Meet Our Staff
John Gagnon, 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, 15,000 annually in 1994 when it all started. 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, Vermont, Pennsylvania, 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 influenced by many top dog trainers including Jean Donaldson, and Leslie Nelson, as well as marine mammal trainer Pat Carraciolo. His efforts have also been featured over the year's on WFSB, WTIC, & NBC Connecticut, as well as HBO's Documentary "One Nation Under Dog".
John's obedience 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. Our facility also helps rescue organizations rehab some of their homeless dogs with behavioral issues so they can go on and be adopted. John is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
In addition to his passion for animals, John is an avid practitioner of Brazilian jiu jitsu & other martial arts, as well as a student of the Bible. Check out www.logosbiblestudy.com
John's wife Sherri updates our website- www.4dogman.com and our Facebook page daily. Sherri does purchasing for our Pet Stop pet fence products as well as all the other products, playground and splash pad equipment we use at the Resort. Check out our Facebook page to keep up with the daily happenings at the Resort. Any ideas of activities you'd like to see us host at the Resort please feel free to contact Sherri at the Resort or by email at- email@example.com. Sherri is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Our kennel manager Jo-Ann has been working at the Resort since 2007, she is also one of our trainers teaching obedience training classes. Prior to joining the Pet Resort she worked for three years at two hobby/show kennels working with English Toy Spaniels and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, then moving into a veterinary technician position at a local veterinary hospital for seven years. She and her fiance Wells have been fostering dogs for PAWS New England for six years and have helped save the lives of several dogs while taking care of their own menagerie of dogs at home.
Amanda started at the Resort in April of 2018 after working in the restaurant industry for over 15 years. She works as a receptionist, in our doggie daycare and is one of the trainers for basic obedience classes. At home she has a rescue named Roxy that she adopted 11 years ago and added a Shiloh Shepherd named Luca to the family a little over a year ago. Their favorite hobbies are hiking and swimming whenever they can. Aside from working in the restaurant industry, she was a basic obedience instructor and AKC Canine Good Citizen. Her passion for animals, especially dogs, brought her to the Resort. She has a passion for training and would like to expand to working with service dogs along with search and rescue. Amanda is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Becca started working at the Resort in 2015 as one of our kennel techs. She works during the summer full time. Becca has always loved a variety of animals and has years of animal science experience from high school through an associates degree. Becca continued her career by obtaining her veterinary assistant certificate and hopes to gain training experience. Becca's future career goals would be to train rescue dogs to help PTSD veterans.
Kelly has been working with us since 2008, bringing 14 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 10 years, she loves transforming her furry clients into a mastered showpiece! Kelly has participated in pet rescue for many years, she has 5 rescue dogs- Archie a boxer mix, Sally terrier mix, Britta Island mix, Gizmo, yorkie mix, and Mercedes a terrier mix. Kelly is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Liza Van Blarcom
Liza has been working at the Resort since spring 2015. LIza is not only a part of our doggie daycare team but she also works in our pet fence department. You'll find her installing pet fence systems and also training dogs to our pet fence system. Liza grew up in Massachusetts but has been living in Connecticut for 7 years. Liza previously worked with developmentally disabled adults for two years. She has been riding and training horses since the age of three. In her free time she likes to relax with her rescue Mack, they love spending time outdoors and especially spending time anywhere near the ocean. Liza is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Abbie has been working at the Resort since 2009. Abbie has worked as a kennel tech, a receptionist, and is now a full-time groomer. Abbie is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety. Abbie has grown up with multiple dogs and cats as part of her family. Abbie's free time is spent with her children and her 2 catahoula mix dogs, Daisy Mae and Penelope.
Kaitlin joined our team in July of 2018. You'll find her behind the front desk and out in the daycare yard making sure your best friend has the best day! At home Kaitlin has one dog named Sasha and three cats, Baby, Talos, and Boosh. She's grown up with animals all of her life and is excited to be in a field working around them now. In her spare time, Kaitlin enjoys staying active with exercise and hikes, brewing beer with her husband and making dog biscuits with the left over spent grain. Kaitlin is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
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Katie Mitchell has always had a passion for working with dogs, she has worked at the resort since 2015. Katie began working at the resort as a kennel attendant, then moved her way to our dog daycare working with the evaluations. Katie now works with John as a Reactive/Fearful Dog Trainer. Katie lives in Coventry with her dogs Tango, Bentley, and Ruger. She looks forward to continuing to expand her knowledge of dog behavior. Katie is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Shayna is our doggie daycare manager. She also works in our kennel and you can also find her grooming. Shayna started working with animals when she was 14. Shayna graduated from Uconn with an animal science degree. She has a Doberman named Kylo Ren, a Cavapoo named Zodiac, and a cat named Fender who are spoiled daily. Shayna has always felt connected to animals, and could never imagine having a job that didn't involve them in some way. Some of her favorite hobbies include horseback riding, working on cars, and writing. She is interested in animal behavior, and hopes to learn more by working here at the pet resort! Shayna is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Bio coming soon!
Kaylee moved up from the sunshine state in the winter of 2016 and joined our Resort team in May of 2017 working as a lead receptionist. Kaylee enjoys working with our clients and socializing with their dogs. Kaylee has a dog named Zoey, who is a German Short-haired Pointer. Outside of the Resort, she spends most of her time on the water, fishing with her husband Ian and her dog Zoey. Kaylee is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Easton started working at the resort in 2021 as a daycare attendant. Easton is a retired Navy MMA. He is also an experienced Reptile Handler and rehomed them while living in Sacramento, California. Easton grew up with Labs and Cane Corsos, but now he rescues bully breeds.
Sadhana has always loved working with animals. Sadhana has volunteered at shelters, rescues and wildlife conservations, and has worked in everything from daycares to zoos! Pet training is her passion and in her free time if she is not taking care of her small menagerie of reptiles, she loves taking her dogs hiking and camping.
Jennifer joined our team as a receptionist in 2021. Jennifer is currently studying genetics and since being hired has hopes to apply that knowledge to advocate for Safer Breeding among animals. In her free time Jennifer is part of a Rotary club and loves volunteering amongst the community. Jennifer also loves boating with her boyfriend Tim and their golden retriever Mollie.
Vanessa started working at the resort in the spring of 2021 as a receptionist. Vanessa also started working with our daycare team, learning dog behavior and having fun with a large variety of dogs that visit our facility. Vanessa lives with her rescue dogs Sadie and Marla, as well as her two cats Sabrina and Amelia. In her free time, Vanessa enjoys going for walks with her dogs and her roommates, she also enjoys fishing and spending time outdoors.
Kaylee started with us in June of 2021. She has always had a passion for animals big and small. Kaylee grew up with horses, goats, chickens and everything in between. Right now she lives with two golden retrievers, Jax and Axl, with hopes to adopt a dog of her own very soon! And we can't forget about her beloved cat Stinky! Kaylee's dream is to train service dogs to give back to the community. Outside of the resort she loves to be outdoors; hiking, fishing and exploring.
Delaney started working as a kennel tech in April of 2017. She has always had passion for animals and has lived with animals her whole life. She will graduate from Bacon Academy High School in 2021 and hopes to continue her education to become a veterinarian. At home she has a chihuahua, Archie, a corgi/ cattle dog, Midge, two black labs, Hope and Nikki, a cat named Croix, and a bearded dragon named Ricardo. Delaney loves sports including cross country, soccer, snowboarding, and softball. She enjoys spending her free time outside, with friends and family, and with her dogs!
Emily started at the resort in 2020, she has been working with animals for the last 5 years. Emily has loved animals since she was little and she always knew she would be working with them at some point in her life. Emily loves hiking with her husky trio Meeka, Bron and Ruger and discovering new places! In her spare time Emily enjoys playing video games and teaching her dogs new tricks!
Ashley started working at the resort in 2021. Ashley trained hunting dogs with her grandfather as a kid and decided to go back to working with dogs after a decade long career as a mental health social worker. Ashley says she is happy to have found a home at Gagnon's Pet Resort, she loves working with all the daycare pups!
Bio coming soon!
Ashley has always had a passion for working with Animals big or small! Ashley is our newest groomer but has worked in the animal field for the past 6 years. She is a certified veterinary technician in the state of Rhode Island. Ashley became a groomer because she wanted to help her furry friends in another way! Outside of the resort she loves to hike with her dog Graham, ride and show horses and travel.
Listen to what our customers say about our staff
"It is amazing to see how much the staff at Gagnon’s Pet Resort love animals! My Bernedoodle Coco had an amazing grooming experience and my two “grand doggers” who are also Bernedoodles are so happy to go back for their boarding experiences!!"
"Gagnon's Pet Resort is a clean, professional and safe environment for pets/family for all sizes. The staff are second to none, it's worth the ride to chose Gagnon's for you furry friend! With veteran discounts it is a no brainer!"
"The Pet Resort has worked so well for us and our new addition, Lucy, now 1.5 years old. First she and I went to school (training) twice! That's how well we liked it. Then, Lucy loves to go to day care. Apparently she makes new friends. Her smiles tell it all. And, finally, the Pet Resort is her beauty salon. She likes a nice "do" once in a while. (Angel is an angel.) As for us, we have found staff to be intelligent and pleasant. They seem to like their work. And the Resort has always been candid. When there is any kind of an issue for the dogs' wellbeing, they are forthright with communication. Can't ask for more than that. Why don't you see if your dog(s) can also have fun!"
"Wonderful facility, ultra caring and knowledgeable staff... I’ve been taking my dog there since before the resort was a resort! :) These people know and love dogs! I’ve used just about all the services from grooming to boarding to daycare. My dog is treated like a family member here."
"The entire staff is amazing ! Luna loves to go to day care. I boarded her too for our vacation and she was totally fine. It's awesome to have the Gagnon's team caring for our doggies. Thanks so much!"
"We have entrusted John Gagnon’s with our dogs for years. They have a fantastic time at doggy daycare -they always come home tired & happy. Although I hate leaving our dog when we go away, we know John Gagnon’s will take such good care of her! The staff is wonderful. They are true dog lovers-very knowledgeable, caring, excellent with the dogs & very responsive with information. This is the ideal place for dogs to be well-cared for & to have fun! Love it!!!"
"Everyone is very professional yet so loving with the dogs. I would highly recommend Gagnon's pet resort. Your furry best friend will love his day at the resort!"
“Always have had a very friendly and well Knowledge staff!!”
"I had their electric fence installed, and Liza was excellent with her training & would reassure me anytime I had a question regarding the fence. Whenever my dogs go to daycare, I know that under the watchful eye of Jason, that if there are any concerns they are handled immediately & keep me well informed. All of the receptionists that greet me when I bring my dogs for daycare, and very friendly
and courteous. I have highly recommended John's resort to many people that are experiencing behavior problems with their dog, or just want daycare. I also have experienced some of my foster dogs having some issues, and John has worked with the rescue to evaluate the problem and help get the dog settled down. In my opinion, this is the best facility to bring your dog to because you will receive the absolute best in knowledge from John & his entire staff."
"We are thrilled with John Gagnon and his team at the spa. We have used every service from training, daycare, and boarding to the underground fencing and grooming. The staff is first rate, caring and professional. Our dogs are happy when they come home from boarding and can't wait to get going at daycare.
Many thanks for having such a wonderful facility so close to home. I say this because our dog Dash attended a training boot camp in North Carolina several years ago and it was the trainer down there that recommended you to us. We live in Lyme and wouldn't take our dogs Dash and Fleuri anywhere else!"
See you all soon!
"I wanted you to know how happy I am with the services my dogs received during their stay at the resort last week. In addition to the usual efficiency of Jessica, and the kennel staff taking care of all of Yemma's medical needs, I have to comment on the grooming and daycare. Angel did a tremendous job grooming Oslo and Yemma last week. She removed a TON of fur. Their coats look great, and a week later, there is minimal shedding. She is a miracle worker.
Also, I received the best note from Doggie Daycare about Oslo and Yemma's behavior in daycare and how much fun they had. It was very personal - not boiler plate "they had fun" stuff. I was surprised to read that Oslo was the social boy playing with other dogs (he had a buddy, Anton) and it was Yemma who wanted to hang with the people for pets and attention. Go figure! This note was very helpful to me. Now that my dogs are older, I want to make sure it is appropriate for them to still participate in daycare. It is obvious your staff is completely involved and will tell me if and when the dog yard has become too much for them.
The attention and care they receive at the Resort allows me to enjoy my vacations. Thanks to everyone there."
This was the first time our dog was being kenneled and I wanted to find the best one which was John Gagnon's Pet Resort. I was not disappointed. You could not ask for a more friendly and knowledgeable staff. From the moment we brought Harley there to the day we picked him up we knew he was in good hands. The kennel is very clean and well maintained. We took advantage of the board and train and were delighted with the results. The trainer reviewed with us everything he worked with our dog Harley. He also called us to follow-up on any questions or concerns we may have.
You would be hard pressed to find a business as concerned about their clients.
I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a great kennel.
The Carey Family
A Five Paws Up from Harley, our Leonberger
"Yuma is always well cared for when he visits. It's so nice to be able to relax when we are on vacation and know he is in exceptionally experienced and caring hands. He had a bath this morning and please let the groomers know he looks amazing.
Also, I do check in via email and phone calls. Jess recognizes me as "Yuma's Mom" and is friendly and always happy to indulge my request to know who Yuma is playing with at daycare. Thank you for understanding how much my dog means to me. You guys are great!"
Joanie Mirabelli of Yuma
"I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful staff you have! My father passed away suddenly last Thursday which took me out of town indefinitely. I was able to call your staff Friday morning and they were able to accommodate my three dogs that very day for as long as I needed. Not only was it extremely short notice, for 3 dogs but also a holiday weekend. They assured me not to worry and they would handle the care of my "babies" as long as I needed-they would make it work! It was a great relief to me to know they were in good hands while I struggled through the worst week of my life. They took care of getting the vet records, Darcy was there (who trained them) so they were comfortable being dropped off so suddenly. I have always been impressed with the level of service and care your staff has provided but this time they went above and beyond to make things easier for me! I am picking them up tomorrow and cant wait to snuggle all three of them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are truly an amazing group of people."
Oscar, Ginger, and Apollo's mom Maura
"Your team has been helping me with my shy girl Brodie. She is improving every day! Training with your daycare team and the kennel staff have taken such interest. I really appreciate the enthusiasm from everyone. After boarding last week, I firmly expect Brodie to pack her things and stay with you forever. She loves going that much! Just wanted to let you know about the positive experience with everyone I have met at the resort. Your place has wonderful energy!"
Jennifer Naboicheck Brodie's Mom
Check out our Testimonial page to read more testimonials from our clients!
Sarah has lived in CT her entire life, she spends most of her free time with her family and her dogs. Sarah has always had a love for animals, growing up her parents always had many dogs. When her family got their first Dobermans Sarah had a special connection with her black Doberman Indigo. They grew up together and they were best friends. When Indigo passed that was when Sarah realized what she wanted to do, work with animals. Sarah loves to help animals any chance she can. Sarah likes to hike and go on adventures and explore places in her spare time. She feels nothing will ever beat time alone exploring nature with her furry friends.
Emma started working at the resort in 2021. Emma has lived in Colchester her whole life with her two sisters who she loves to spend her free time with. When Emma is not at work, she likes to hang out at a fire or go on a fishing trip with her father. Growing up, she has always had rescue dogs in her home. Her family rescued their pit bull Misty 9 years ago and she says Misty has taught her family that a dog really is a human’s best friend!