802-540-0545 info@playdogvt.com

Meet The Team!

Lyra is our co-owner and operations manager. She graduated from Johnson State College with a degree in Psychology. Prior to working at Play Dog Play, Lyra worked at Petco in the grooming salon. Lyra joined the team as a dog handler in 2012 then worked her way up to her managerial responsibilities in 2015. Lyra became co-owner alongside Ryan and Masha in September 2016. Lyra’s favorite part of her job is upholding Play Dog Play’s devotion to meeting every dog and owner’s individual needs. Lyra doesn’t have a dog of her own but her 4-year-old daughter, Ava, keeps her just as busy ;) .

Chris is our facilities manager. Prior to working at Play Dog Play his previous animal care experience comes from his childhood. His daily chores including feeding, watering, and cleaning the cages of our ducks, pheasants, turkeys, quail, rabbits, a goat named Andy, a pig named Supper, and a beagle named Snoopy. Some were raised as pets, some were raised for food, but Chris loved them all and enjoyed taking care of them. His Chris currently has a four year old cat at home named Mags. Chris holds an Associate’s Degree in graphic design from Champlain College but found that he enjoys working with his hands and on his feet more than sitting in front of a computer all day. His passion for working with his hands is why he loves working at Play Dog Play so much as facilities manager. Every day brings a new project where he gets to work surrounded by four legged friends!

Amanda is the team leader at Pine Street. She graduated with her BS in Biology and Pre-vet studies at Seton Hall University. Amanda started working at a dog daycare in Connecticut when she was 16 and moved up to management. She has also completed veterinary shadowing at small and large animal hospitals, and rode and showed horses since before she could walk on her grandparents farm. Amanda’s favorite part of the job is seeing Play Dog Play’s commitment to finding a unique solution for every dog and making sure they are comfortable and happy as possible. She firmly believes that taking that extra step to go above and beyond can make all the difference. Amanda has two dogs – Vega (a 9 month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback) and Sarge (a 10 year-old rescue).

Meg is our team leader at Williston Road. She graduated from University of Rhode Island with a degree in wildlife and conservation biology. Meg started washing dogs at a groomers at age 15 and moved up to grooming which she was a part of throughout high school and college. Meg has also held a variety of wildlife field jobs so has experience working with all sorts of animals! Her favorite part of the job is working extremely hard to get a dog to learn a new behavior and have them finally understand and want to do it. She has one dog, Abby the Labby a.k.a. “Lady of the Williston Road Office” and “Williston Road Greeter”.

Meghan is a shift leader. She graduated from the University of Vermont majoring in Animal Science, minoring in Psychology, and with a focus on Animal Behavior and Learning Theory. Meghan also graduated from the Honors College with a thesis comparing training methods for working dogs. Prior to working at Play Dog Play, Meghan spent 3 years working at another daycare and boarding facility. She also completed a summer internship in the animal field and volunteered at the Humane Society for a number of years. Meghan’s favorite part of the job is spending time with the little dogs like her own Jack Russell Mix Delilah.

Melissa is a front desk staff member. She just moved here this past winter from the Florida Keys where she received an Associate’s Degree at Florida Keys Community College.Melissa has worked various customer service jobs over the past four years including being a medical receptionist for dermatology, office assistant at a plumbing facility, and hosting at the world famous Mrs. Macs Kitchen. Since she started at Play Dog Play, it’s become her absolute favorite job. Melissa adores all the dogs she sees everyday. Though she may not physically be with them all day, she enjoys being  the voice of how their day went. She also enjoys how the staff works together as a team and attributes that to the management and organization of the facility and schedule. Melissa loves bringing Rocky (her 3 year-old boxer mix fur child) to daycare.

McClean is a front desk staff member. She is currently attending Champlain College pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice and will be graduating in May of 2018. Her animal care experience began when she volunteered at Northern Greyhound Adoption in St. Albans where she would help socialize, entertain and walk the pups. McClean has worked many customer service jobs over the years including front desk at a hotel, the front desk of the fitness center and information HUB at Champlain College and working at a grocery store in high school. Her absolute favorite part of her job is being able to provide unlimited loves and pats to all the dogs that we have come in. She also loves being able to interact and get to know my co-workers, especially her amazing team leaders, Meg and Amanda! McClean loves Play Dog Play with her whole heart. At home, she has two chocolate brown Cocker Spaniels named Benson and Finn (yes, after the Law and Order: SVU characters…)

Kate is a dog handler. She graduated from Champlain College with a degree in Creative Media and has been a dog lover for as long as she can remember! Kate has volunteered at shelters and has done training a socializing work with dogs and parrots. Her favorite part of working at Play Dog Play is getting to know each dog and their unique personalities. While she doesn’t have a dog of her own, she absolutely adores Stitch, her chinchilla!

Patrick is a shift leader. He found his passion for working with dogs through rescuing greyhounds with Forever Greyhound. His favorite part of the job is working on the floor with the dogs who need extra support, be it helping them with their stress levels or working towards more appropriate playstyles. Though Patrick doesn’t have any dogs of his own, his rabbit keeps him nice and busy!

Jess is a dog handler. She currently attends the University of Vermont and is working towards a double major in Animal Science and Psychology. Apart from her work with Play Dog Play, Jess has spent many hours dog walking and volunteering at animal shelters. Jess’ favorite part of the job is meeting some of the more shy dogs and helping them get comfortable and watching them grow in daycare as well as spending time with the awesome staff. Jess currently doesn’t have a pet of her own so loves doing in-home boarding for our customers’ pups!

Hannah is our training assistant and front desk staff member. After high school and realizing that college was not on her agenda, Hannah spent the following six years in retail, three of which were spent as a Store Manager. Besides petting dogs on Church St, Hannah had no real experience in the pet care industry before she began working a front desk position at a local daycare. After spending time there and learning she was able to combine her love for petting dogs with her passion for customer service, Hannah came to Play Dog Play, where she has been for the last year and a half! Working in a facility where she gets to know not only the dog but their family makes her work fun and rewarding. Hannah lives with her eight year-old cat, a chubby and sassy gal named Queen.

Ethan is a shift leader. He grew up in Waterbury and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2014 with a major in Pre-Veterinary Medicine and a minor in Theater. After graduating, Ethan worked training sled-dogs and and guiding dog-sled tours in Alaska and Colorado for three years before coming back home to Vermont. His favorite part about working at Play Dog Play is the quality time that he gets to spend with the dogs everyday. He thinks that they are all unique and goofy in their own ways and that it’s a lot of fun building relationships with them. Ethan doesn’t have any dogs of his own at the moment, but loves that he gets to come to work every day and pretend like he does ;) .

Abbi is a dog handler. She graduated from University of Vermont with a Bachelors Degree in Animal Science with an Equine Science concentration. Abbi grew up on a dairy farm and always had dogs growing up. She also is a Vermont Equine 4-H alumnae and worked as a horseback riding instructor for young kids. Her favorite part of the job is working with all different kinds of dogs with different backgrounds and personalities, learning new training techniques, and working along side people who match her passion of animals. Abbi is currently in search of a pup of her own but her family has a Golden Retriever, an English Setter, 2 cats, and lots of dairy cows!

Amelia is one of our shift leaders. She graduated from Bellows Free Academy Fairfax and completed a 6 month course in a grooming salon school. Immediately afterwards, Amelia worked as a groomer for over a year before joining Play Dog Play’s team. Amelia’s favorite part of the job is working with the variety of dogs everyday. She loves how they keep her busy! Amelia has her dog Saul who joins her at work everyday and two ponies named Mike and Pepper.

Callie is our store and marketing coordinator as well as a front desk staff member. She attended Champlain College and graduated in December 2016 with a Bachelor’s in International Business with a Specialization in Small Business & Entrepreneurship. While she doesn’t have any professional animal care experience, she has grown up with pets all her life. Prior to working at Play Dog Play, Callie worked at the Champlain College Career Collaborative for three and a half years as an Office Assistant and UVM Medical Center for seven months as a Development and Fundraising Intern. Her favorite part of the job probably has to be getting to know every dog and owner that comes to Play Dog Play. She thinks it’s always fun to hear about what customers are up to and forming those relationships. Callie currently doesn’t own any pets but her family has 3 dogs and 3 cats back home in Georgia!

Kirsten is a dog handler and front desk staff member. She received her BA from UVM with a double major in art history and fine art. Kirsten has done volunteer work with All Breed Rescue walking dogs. Her favorite part of her job is giving pups their baths! She loves the one-on-one time she spends with them. Kirsten doesn’t have a pet of her own but gets to spend plenty of time with her boyfriend’s malamute.

Vicki is a front desk staff member. She received her BA in History from Nazareth College and MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. She’s worked in customer service for about 10 years in a variety of retail and office settings. Her favorite part about working at Play Dog Play is meeting all the pups who come to us and getting to know them and their unique personalities. Though she’s not able to have a pet right now, she hopes to adopt a dog or cat sometime in the near future!

Kristen is a dog handler. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelors in animal and veterinary science as well as a minor in biology. Furthermore, she plans to attend veterinary school in the fall. She has been working with animals her whole life from helping out on family farms, managing the UVM CREAM dairy herd, and working as a vet tech throughout college. She grew up with a Siberian Husky, and currently come home to her fish and hamster Freya. She thinks that Play Dog Play is an amazing place to work. While the staff are awesome, her favorite part of the job is working with the dogs and their quirky personalities. It is gratifying to witness the positive changes in behavior that result from the training skills she has learned through being a dog handler.

Anissa is a shift leader. A born and raised Vermonter, she graduated in 2013 from Milton High School and took some online business and wildlife biology classes at CCV & Jefferson Community College in NY. Anissa previously worked as a manager at a dog boarding facility in Milton for 4+ years before adventuring in the world of car sales for 1 year. Her favorite part about Play Dog Play is meeting so many different dogs and working with all of the different personalities. She loves to watch them grow, teach them new things and see their own transformation from day 1, to day 100 and on. Anissa has always had dogs growing up, and now she has her own little Bear cub!

Sam is a shift leader. Sam attended the University of Rhode Island and majored in Animal Sciences. Afterwards, Sam attended the Vet Tech Program at New England Tech. Prior to working at Play Dog Play, Sam volunteered for one year at Warren Animal Shelter and worked for Harbor Animal Hospital as a Kennel Tech for two years. Sam’s favorite part of job is meeting the dogs and helping dogs become more outgoing and comfortable in our group environment. Sam currently owns two dogs, Noodles (a terrier mix) and Odie (a pit mix).

Elizabeth is a front desk staff member. She attended Warren Wilson Farm College for a year and completed a National Outdoor Leadership (NOLS) course. Elizabeth used to run a personal side business as a dog walker/pet sitter/ occasionally basic grooming and worked for Pet Supply Store in Asheville, NC. On top of her customer service experience in North Carolina, she worked in the food industry for several years as a hostess and floor manager and worked in a medical dispensary for a year. Elizabeth’s favorite part of the job is seeing how passionate everyone is about their job and the dogs. While she doesn’t have any pets of her own, Elizabeth has fostered over the years.

Emma is a shift leader. She is graduating from the University of Vermont in May 2017 with an Animal Science degree and hopes to go to vet school someday. Emma has worked at her local vet clinic as a Veterinary Assistant in New York before working as a Shift Leader and a Dog Handler at Play Dog Play. Her favorite part of the job is getting to meet so many dogs with such different personalities and loving them as if they were her own! She brings her dog, Dakota, who she admits has an even better time at work playing with all of her friends than Emma herself.