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 plans all Pet Adoption Events & other activities/seminars hosted here at the Resort. Sherri also updates our website and our Facebook page daily. Check out our Facebook page to keep up with the daily happenings at the Resort. Sherri enjoys taking pictures at the Resort especially of the dog's playing in our doggie daycare which she shares 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 the Resort or by email at- email@example.com. Sherri 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 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 10 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! Kelly is certified by the Amercian 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 Amercian Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety. Abbie has grown up with multiple dogs and cats as part of her family and currently has two catahoula mixes Oreo & Bella as well as an Aussie named Maggie.
Abby started at the resort February 2019 in our doggie daycare. She acquired a passion for animals at a very young age. Not only does Abby love dogs, but she has also been an equestrian since she was 7 years old. When she is not working she loves spending time with friends and family, writing poetry, experiencing new adventures, and meeting new people. She is excited to learn more about dogs and their behavior. Abby is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Morgan became a receptionist in 2019. She is currently going to Southern Connecticut State University where she will be graduating spring 2020 and moving on to be a vet tech. She grew up with many animals in her household and currently has 4 dogs. A white German Shepherd named Dallas, a black German Shepherd named Bane, a Boxer/Saint Bernard named Luna, and lastly a Great Pyrenees/ Saint Bernard named Bentley. In her spare time, she loves to cuddle up on the couch with her dogs.
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 works in our kennel, doggie daycare, 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 rescued pit bull named Crash, an Italian Greyhound named Mouse, 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.
Kristen has always had a love for animals! She joined our reception team back in July of 2019 after spending 5 years as a veterinary technician. At home she loves up on her pitbull named Boduke, 2 cats named Zeke and Hank, and a ball python named Serana. In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities like fishing and hiking, reading, and cooking!
Nichole became a part of our staff in 2016, working in both kennel and reception. Having lived with dogs since infancy, she looks forward to making a career out of caring for dogs, and plans to take a Veterinary Assistant certification course in the near future. She adopted her first furry family member in March of 2017, a lab mix named Winnie who is often seen in the reception area at the Resort. Nichole enjoys working with the dogs at the Resort and is a great asset to our staff. Nichole is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Cassie has been working at the Resort for a year. Cassie works in our doggie daycare as well as our kennel. Cassie loves learning about dog behaviors, she loves encouraging and comforting shy dogs. When Cassie is not at work she loves spending time with her husband, dog, and nephews, they enjoy hiking and new adventures. Cassie looks forward to continuing her education training dogs. Cassie is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
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.
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.
Angel started working with dogs in 2009 at a daycare and boarding facility in Atlanta,GA. Two years later Angel moved to Portland, ME and continued working with dogs at another daycare/boarding facility. When Angel moved back to this area her passion of dogs brought her to the Resort in the spring of 2013. Angel has worked as a kennel tech and receptionist at the Resort, and is now a valuable asset to our groom team. Angel is certified by the Amercian Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety. While she enjoys all breeds and sizes of dogs, she especially loves spoiling her pitbull, Zig, and her boyfriends pitbull named Bane.
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.
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.
Kaylee moved up from the sunshine state in the winter of 2016 and joined our Resort team in May of 2017 working as a 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 boyfriend and her dog Zoey. Kaylee is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Michael previously worked 5 years of retail at an outfitter. He is currently a volunteer firefighter for his town. Michael enjoys hiking/backpacking and any outdoor activity. He thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 2013. Michael also enjoys photography. He is an Eagle Scout and now an Assistant Scout Master in the same Boy Scout Troop. Michael enjoys spending time with his cat KC and his two chocolate labs, Brooklyn & Xena. Michael is certified by the American Red Cross for dog & cat CPR and pet safety.
Listen to what our customers say about our staff
"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 John Gagnon's. 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 bootcamp 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!