Meet the Team

Meet our dependable team

A business is only as good as the people who work there. Barks ‘n’ Purrs is blessed with wonderful team members whose passion and energy are only surpassed by their maturity and commitment to excellence. And, they have as much fun as their clients.

About the Owner, Rebecca

Rebecca, owner of Barks 'N' Purrs dog walking and pet servicesRebecca grew up with a passion for animals. Her first word was “dog”!

As she puts it: “I just love dogs; it’s a simple as that. I can’t remember when I didn’t have a dog or cat around me.  I love being around them. I love the way they greet you when you come through the door, the way they roll around on the grass, the way they just want to please you, and even the way they give you that look when they know they’ve been bad.  I can’t image doing anything else.”

After a great time with another Toronto dog walking business, she knew she wanted to keep on doing this kind of work. She truly liked being outside and playing with canine friends. So in 2007 she started Barks ‘n’ Purrs with the help of trusted dog, Ella.

Rebecca takes pride in how Barks ‘N’ Purrs has grown since then. She’s helped her pack of dog-loving staff expand service areas across downtown Toronto. She is completely involved in scheduling and day-to-day details, and meets with her staff on a regular basis. She also works very closely with client owners to ensure their needs are met. This means she looks after most of the boarding while her team does the dog walking, cat care, and puppy visits. And her special dog trainers help make man’s best friend easier to live with.

Rebecca the owner has recently finished her Veterinarian Assistant Certificate as well as a Dog Obedience Training Certificate through Animal Behaviour College and has started her next Dog Trainer Foundations Course at Karen Pryor Academy where she will broaden her knowledge in dog training. Rebecca hopes to one day start providing puppy classes to the downtown core in the near future.

 

Rachel – Office Manager/Part time dog walker

Rachel - dog walker Financial District & King WestRachel loves being outdoors and has a passion for animals, so Barks N Purrs has been a great fit. She grew up in a house that always welcomed pets of all shapes and sizes. This means she’s felt more at home in this city while being able to walk and care for dogs and other pets every day.

Rachel has worked for Barks N Purrs since 2011 and can’t imagine a better ‘job’. She loves the active lifestyle and feels privileged to have the opportunity to spend her days with such wonderful animals. She cares for two rescued bunnies in her own home and has a Bernese Mountain Dog named Thor who is the happiest guy you will ever meet.

Mitch – St Lawrence and Distillery

Mitch, dog walker for Barks N' PurrsMitchell always had a dog growing up, but when he moved to Toronto and couldn’t afford a dog on his own, he started working with them instead.

Mitch has enjoyed working with dogs for the past 4 years at day cares, groomers, and most recently as a dog walker for Barks n’ Purrs.

Mitchell enjoys the outdoors, hiking, riding his bike around the city, playing the drums, and making short movies.

 

Cindy  –  Part time dog walker and Boarder  – King West

Cindy - Financial and Fashion District dog walker, Barks N PurrsWhen I hit the age of 40 (a few years back) and decided to leave the corporate world in IT, I knew I wanted to do what makes me happy for the rest of my life. I couldn’t live the 9-5 life anymore. After building a successful business in the spray tanning industry I decided I wanted to spend my free time outdoors and in good company so walking dogs was a perfect fit. I’ve been a dog/animal lover/owner since I was born. I grew up with many dogs over my life, and when I moved out I had a Lab/Shepherd mix. After he passed away I had two pugs and one of them had diabetes which I learned to give daily injection to. I also took horse lessons and road for shows when I was a kid. I absolutely love the outdoors and couldn’t think of a better way to spend my days then hanging with my furry friends.

Laurie  – Entertainment District

Laurie

Laurie has spent her whole life around dogs. When she was a child her family used to breed Staffordshire Terriers, and they even began rescuing lizards when she was in her teens so growing up her home was a bit of a zoo! She became a dog groomer and though she loved making dogs beautiful she quickly realized she didn’t get to play with the dogs as much as she would like to, so she started walking and boarding dogs. Laurie still can’t believe this is her job!

 

Caitlin – King West

Caitlin - King West Dog Walker for Barks N Purrs

Caitlin LOVES dogs. Anyone who grew up with her can attest to this fact! When she was little and her parents took her to visit their friends, she’d be the one hanging out in the dog kennel with the family dog. She was the girl who grew up wishing she was a dog, and when she learned that wasn’t possible, wrote books from the perspectives of dogs, and when that still wasn’t fulfilling enough, finally got her own dog, and just like that, her life was complete. She is absolutely thrilled to join the team at Barks n Purrs. She loves being active and being outdoors, getting dirty, muddy, wet, cold, you name it, doesn’t matter, she’ll love it! She has volunteered at SPCAs both back home in BC and in PEI, and is beyond excited to spread the love in Toronto.

In her spare time, she loves to write, act, run and travel.

Brandie

BrandieBrandie has always had a huge love and appreciation for animals. As a child she dreamed of one day becoming a veterinarian but as she grew older she knew that career would at times be to difficult for her heart to handle. Becoming a pet care provider for Barks N Purrs has truly been a dream come true and perfect fit for her.

When shes not at work walking doggies or visiting kitties, shes almost always at home cuddling her little Shih Tzu Percy or her fluffy kitty Emma. She is also extremely passionate about her position as a volunteer at The Toronto Humane Society.

Verena – part time dog walker and pet sitter

VerenaVerena has been an animal lover for her whole life.  She’s had gerbils, hamsters, mice, ferrets, and fish in the past, and currently she has two black cats and a doberman named Athena.  Dog walking is the best job she’s had in her entire life, and she’s never been so happy!  She and Athena love training, and have done everything from basic obedience to rally-o, and they are currently working toward getting Athena her Canine Good Neighbour certification.  Verena has her Foundations course from the Karen Pryor Academy, and is hoping to start the Professional course by this summer.  Verena believes in positive reinforcement only with all animals.  She and her dog have recently passed St John’s Ambulance Therapy dog program.

Regina – Liberty Village

Regina - Liberty Village Dog Walker for Barks N Purrs– Hey my name is Regina, I am 31. years old and I was born in Hamburg, Germany. I am in Toronto for the purpose of a working holiday and to explore this gorgeous city and country.

In March 2011 I finished my studies for Social Work at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences with a degree of Bachelor of Arts. Previously I made an apprenticeship as a graduated nurse.

I always loved animals, especially dogs, but my family didn’t have the time to keep one. So, I used to do dog walking and taking care for the neighbours’ dogs and cats to supplement my income in Germany during high school. During my studies I took care of the dogs of friends and others family’s, including keeping them for the weekend or vacation times.

In Germany we ́ve adopted my dog Paula from an animal shelter. She was about 1.5 years old when we gave her a new home. She is a mixed up between a wire-haired Dachshund and a Westhighland White Terrier. She recovered soon from her bad experience. To handle her hunting instinct and her very special Terrier character and to learn more about how to train dogs we visited a dog school. After she passed the training lessons we used to do dog agility with her.

During my visit at the dog school I learned a lot about dog behaviour and how to deal with dogs issues.

Working as a dog walker is the great opportunity being surrounded by dogs and taking care of them. There is now better reward than the wag of the tail of a happy dog.

Jill – part time dog walker and pet sitter

My entire life I grew up round animals. Before working with barks n purrs, I was volunteering with the SPCA for a total of three years. I am passionate about animals and want to make sure every animal is treated with kindness and respect.

My hobbies involve volunteering with the GoodLife Jump Start program, Yoga, running and exploring the City.

To pin point my favourite part of dog walking is difficult. I enjoy meeting new dogs and seeing how they grow to love other dogs and their walker. I love how therapeutic dog walking is. I am grateful to be working with animals who have so much personality and love for us walkers.

Paullisa – Fort York

For me my ideal job has three components: working with either humans, animals, or the environment, working outdoors, and the ability to bring along my Taiga girl. I didn’t think I’d be able to find a job so soon that has all three elements, but I’m sure glad I have!

I believe that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear …mostly. Having grown up in the area, I can take your friends to the best spots around.

Thank you for allowing me to bond with your four legged friends during our adventures. I’m very excited and grateful for this wonderful opportunity to become apart of the pack.

Jesse – Harbourfront

Jesse - Dog Walker for Barks N Purrs
My name is Jesse Heichert, I am a passionate, mature and reliable pet caretaker and service provider, with a lot of love to give! I have a genuine passion for dogs, and for exploring the world with them – rain or shine. I was raised on a farm for a large part of my life and have helped raise three dogs from puppy to senior, have taken care of dozens of chickens, and even horseback road for years. All these experiences have really helped me to understand the physical and emotional needs of an animal. I believe in maintaining a superior standard of care for the dogs under my supervision in an environment that is positive, rewarding, and full of love!

Katerina – Church and Wellesley

I’ve always loved animals since I can remember, going through school my teachers and parents were constantly asking me if I was going to work in a veterinary clinic, zoo, at a farm, etc. When I look back to the various farms, ranches and groomers that I’ve spent much of my time at none come close to working at barks n’ purrs it’s great because not only do I get to gain experience doing the thing I love most but I also get to work in an up beat happy environment with furry little friends all day

Dayna – Full time dog walker and pet sitter – Cityplace

Dayna - The Village dog walker for Barks N PurrsDayna adores all cats and dogs and basically any other animal with a furry face! She was the kid who would nag her parents every day until they got her a cat or a dog or a bird or a polar bear. She now lives in a small apartment just big enough for her fat cat, Pawnee. With no space for a dog, she promises to love all dogs like they were her own.
Dayna currently volunteers for Annex Cat Rescue and the Toronto Humane Society and will be studying animal science next year.

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