known throughout the Northeast as the Dogman, has been training dogs full
time since 1994. The inspiration that started it all was his desire to
reduce the number of healthy dogs killed in Connecticut pounds, currently
15,000 annually. Finding dogs homes is a great effort taken on by many,
but does not begin to address two primary root problems. Many people give
up their dogs simply because they do not know how to train them, and there
are too many pets that are not spayed or neutered, creating a gross over
population. As long as pets are not spayed or neutered, this will always
be the case. Rescue organizations and Veterinarians from Connecticut, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, New York, Maine, and New Hampshire regularly call John for
his experience and expertise.
By John educating
people on how to better communicate with their dogs to prevent unwanted
behavior, he hoped to begin to reduce the number of dogs in Connecticut
pounds. Although his training approach and philosophy are uniquely his,
he has been in fluenced by many top dog trainers including Jean Donaldson,
and Leslie Neilson, as well as marine mammal trainer Pat Carraciolo. His
efforts have also been featured over the year's on Channel's 3 & 30
training classes and private lessons showed a demand for grooming services.
Doggie Daycare was added shortly after, based on clients struggles to adequately
exercise their rambunctious dogs. Next, pet fencing was added, satisfying
the same client's needs to be able to properly exercise their dogs in the
safety of their own yards. Finally in 2003, the ultimate Pet Resort was
completed at 227 Upton Road in Colchester, CT. A 10,000 square foot facility
offering the client everything that their dogs could possibly need while
their owners are away on vacation or just even at work. The facility has
also helped rescue organizations rehab some of their homeless dogs with
to his passion for animals, John is an avid practitioner of Brazilian jiu
jitsu & other martial arts. Check out Josh Hesser's new Colchester
John's wife Sherri plans
all Pet Resort events & activities. Sherri is also in charge of updating
our website and our Facebook page. Check out our Facebook page to keep
up with the daily happenings at the Resort. Sherri also takes all the pictures
at the Resort including the photo's of dog's playing in our doggie daycare
to share on our website and Facebook page. Any ideas of activities you'd
like to see us host at the Resort please feel free to contact Sherri at
Our kennel manager Jo-Ann has been working at the
Resort for the past 4 years. Prior to joining John Gagnon's staff in 2007,
Jo-Ann spent 6 years at Glastonbury Veterinary Hospital as a veterinary
technician. Jo-Ann has worked at two kennel shows for Cavalier King Charles
& Englsih Toy Spaniels. Jo-Ann volunteers with PAWS New England as
a foster home, she and her fiance Wells have fostered and saved the lives
of many dogs.
Jessica is usually the first
person you will see when you walk through our door. She is our longtime
receptionist, and she keeps everything running smoothly! Jessica has been
working at the Resort for 7 years. She always greets our clients with a
warm smile & knows their pet's as if they were her own. Jessica has
2 dogs, 12 year old cocker-clumber named Max and a 7 year old cocker named
Tucker who loves to play in daycare! Jessica also has a cat she & her
husband Jay rescued named Wesley. Jessica is a mom of two beautiful boys!
Tom has been daycare supervisor
since 2003, immediately after the expansion of the resort.
Tom heads up our team of
"aggressive dog" trainers. A lifetime resident of Colchester, he tried
several different fields after high school before landing here. Once exposed
to the world of pet care, he knew this is what he'd do for life! Tom has
two rescue dogs Waldo & Gunny, both boxers that were deemed "unplaceable"
by their respective rescue groups, due to their aggressive natures. Tom,
as he has done repeatedly with dogs in our care, has tamed them to the
point where they live together peacefully. Tom's dogs both eat Oma's Pride
RAW diet. Tom likes to train martial arts at America's Best Defense in
Darcy has been with us since
2004, and began as the kennel manager. She now heads up the sales and training
of our pet fence division. She works to keep dogs home and safe in their
yards across central and eastern Connecticut. Darcy is also our Obedience
Class dog trainer, her classes are fun for dog's and their owners! Born
in Harborside, Maine Darcy has a background in counseling and phychology
which helps when training dogs to use their pet fence! Darcy always enjoys
the new challenges that come from apprenticing under John Gagnon as she
learns the ins & outs of obedience training. She currently has two
rescued pets, a cat named O'Neill (go Yankees) and a Pit Bull named Mo.
Kelly has been working with
us since 2008, bringing 5 years experience in the pet care industry. Kelly
has worked in kennel, reception, and even helped out in daycare! Kelly
is now strictly using her artistic talents in our grooming room! Kelly
has been grooming dogs for 7 years, she loves transforming her furry clients
into a mastered showpiece! Kelly has particpated in pet rescue for many
years, she has 4 rescue dogs- Archie a boxer, Britta an Island mix, Gizmo
a Yorkie mix, & Mercedes a chihuahua mix. Kelly also has 2 rescue cats
named Paddles & Chopper! When Kelly is not spending her free time with
her pets she likes to train at America's Best Defense Martial Arts!
Nancy has had a love for
animals since before she could walk. As a teen, Nancy volunteered at a
riding stable in return for riding lessons. Nancy also worked at a veterinarian
hospital while she was in high school. She earned an associates degree
as a vet tech and from there had developed a passion for dog grooming which
she has had for 29 years. Nancy has groomed at boarding & show kennels,
grooming shops, and veterinarian hospitals. Nancy ran a successful mobile
gooming service for 9 years. Nancy's own dogs have always been her four
legged children and she has trained and shown most of them in dog obedience.
Grooming has been a calling in her life and she says she couldn't imagine
doing anything else! Nancy is also a proud mom of her son named John.
Michaela started working
at the Resort the summer of 2012. Michaela has three dogs of her own Champ,
Benita, & Jade who she loves to spend time with! She also has two cats
named Simba & Stella, & a turtle named Mr. Turtle. Michaela says
she has found her dream job working with animals. Michaela is married and
has 3 wonderful kids! Michaela also volunteers as a foster for Paws New
England. Michaela enjoys working with all the dogs & cats that come
into the Resort.
Abbie is a kennel supervisor
as well as a part time groomer at the Resort. Abbie's unique ability to
connect with our boarding dogs helps to make them feel more comfortable
during their stay. Abbie attends community college with the hopes of getting
a degree in animal care. Abbie has grown up with multiple dogs and cats
as part of her family and currently has two catahoula mixes Oreo &
Mike is a full time employee
at the Resort. Mike is usually found working in daycare or filling in in
our kennel. Mike has been attending training classes to learn more about
dogs and their behaviors and hopes to become a full time trainer. Mike
is an asset in our daycare yard, evaluating dogs and introducing them into
our daycare pack.
Meghan has worked at the
Resort for 5 years. She has lived in Colchester her whole life and has
always had a love for dogs. Meghan is a Senior at UCONN and is pursuing
a degree in Psychology. Meghan has a spoiled Yorkie named Nikki and a silly
Brittany named Boomer. Meghan works at the Resort throughout the summer
and during the holidays when she is home on break.
Jackie who lives in Colchester
is now part of our staff, working as one of our receptionists. So it's
her smile you'll see when you bring your pet in for a visit! Jackie has
experience in pet-sitting and has also worked at a local veterinarian hospital
as a vet technician and receptionist. Jackie loves to spend time outdoors
playing with her 3 year old Rottweiler named Guinness.
Greg has been working at
the Resort for 4 years. Greg, a college student works at the Resort during
the summer and when he is on break from college. Greg has 2 rescue dogs
Max and Amber who he loves to spend time with when he is at home.
Brandon joined our Pet Resort
staff last year as a daycare supervisor. Brandon is our Trainer for the
Board & Train services that we offer, as well as working out in the
daycare yard. Brandon has 2 rescue dogs at home, Brooklyn & Ellie.
He also spends his time fostering Jordy a rescue dog with PAWS New England.
The best part about his job Brandon says, "Is seeing how happy the dogs
are to come in and play in the morning, and their individual personalilties."
Brandon is a proud new dad to his beautiful daughter. Brandon also Dj's
various local events in his spare time.
Erik has two rescue dogs
living with him, a 3lb. Chihuahua & a 9 year old Cockapoo with a pink
mohawk! Erik really enjoys working with dogs, he has been working at the
Resort for a year now. Erik attend Eastern Connecticut State University
where he studies psychology part time. Erik also trains in Juijitsu at
ABD in Colchhester where he says, "I am better than Tom at Jui-jitsu."
Rachel is our part time receptionist
for the summer and also works with us throughout the year during her breaks
from college. Rachel is a student at Southern Connecticut studying business,
but her true passion are her two rescue babies named Max & Sam. Both
Max & Sam attend Doggie Daycare throughout the week and love it!
Sean is also a new addition
to our Pet Resort staff this year. Sean works in Doggie Daycare and over
see's many dogs enjoying their day of play! Sean loves dogs and loves to
work with them. Sean is a great addition to our staff!
Conor Gagnon has been volunteering
at the Resort for 3 years. Conor loves all animals but really loves spending
time with his dogs & cats. Conor has 5 dogs named Bosco, Fletcher,
Katie, Summer, & Seite all which are rescue dogs. He also has 2 rescue
cat's named Scooby and Sam. Conor loves working side by side with his dad
training our dogs as well as the foster dogs that live in our home.
Jessica who lives in Colchester is a new addition
to the resort joining our team as one of our receptionists. After spending
18 years in the retail industry she decided to pursue something she was
truly passionate about and that is her love of animals. Jessica is a recent
graduate of Animal Behavior College where she acquired her veterinary assistant
certification. Outside of the resort she enjoys spending time with her
husband Mike their two dogs Lincoln a Great Dane and Maggie a rescued puppy
mill Pug as well as their two rescue cats Daisy & Annie.