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About us

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.

 

 

Doug K-
Owner

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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.

Andi -
Creator and Former Owner

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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 -
General Manager

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Hello everyone!
 
My name is Sydney, the General Manager of Happy Hound Playground! I have been with Happy Hound for 7 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 year 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 dog(s), it's not easy but with time, love and patience they will be forever grateful for their new home. If you have any questions about tricks to help with your reactive babies, please let me know. 

Rebekah M.

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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! 

Sabrina S.

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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!

Michelle N.

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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!

Sofia F. 

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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!

Motif S. 

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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.

Abi M. 

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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! 

Adrianna D. 

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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! 

Emma M.

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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! 

Zanubia S.

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Hi everyone! I am from Minnesota, I just moved out to Colorado and I love it already. I like black tea and books :). My family rescued the friendliest Siberian Husky when I was 4 and we named her Stormy (not a bad choice for a 4 year old), and we took over care of an anxious Pomeranian, Muffin, when our family nanny couldn't care for her anymore. I took in a cat right before the COVID lockdown. Her name is Wave and she is my whole life. She is very shy but quite chatty once comfortable. I have dog-sat, cat-sat, and even reptile-sat for friends, neighbors, and roommates throughout my life and always loved it. It's not easy to let someone else take care of your babies but I promise to care for them as if they were mine! 

Jazmine R. 

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Hello, my name is Jazz! I am a Colorado native and began professionally working with pets 10 years ago, driven by my love of fur babies big and small. I have 10 years experience as an in-home sitter, 3 years as a groomer, and 20+ years experience as a dog and cat mom. In 2023 I completed official certification in Canine/Feline CPR and First Aid. Volunteering at the Foothills Animal Shelter in the dog socialization and fostering program was also an incredible experience that helped develop deeper skills in both dog and cat body language/handling!

 

Today my husband and I live in Broomfield. I spend my spare time producing music and creating content for our dog’s TikTok. I am so picky who I leave my fur babies with, so I do not take it lightly! I can’t wait to spend time with your kiddo while you are away!

Kara M. 

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I’m Kara and I'm originally from New Mexico. I'm an Air Force veteran and ended up in Colorado via military moves. I spend most of my time raising my daughter and caring for my 3 dogs and 4 cats. I've been an animal lover as long as I can remember, from turtles to horses, and of course cats and dogs. I see animals as a part of the family, and care for them with a lot of love and kindness. I've fostered dozens of cats and dogs, many with high medical or socialization needs. I know it can be difficult to trust your treasured companions to someone new, so I look forward to making you feel at ease knowing that your pets are in loving hands with me. I look forward to getting to know you and your pet!

Preston S. 

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Hi! My name is Preston! I am a born and raised Coloradan who adores all animals. I grew up with multiple sizes and breeds of dogs ranging from 6lb chihuahuas all the way to 150lb Irish Wolfhounds. I have a soft spot for larger breeds! In addition to this, I also grew up with multiple indoor and outdoor cats. Animals have always been a huge part of my life.

 

My mom and I owned 3 senior dogs and a senior cat, all of them requiring daily medication. Sadly they all left this world but I am so lucky to have been able to take care of them and love them for the time I was able. I am very comfortable giving medication to furry friends as well as taking extra care of senior pets! 

 

I currently have a 12 year old golden Lab mix and a 9 month old Australian Shepherd Poodle. Both of them are equally spoiled and loving their spoiled lives together. I can't wait to meet your pets, take amazing care of them and love them as if they were mine! 

Ashley S. 

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Hi! I'm Ashley and I live in Highlands Ranch with my husband and two rescue pups, Apollo & Toby. I've loved animals for as long as I can remember. Originally from outside Baltimore, MD, I grew up volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary and always had a home full of dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles, fish, you name it! 

 

For the past four years, I've volunteered with a local rescue here in Denver, fostering 35+ pups of varying breeds, sizes, and ages. I'm experienced in caring for a wide range of personalities and needs (anxiety, reactivity, fear, high-energy, low-energy, to name a few) and will take the time to get to know your pet(s) and earn his/her trust. 

 

In my spare time, I enjoy all the wonderful splendor that Colorado has to offer: hiking, running, camping, skiing, horseback riding, etc.! I love traveling and spending time outdoors with my husband and two dogs in tow. I truly believe animals make the world a better place, and I look forward to getting to know and care for yours as if they were my own!

Aubrey M. 

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Hi all! My name is Aubrey. I am originally from Florida, but had to find my way to the mountains and winter seasons. I have been working as a Client Service Coordinator at a local veterinarian clinic for almost two years now, and have fallen in love with animals. My favorite part is learning about each pet's personality or silly quirks. Ensuring the health and safety of your pet always comes first, but I always make sure to have fun. Positive reinforcement with treats, praise, or play is my bread and butter, and a great way to earn their trust. I look forward to building a wonderful relationship with you and your pets!

Kathryn F. 

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Hi there, I'm Kathryn! Originally from the New Jersey / New York area, I've lived in Denver for nearly 5 years and have been sitting for 60+ families in the community and their furry friends. It brings me such joy! I do this because I love animals and am passionate about helping pet parents feel at ease while you’re away so you can relax and enjoy. 

 

Over the years, I have sat for a variety of dogs, cats and other pets doing everything from training young dogs to administering medication for elderly dogs and cats. Each animal is a unique spirit and I enjoy learning all their quirks and preferences so they get the best love and care possible. Previously, I was a foster mom for Colorado Greyhound Adoption, and most recently Ruth was my 8-year-old foster dog. I had her for almost 6 months and helped her turn from a shy, anxious dog to friendly and loving with the right care. I tend to have a very calming presence that puts animals at ease.

 

In my free time, I love to write, paint, dance, see live music, meditate, hike and practice yoga. I am so excited to meet you and your furry family!

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