native and recently transplanted to the Aurora/Denver area in January of 2023. I moved here with my fiance, our two rabbits, and two reptiles. One of the things that motivated us to move to Colorado was its progressive pet community and networking opportunities. In 2019, I made a major career change and decided to pursue my passion for working with animals full time. Once I was established, there was no going back to a 9:00 to 5:00 desk life for me. Providing exceptional pet care to my community is not only a great job but a passion true to my heart. I love the peace of mind families feel when they know their pet(s) are in good hands and getting the experienced attention they so deserve. I take the time to get to know each client, their routine, and any goals they have for their pets. Using that information to form an enrichment plan that is most beneficial to those needs. It is my goal to be certified in both behavioral training and grooming by the end of 2024. In the meantime, I am so pleased to have found Happy Hound Playground to start this next chapter with. I look forward to meeting you and your pets soon!
Hello! My name is Emma. I was born and raised in Colorado! One of my favorite hobbies is to travel to see different pets and take care of them! I have experience with dogs, horses, and cats. I absolutely loved each and every one of them! I once had a job where I took care of 20 animals in a single day, but I loved it!
Currently, I have one dog, three cats, and a lizard. But I’m hoping to get more.
I am so excited to meet you and your pets. I can't wait to take care of them just as you would! I can’t wait to love on them and give them the best care possible!
Hello! My name is Shona! I’m located in Denver but am originally from Texas. I’m currently a cat mom to a feisty calico named Stella. I’ve had the honor of being a pet parent to a Bengal cat, Jack Russell/Westie mix and bunnies! I have previous experience doing client-based pet walking/sitting and have loved every minute of making new furry friends. The best part of being a pet sitter is getting to form a bond with your dog or cat and seeing their personality shine! I aim to make your life easier by providing a loving and compassionate experience, as if your pet were my own - I can’t wait to meet you and your furry family members!
Hi everyone, my name is Leah!
I have spent most of my life living in New England, but made the move out to Colorado in June 2023. I grew up constantly seeking out animals and often preferred their company to my classmates; This love allowed experiences with larger animals like horses to smaller friends like hamsters & reptiles! I have a Russian tortoise and a 13-year-old corn snake here in Colorado and two crazy rescues back East that I miss dearly!
I am so honored to be a part of this team of wonderful caretakers, and can’t wait to get to know your pets -- furry, scaly, or otherwise!