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 three Shar Peis, and they all have come a long way with one on one training. All were abused rescues with different cases. My male was aggressive towards all men, he would growl and lunge at any man who walked in the door. One of my females was aggressive towards any new company coming into the house. Neither one of them bit anyone but would show teeth, growl, and stomp their feet. My other female is a total sweetheart but is very shy with new people.
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 "aggressive" 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 aggressive dogs, it's not easy but with time, love and patience they will be forever grateful for their new homes.
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! I’m Noah, a native New Yorker. Growing up, I’ve had animals such as a hedgehog, rats, a mouse, and a bearded dragon!
I currently have 2 cats, Hope and Jackson. Hope was a foster failure who was born with three legs and Jackson loves to go on walks outside. I enjoy playing baseball, I’m an avid hiker, fisherman, and love the outdoors. I’m very excited to help care for your fur babies and will treat them like I treat mine.
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 my name is Hannah. Born and raised in Colorado. I am pet CPR certified. I have grown up with animals all my life from cats and dogs to bearded dragons. I currently parent two cats and a dog, a big, red lab named Bart. My cats are Winnie and Miss Kitty. I love all kinds of animals and I will treat your pets like family.
My name is Rachel and I have lived in Colorado all my life. After spending 13 years as a massage therapist, I turned my attention from caring for people to caring for critters.
I love animals of all types and breeds! I was raised on a ranch with lots of horses, pigs, cows, and cattle dogs and know how important pets are to a family.
I have two dogs, Okie, who is a 1 year old rescue doggie and Angel, who is 10 years old. I also love and care for two lovely fish.
I am pet CPR trained and am training to become a dog trainer/dog behaviorist. I value learning everything I can, to give the best care for your furry family member.
Your fur baby will be in good hands with me!
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!
Hello! My name is Alexis, but I go by Lexi. I am a Colorado native. I have stayed in the Aurora area pretty much my whole life! I have a huge passion for animals, dogs especially. Growing up we always had dogs in the house. Both big and small. I currently have 2 mini dachshunds, Onyxx and Oden. I spend most of my free time working on my other passion photography! I am super excited to be apart of Happy Hound and get to know all of your furry friends!
Hi everyone my name is Jonathan and I can't wait to start working with you all! I started dog walking and pet sitting in 2010 and it became something that felt so natural to me. I truly have a passion for animals! As time went on I decided to become a dog trainer. As I was figuring out how to navigate New York Cities' dog trainer market, the lockdown hit. I then decided to bring my talent and passion to Colorado! I was familiar with Aurora and Denver from my high school years and always loved being here. Now that I'm here I plan on mastering my training craft, while being able to provide my Colorado clients with the same care I gave to my beloved clients for over a decade. I am thrilled to be working with Happy Hound and be able to shower your fur babies with all the praise and positive reinforcement training, I have learned over the years. I look forward to building a relationship with you and your critters.