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, born and raised in Colorado. I have always had a passion for animals, especially dogs. I currently own four Shar Peis, and they all have come a long way with one on one training. All were abused rescues with different cases. Koda was aggressive towards men and is also dog reactive. One of my females, Harley was aggressive towards any new company coming into the house as well. Neither one of them have bit anyone but they both would show teeth, growl, and lunge. My other female, Zoey is a total sweetheart and shows her siblings how to be affectionate. Zoey is partially def and blind so her obstacles are different than the other two.
With the help of tons of love, affection and reassurance that no one was going to hurt them anymore, they all became trusting towards people. They needed slow interaction with people at first, having people either sit down before they were introduced or come in with treats helped them see that people who were invited in, were not a threat. They all have so much love to offer but were not given the chance.
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.
Hi there! My name is Jessica. I go by Jess, but whatever is clever! Born and raised in Aurora, Colorado. Growing up I had all big dogs 1 cat and I then grew to have a huge passion for dogs and, of course, ALL animals. After graduating high school 6 months early in 2016, my first steady job was at a doggy daycare for 3 years. I explored options and became a dog walker/pet sitter once I found Happy Hound Playground and am working to become a trainer!
At Happy Hound, I have met the best clients and best cutest furry friends of all the lands!! I couldn’t ask for better clients and critters.
I parent one dog named “Graffiti,” an Australian Cattle Beagle mix. I adopted him in 2018 and he is my absolute best friend in the entire world. I also have Toby, my moms black cat. They play and chase each other around daily. Toby gets away once in awhile when my mom lets him out the house. And he’s free!
Graffiti was a bit reactive and we have worked everyday on that. I couldn’t be more proud of him of how his progress has been going. He’s no longer leash reactive and he loves everyone! People look at me crazy when they hear his name but I love art and when you look at Graffiti, it’s the perfect name for him. He is my world.
I’m CPR certified and will love and take care of your pets like they’re my own! I can’t wait to meet more furry friends around town and build a relationship with each and every one of them and their parents. ️
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! My name is Malory and I recently moved to the Denver area, with my one-eyed cat Phoebe. I come from a big family of animal lovers and I have never gone a day without having a variety of pets in my home. During my youth, I was a member of a dog obedience and agility training club, with my family's 3 Toy Manchester Terriers, Jack, Bri and Doogle. I was also a long time volunteer at my home town's Animal Shelter and provided a loving temporary foster home to dozens of orphaned fur babies that required around the clock care. I have always believed that pets are important and equal members of the family and deserve as much love and patience as we can possibly give! I am very excited to be a member of the Happy Hound Playground Team and you can count on me to provide your 4-legged friends with the best care possible!
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.
My name is Amelia but I go by Millie. I believe that my life passion is caring for animals, especially dogs. Dogs have helped me through so much in my life and I can’t imagine living without them! I am born and raised in Colorado and now live in the Lakewood area. Growing up I have had various pets: dogs, fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc. Currently I have a Shar Pei/Lab mix named Rosie and a Beagle/Terrier mix named Reece. Rosie is dog reactive, we got her from a shelter and think there was abuse involved. Reece was a foster dog we adopted that was found in a field all alone. She is a scavenger and enjoys anything she can find to eat. They are both loving, kind, animals just like all of your pets!
I worked at a dog daycare called Hob Nob which taught me lots about dog first aid, dog care, bathing, feeding, types of behaviors, dog fights, and more. I loved every single dog I got the privilege of taking care of. I made many sweet dog companions and grew very connected to all of them. I would love to have that same opportunity to take care of your babies! I am so excited to meet all of the critters and their families! I would love to help in every way possible and I look forward to building long lasting bonds with your fur babies!
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.
I’m Madeleine and a future student at Bel-Rea: Institute of Animal Technology, studying to complete certification in veterinary medicine. My main job environment will be in clinics and further my knowledge on animal behavior!!
During high school I was apart of FFA and took courses in:
This gave me the ability to start and lead “Spa Away from Home”, a daycare pet service that also provided the “full grooming experience” catering to the dog’s physical comfort. One of the daily responsibilities for these classes included caring for our class pets:
-red eared sliders
There was even a period of time where my class had the opportunity to rehabilitate and care for a premature calf who we lovingly named Moose :)
My family is full of animal lovers and we have no shortage of furry friends to dote on. Candy(12) our malteseis, a princess of the highest caliber, Bella(4) a golden retriever, I have Blue(6) who is your typical basenji and cat-like in every way!! He is a reactive dog (to everything/one). Blue has his chosen few that he tolerates, but seemingly no one else.
As his “Special Person” it is my responsibility to ensure his and everyone else’s safety and mental wellbeing, while finding a way to prioritize everyone. Blue and I have been on an epic journey together, many times there has been a 3rd in our company in the form of a dog trainer, and we read anything and everything I can get my hands on regarding aggressive/anxious dogs. I continue to learn so much through him, Blue is truly the light of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing!! :)
Animals are a passion of mine, I truly enjoy being in their presence and caring for them. The continuation of the love and care that’s already given to these babies is my highest priority!!
Hello! My name is Sydney Pearson and animals have always been my life. Ever since I can remember I have been around animals and working with them has been a life-long ambition. My grandmother was incredibly influential in teaching me to not only love and care for animals, but also how to read their body language.
I started out volunteering with the Colorado Puppy Rescue full-time when I was 10 years old with my grandma. After high school, I worked at a doggie daycare/ dog boarding facility full-time working with cats and dogs. So I am confident in working with multiple dogs at once, high energy dogs, seniors, puppies, dogs of any size, dogs of any temperament. Also, cats of any age, multiple cats at once and cats of any temperament.
As for me, I am a proud Colorado Native who enjoys true crime shows and writing in my free-time. I also love to bake for fun and professionally any chance I get! I have a beautiful 6 year old Whippet mix named, Eliza and the sweetest 4 year old Maine coon kitty named, Burr with my fiancée, Lindsey whom I love very much.
Thank you for trusting me with your furry kids while you are away!
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!