Renee Staszak, Office Manager
Renee worked for a successful team of orthopedic surgeons for 22 years before making the decision to become a stay-at -home dog-mom 2 years ago. Renee has a passion for all animals and has been pet-parent to a pot belly pig, 3 Quarter Horses and currently lives with 2 cats, Deena and Sam, 3 dogs, Sydnie, Chloe and Allie, and a “teddy bear” hamster, Harriette. Renee spends her time gardening, sunning, enjoying her animals and traveling regularly with her family. Prior to DogBoy’s, she channeled her love of animals into volunteering with an animal shelter and becoming a vet technician; Renee has boundless energy! Renee’s kindheartedness and compassion have made her a great addition to the team.
Ericka Burich, Receptionist
Ericka was born and raised in Austin, leaving for a period of 5 years during her middle and high school years to live in Hawaii. She is an avid animal lover who dreamt of photographing in the wild for National Geographic when she was growing up. She loves spending time outdoors either gardening, hiking or swimming with her husband and dogs. She also has a love for vintage decor and interior design and loves painting and sprucing up old furniture. She has 2 pups, a very vocal, quirky 12 year old Bloodhound named Jocko and a 2 year old Staffordshire named Moose who is like a real-life teddy bear, he loves to snuggle and lick faces! You’ll find Ericka working at our front desk helping to check your pup in on their next visit!
Madison Maddox, Receptionist
Madison joined the DogBoy’s team in the summer of 2016 after deciding there just weren’t enough dogs in her life! Prior to becoming a receptionist here, Madison was busy earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at University of Texas at Austin. Not long after graduating, Madison found herself itching for even more brain food and eventually enrolled in a graduate program where she began earning a Master of Arts in Counseling psychology at St. Edward’s University. She hopes to someday combine her two passions of dogs and psychology to help humans heal with power of puppy love. Madison enjoys spending her free time watching movies, reading books, and finding different and fun creative outlets. She also always makes time to spend with her two dogs, Ingrid, a 6 year old miniature dachshund, and Karl, a 3 year old Anatolian Shepherd mix.
Summer Hollstein, Receptionist
Summer is a California girl, born and raised. She moved to Texas for her first year of college before family obligations took her back to her home state. She’d fallen in love with Texas during her time here and after completing her undergrad studies, she returned to the area. She dabbled in real estate for a while as an agent with Keller Williams in Austin, but ultimately knew her passion was in nursing. She moved briefly back to California for a 6 month stint and upon her return to Texas for the second time, she enrolled in an accelerated nursing program. Her job at the time required long hours which she knew would be challenging to juggle with school, so she set out to find something a bit more flexible. It was during this period that Summer and her boyfriend looked into bringing their own pups out to daycare to DogBoy’s and she realized that we were hiring . Summer applied and the rest is history!
Summer stays busy outside of work spending her time doing anything involving activities on a lake, working on home art projects, puzzling, cooking and testing out new recipes, and hiking with her dogs. Summer has 2 pups, Marley, a 4 year old Rottie/Lab mix who she adopted after he was dumped on the side of the road in a bucket, and Bear, a nearly 2 year old Lab/Pittie mix who she adopted in August of 2017. Next time you and your dog visit, you’ll find Summer’s smiling face at the front desk; we’re glad to have her on the team!
Natasha Hindmarsh, Videographer
Natasha has been a freelance videographer for the last few years, taking on any opportunity to further her passion for film. When Natasha heard about the position at DogBoy’s through family and friends, she was so thrilled by the idea she’d be able combine her love of dogs with her love of filming. Getting to document the day to day activities on the Ranch and interact with the pups makes coming to work such a joy. Natasha enjoys adventuring, filming and playing the drums in her personal time as well as spending time with her 8 year old Yorkipoo, Chloe. Chloe is Natasha’s joy and has a great personality, just like Natasha!
Clara Scott, Pet Care Technician Lead and Trainer
Clara was a dog trainer with PetCo prior to joining our team in 2017. While searching for her next move within the pet industry, she found DogBoy’s and was so excited by the employment opportunity! She has a passion for learning about dogs and finds great joy in playing with and caring for the pups each day. Clara’s furry family includes a Chihuahua mix named Oreo and 2 Guinea Pigs named Augustus and Achilles. Keep an eye out for her infectious smile!
Amanda Flowers, Pet Care Technician and At Home Services
Amanda recently departed a full time nanny job and is now balancing home management and her roles with us as a pet sitter and weekend kennel staff member. She has a 3 year old Akita mix who she adopted in the summer of 2017 and he is the love of her life! Bringing him to work with her is the highlight of her job on the Ranch. You’ll find Amanda hiking, shooting pool or painting when she finds a spare moment; we’re so glad to have her hard working attitude on the team!
Amanda Palvado, Pet Care Technician and At Home Services
Animals have always been a part of Amanda’s life, she grew up with dogs and raised lambs, pigs and goats throughout her high school years. Prior to her time with DogBoy’s, Amanda worked for a shelter, helping to care for dogs of all sizes and breeds. She also worked for a pet sitting service caring for animals in their own home. Looking to make a shift within the pet care industry, Amanda came across DogBoy’s and felt like she’d found the perfect fit. DogBoy’s allows her to spend time with a wide variety of pups and she loves caring for them all, “dog” is her favorite breed! Amanda has a 3-year-old Lab/Retriever mix of her own, named Hazel, who she’s had since puppyhood. When not hanging with pups, you’ll find Amanda practicing yoga or writing. Amanda’s experience has made her a great addition to the Pet Care team!
Athena Danna, Pet Care Technician
Athena joins us as of November 2018 from the animal world working for both Petco and Tomlinson’s in the last few years. After hearing lots of great things about DogBoy’s and the positive training that it promotes, Athena decided to shift to a more hands on role with dogs in the capacity of a Pet Care Technician at the Ranch. She really likes hiking with the pups out here on the Ranch and making sure each dog has a great stay. Athena has a degree in welding and spends her free time enjoying her craft. She also keeps busy with her 3 pups and 2 cats, Maximus, a 7 year old blue Doberman, Isabella Skye, her 2 year old blue Heeler, Emma Bean Marie, a 2 year old mixed breed pup, and Riley and Black Jack, the kitties. We welcome Athena to the team!
Ben Meyer, Pet Care Technician and At Home Services
Ben grew up just south of Austin in Buda with 3 rescue pups, Sugar, Spice and Frito Chiquito Burrito III and later had a family pup named Boo, a sweet, white brindle Boxer. Ben held a myriad of jobs prior to joining the team in November of 2018. He dabbled in freelance writing, coding, door-to-door sales, the restaurant industry, auditing and most recently he was a doggy groomer and pet-sitter. It was this last work that prompted a friend of Ben’s, one of our receptionists, to encourage him to apply. Ben is currently without a dog of his own, which makes working with all the pups an even more special part of being a part of the Ranch. When not getting in lots of pup hangout time, you will find Ben playing video games or Dungeons & Dragons and writing. We’re so glad Ben has joined us, he’s been a great addition to the kennel and our dog walking team!
Brenda Palacios, Pet Care Technician
Brenda was born in El Paso but moved to Austin as a child, where she was raised. She grew up with a Rottweiler/Shepard mix named Lala who lived to be 16 years old. The two were inseparable, Lala was Brenda’s best friend all throughout her childhood. Brenda has been passionate about dogs for as long as she can remember. She loves getting to interact with lots of differing pup personalities and learning about their behavior. She hopes to one day open her own facility for dogs who are in need. Brenda’s days away from the Ranch are filled with caring for her 9 month old baby, who she’s spent some great, quality time with at home for the last few months! She also has 2 dogs, a 5 year old Collie/Shepard mix, named Rex, and a 3 year old Staffordshire, named Nala. Rex is just a big lap dog who absolutely loves to cuddle and Nala is the runt of her litter who has the sweetest personality and loves to give kisses. When this busy mom can find the time, she loves scrapbooking and enjoys training Nala, practicing photography, and spending time outdoors hiking, fishing and swimming. She loves anything nature related!
Gabby Emken, Pet Care Technician
Gabby, the daughter of DogBoy and DogGirl, has grown up right here on DogBoy’s Dog Ranch, you could say dogs are her life! She has 2 family pups, Rebel, an 11 year old Great Dane mix and Noodle, a 10 year old Chiweenie. Gabby first began working as a member of the DogBoy’s Social Squad helping to post great Ranch moments on social media, and is now a member of our Pet Care Technician team. Her favorite thing about her job is watching how happy dogs are when they reunite with their owners at the end of a stay. When not watching over your furry-family member, you’ll find Gabby participating in her nationally recognized, high school marching band.
Haisel Chase, Pet Care Technician
We’re so happy to welcome Haisel to the team as of the summer of 2018. She has a truly giving, caring heart as someone who participates in youth leadership activities, community improvement efforts, disaster relief, and caregiving for preschoolers. It’s a wonder she’s able to keep up with her high school studies and a job with so many extracurricular activities! When she finds time for herself, she enjoys reading, drawing and spending time with her family and 1.5 year old lab mix, Tink. Tink joined her family about a year ago after being rescued by Austin Pets Alive. Haisel has really enjoyed training and caring for Tink and knew when she saw a story about the Ranch in her school yearbook that this would be the perfect place to work. Haisel’s favorite part of her job is spending one-on-one time with the pups during solo hikes; make sure to give Haisel a big hello on your next visit!
Donald Gytri, Ranch Hand
Donald grew up a military brat, moving around the country and world until high school when his father retired, and the family settled in Pflugerville. He is a graduate of Texas A&M with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. It was in high school that Donald began working for DogBoy’s, the Ranch has been a part of Donald’s life for nearly a decade and a half! He worked here throughout high school and college and spent the first few years out of school here until an opportunity with the Austin Zoo became available. Donald even met his wife, another employee who was with DogBoy’s for several years, here on the Ranch. During his time with the Austin Zoo, Donald was Head Zookeeper, managing the zookeeping staff in addition to working with the primates and large carnivores. Donald loves working with the animals, the primates in particular, and continues to work with the zoo on a part time basis. Being outside is the biggest attraction for Donald in working here at DogBoy’s; he is an avid fan of the outdoors and spends his free time fishing, gardening and riding dirt bikes. Donald has 2 pups at home, a Jack Russell named Monty and his newest addition, Cici the Cocker Spaniel. Monty, now 11 years old, was adopted after an owner surrendered him here on the Ranch. Monty has been with Donald for 5 years and provides a unique set of challenges that Donald and his wife have become pros at managing! Cici is a sweet, super energetic, life-loving 8-month old puppy who’s been a joyful addition to the family. We’re very excited to Donald back with us in his new role of Ranch Hand. He brings a wide range of skills to DogBoy’s and is such a hard worker, welcome Donald back the next time you see him!
Cali, Ranch Cat
Cali joined the DogBoy’s family in 2010 as a working barn cat. She was adopted through a local feral cat program designed to move cats with little socialization into an environment that allowed them to remain in a spacious, outdoor setting as they were accustomed. Though it took some time, Cali has learned that humans are actually pretty cool and that hanging out in the DogBoy’s office is the life. You will now find her lounging near the fireplace in the winter, relaxing in her cat-hammock or laying around on the desk just waiting to greet you and your dogs! Cali has an amazing sense about the pups and knows who’s safe to hang around and when to make herself scarce. Her hobbies include hunting small game and birds, laying on needed paperwork and keyboards, sleeping and helping our training team desensitize cat-reactive dogs.