Our Staff 2018-04-16T17:01:52+00:00

Meet DogBoy’s Team of Dog Lovers!

Neil Coleman, Kennel Manager

Neil is an East coast native who came to Austin in 2007.  His work with animals began on a volunteer basis while living in Mexico, where he ran his own restaurant in a sleepy beach town.  A lifelong dog lover, he  began rescuing street dogs in his spare time; nurturing them back to health, training them to adapt to domestic life and then finding them homes.  Through this, he became involved with a like-minded group of animal lovers who needed assistance in organizing and funding spay/neuter clinics for the local dog and cat population.  He organized and hosted several fundraisers through his restaurant, raised the necessary money and assisted in the clinics themselves once they got underway.  The initial successes enabled the group to become a self-sufficient rescue operation that continues its fine work to this day.

Neil had planned to only make a quick stopover in Austin when he returned to the U.S., but has remained since.  Having fallen in love with Austin’s pet-friendly vibe, he began volunteering at local shelters, and eventually discovered that his long-term goal was to train dogs for therapy.  He was fortunate enough to cross paths with DogBoy’s Dog Ranch, who have welcomed him into their Training and Wellness Center and are helping him work towards his necessary certifications. He is currently serving as DogBoy’s Kennel Manager, which will further sharpen his dog behavior knowledge.

In his free time, Neil manages to balance a side career as a writer with the knowledge that he is the worst musician in Austin. His dog Linus and his cat Sid don’t seem to mind.

Michael Singer, Assistant Kennel Manager

Michael met DogBoy & DogGirl through their church youth group. Born and raised in Pflugerville, Michael has always had dogs. His favorite was an abandoned black lab named Emma, who after being taken in by the Singers gave birth to ten puppies! His current dog is a Brittany Spaniel named Mikey. Michael started working at DogBoy’s in early 2014, and is currently serving as our Assistant Kennel Manager.  He has an amazing knack for knowing almost everything about the dogs at DogBoy’s and their humans.

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.

Jen Larson, Training Manager

Jen moved to Austin in 2014. A graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy and a student of Dr. Patricia McConnell, Jen brings a level of positive training knowledge and passion that is unrivaled here on the Ranch. Read her full bio.

Jennifer Bridges, Trainer

Jennifer has spent the last 12 years working with chimpanzees, first as a caregiver and for the past 5 years, a positive reinforcement trainer for the chimps as well as various other monkeys. She heard about DogBoy’s through a friend that was working for the Ranch as a trainer and thought it sounded like a fun place to work! Making the choice to join our team was easy, Jennifer loves being around dogs and really enjoys teaching pet owners positive training techniques that improve the lives of the pups and humans. Outside of work, Jennifer stays very busy dedicating her time to volunteering with horses, inmates and international zookeepers. She is also an avid traveler and makes a point of taking at least two trips abroad each year; she wishes she could fit in more!

Sarah Alvarado, Trainer

Sarah discovered a passion for training and behavior when she took her first dog home from a local shelter while attending Texas A&M University.  Throughout college she worked in a veterinary office.  She graduated with a degree in Animal Science in 2007 and began teaching group puppy and obedience classes in 2010.  In 2014 she began working with service dogs.  For three years she worked with female inmates in the Texas prison system teaching service dog training and handling.  Sarah is committed to continuing education and regularly attends seminars and conferences to improve her knowledge and skill.  In September of 2017 she became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed.  She shares her home with her husband, a 13 year old Blue Heeler, a 5 year old Catahoula, and two 9 year old cats.

Whitney Spence, Trainer

Whitney joins our team with experience as the head trainer for a local branch of PetCo. After a stint as a production assistant for several commercials and a Lifetime Network movie, Whitney felt inspired to return to her training roots. A good friend and former co-worker, who was already working for the Ranch, encouraged Whitney to come aboard and share her skills! Whitney most loves helping pet parents and their fur-babies build a stronger relationship as well as spending time with the dogs and promoting a mentally and physically healthy environment for them to learn and play in. When not at work, you’ll find Whitney playing video games, film making, script writing, working on film sets and teaching her brood of pups tricks. She has a full house of rescue dogs to practice with, including a 7 year old Dachshund named Ginger,  a 1 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Soju, a 6 year old Jack Russell/black Lab mix named Hollywood, her 2 year old Border Collie mix, Kimchi, and Bailey, a 7 year old black Lab. An 8 year old cat named Izzy also calls Whitney’s home her own.

Noemi Wilkinson, Accounting Assistant

Noemi is one of our newest additions to the team, her background is in public accounting, specializing in tax for individuals, partnerships and corporations. She really wanted a job that excited her and that she would love to go to each day; searching for such a job lead her to DogBoy’s. She’s looking forward to the many perks of working for the Ranch, including all of the dog time and getting to enjoy our favorite office Calico, Cali. Noemi has an 8 year old Calico cat of her own, named Lil Mama, as well as a 3 year old black Lab, named Lilo. Both have been with her since they were babies.  She loves spending time with her pets and taking leisurely walks by the creek with Lilo, Lil Mama likes to join, too! We’re looking forward to working with Noemi, we’re so happy her skills and expertise have found us!

Becca Garcia, At Home Services Lead

Becca comes to us from the veterinary world where she was a technician. Working in the animal field, she’d heard great things about DogBoy’s for some time and felt compelled to apply; she fell in love with the property after checking it out! Becca started as a Pet Care Technician with us, however, quickly moved into a role spearheading the newest faction of DogBoy’s, DogBoy’s at Home. You will now find her around town caring for both dogs and cats in their own homes. Becca has a 4 year old Chihuahua, Carla, and 2 Aussie/Border Collie mixes, Athena and Apollo, who are 9 and 10. She stays very active outside of work reading, puzzling and working out.

Alec Vargus, At Home Services & Pet Care Technician

Alec brings a variety of experience to our ranch as he joins us from a background in corporate finance, military and dog walking. Looking to get back into the pet world brought Alec to DogBoy’s; he’s really looking forward to building relationships with all of the dog’s, owners and fellow dog-lovers he’ll be working with! Alec enjoys staying active and fills his time with travel, sports, camping and spending time outdoors. Alec has 1 pup of his own, a 10 pound Terrier named Theodore who is CGC certified and is a future therapy dog. Alec’s energy is a great addition to the DogBoy’s 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!

Ferrell Jackson, Office Coordinator

Ferrell joined the DogBoy’s team in the summer of 2012, after returning to the area from a 7 year stint in Colorado. She was born and raised in the Austin area and began hearing about DogBoy’s as far back as high school, when her best friends began to work here. Living in the very dog-friendly state of Colorado really developed Ferrell’s love of our canine friends and helped to steer her toward adopting her own pup, Elsie, upon her return to Austin. You’ll find her at the front desk of DogBoy’s where she loves to answer questions and to help you and your dog get checked in and out for doggy daycare or boarding! When she’s not answering phones or chatting with customers in the office, you’ll find her planting gardens and obsessing over her flowers at home.

Heidi Harris, Receptionist

Heidi previously worked as a Reception and Assessment Coordinator for a hospice and rehab facility. In looking for something closer to home, Heidi discovered DogBoy’s. The atmosphere and idea of working with dogs drew her to apply, and she’s so glad to now be a part of the Ranch! Heidi loves working with all of our friendly clients and has bonded quickly with everyone’s favorite office cat, Cali. She is an avid reader of fiction, enjoys spending time in her garden and loves to bake. Heidi has a full house at home with 2 pups, a 10 year old lab named Luke and an 11 year old Lab named Ginger, and 2 cats, a 3 year old named Husky and her 1 year old named Delilah. We’re so glad to have Heidi’s customer service experience and friendliness on our team!

Jasmine Morring, Receptionist

Prior to joining the DogBoy’s team in the summer of 2017, Jasmine was a fitness instructor with Pure Barre and a full-time student at the University of North Texas before graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. When planning her relocation to the Austin area, Jasmine discovered DogBoy’s and was so excited by the idea of being surrounded by dogs! She loves bringing her 2 year old Yorkie mix, Sam, with her to work each day. While you’ll normally find Jasmine working our front desk, she doesn’t mind the heat and mud and loves when opportunities to hang out with the dogs out on the Ranch present themselves.

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.

Shannon Eakin, Event Coordinator

Shannon is a true Austin native! A former client of DogBoy’s, Shannon has always loved dogs. Her newest sweet boy is Jasper, a little mixed breed who was rescued from Hurricane Harvey. He is her current pride and joy! Shannon loves getting to know clients and loving on their pups.

Mason Emken, Pet Care Technician Team Lead

Mason, the son of DogBoy and DogGirl, was raised right here on the Ranch! His earliest memories include being protected and loved by his first dog, Chelsea and then those that followed, Tick and Tessa. As a lifelong lover of dogs, Mason began working for the family business his senior year of high school in the role of Pet Care Technician and is now a Team Lead. He loves getting to hang out with his favorite boarding and daycare dogs, picking playgroups for the pups and helping to bring shy dogs out of their shell. Outside of work you’ll find Mason hanging out with his four-legged family members, Rebel and Noodle, an 11 year old Great Dane mix and a 10 year old Chiweenie.

Zac Russell, Pet Care Technician Team Lead

Zac RussellZac started his animal career in 2011 when he was attending the Art Institute of Austin for graphic design. Zac began working with animals at the Austin Humane Society and he found he had a real passion for rescue. Zac loved seeing so many animals find great homes and new family members. He found himself needing a change of pace and then he stumbled across this little slice of heaven- Dogboy’s Dog Ranch. Zac loves coming to work everyday and loves being around people who share the same passion as him. It’s really an incredible environment to work in, and the dogs agree as well!

Calvin Householder, Pet Care Technician

Calvin is a student at one of our high schools here in Pflugerville. He participates in the band program as the Drum Major and it is through band that Calvin met Mason Emken and then Gabby Emken and learned about DogBoy’s Dog Ranch. Working here sounded like a great opportunity to be in a job he would love. He really enjoys spending one-on-one time with the dogs doing hikes, playing fetch and playing around with water with the dogs. Turning a hose on and watching a dog go nuts is one of his favorite sights! Calvin has 2 dogs of his own, Molli, a black Lab mix adopted 9 years ago and Zeke, a stray Aussie mix that’s been with his family for the past 6 years. They both love hiking and car rides!

Clara Scott, Pet Care Technician

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!

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.

Jordan Lowery, Pet Care Technician

Before joining the DogBoy’s team, Jordan worked in the restaurant industry as well as with children through the YMCA. Looking to pursue her love of animals, she found DogBoy’s online and fell in love with the spaciousness and play opportunities for dogs. She loves working with the amazing dogs and her co-workers; you won’t find any one sweeter or more patient than Jordan! Norman, her 10 year old, large, mixed-breed pup loves accompanying her to work daily and being the unofficial mascot of DogBoy’s Team Huddles.

Liz Sengler, Pet Care Technician

Liz is a recent graduate from Texas A&M University. During her university years, she was employed as an after school program staff member working with kids from kindergarten to 5th grade aged students. She discovered DogBoy’s when accompanying her parents on a tour of our facility when they were looking for daycare and boarding for their 7 Dachshunds. Liz learned of an available position on the ranch when on the tour and jumped at the opportunity to work with dogs! She and her family are avid dog lovers, in addition to their own brood, over 20 dogs were fostered in her home while Liz was growing up. Liz has a pup of her own, a 3 year old Basset Hound/Heeler mix who’s been with her for about a year. When not hanging out with all of the pups in her life, you’ll find Liz enjoying time with her friends and country dancing.

Melissa Morelos, Pet Care Technician

Melissa worked as an Animal Care Attendant for a local vet prior to joining the DogBoy’s team. Looking for a new opportunity in the animal field brought her to us! She loves getting to learn about dog behavior and play style and really enjoys seeing how happy the dogs are to be here. Melissa grew up with a Boston Terrier named Cocobella and a German Shepherd named Lobo. While she is currently without a dog of her own, she loves spending time with her “god-dog” and is excited about fostering or adopting soon!

Molly Corbin, Pet Care Technician

Molly is one of our clients, turned employee. She started by bringing her 3 and a half year old Giant Schnauzer, Bella, out for daycare and after a short time, decided joining our team was the right move. Molly’s background is in insurance underwriting in the Houston area; she relocated to Austin for the outdoor lifestyle and all of the fun activities Austin offers. She loves working with her coworkers and being outdoors with the pups. It’s hard to have a bad day when surrounded by all of these dogs! Molly stays very active outside of work flying airplanes, running with her dogs, and spending time with her family and 2 Dachshunds, Oscar and Rudy in addition to her Schnauzer Bella.

Dakota Dobbs, Ranch Hand

Dakota met DogGirl through a local business networking group while employed as a handyman. When the opportunity to join DogBoy’s as a Pet Care Technician became available, Dakota jumped at the chance to work with dogs and be outdoors. He has since moved from our kennel to the role of our trusted Ranch Hand and loves getting to work with his hands outdoors. Outside of work, Dakota stays very busy with his 2 – 1 and a half year old dogs, Rogue, a mixed breed pup who’s been with him since the summer of 2017 and his newest addition, Cedric, a Black-Mouth Cur mix who was adopted in the fall of 2017. As a former member of the Army Airborne Infantry, Dakota’s hobbies include working out and running with his dogs. All three love spending time on the water and being active!

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 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.