A few words about our team:
We strive to offer our entire team a company culture of Kindness, Honesty, transparency and Respect. Each team member is important to us and we care about their safety, as well as mental and physical health as much as we do for your dog’s.
Breaks are always paid and self-regulated to ensure we are all mindful of the need to take care of our brains and our bodies. Imagine an 8 hour day full of barking, cleaning, and picking up poop around the clock! It ain’t all puppy snuggling 😉
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES: To see current opportunities please view our Current Career Opportunities page and apply by emailing your resume to email@example.com. ONLY candidates with relevant experience and education will be considered.
***PLEASE DO NOT APPLY IN PERSON***
Stefania Butkovic - Owner/Operator - She/Her
About the owner:
Stefania has been studying in many different avenues to learn all about dogs. She is studying to become a certified science based dog trainer through The Academy for Dog Trainers. She regularly attends seminars and courses in an effort to stay up to date in her field of work and to continue her education in the science behind your fuzzbutts!
Her husband Jon is known for being the local Dog Taxi Service and is Pet First Aid Certified through Walks ‘N Wags. They share Cassie the 11 year old minpin/chi whom they adopted 10 years ago, and Bruna a 7 year old pug/sharpei that they added to their home 6 years ago.
Lack of industry regulations:
Stefania is a plant-powered advocate for animal welfare. Before diving into formal education as dog trainer, Stefania saw a need to speak up about the dangers lurking behind closed doors of dog daycares. After working in some gruesome conditions at dog daycares to gain hands-on experience, some things she has witnessed are:
- dogs with mouths muzzled shut all day for barking
- dogs being grabbed by the scruff of the neck and tossed angrily into kennels
- prong collars used behind owner’s backs
- even water boarding of animals when groomers got impatient was not uncommon.
The lack of regulation is something that should be taken very seriously. Stefania is working hard to make that message loud and clear to the public by educating her community on the physical and emotional damage that can be done to animals in these facilities. Conditions were terribly stressful and abusive mentally and physically for the dogs.
Educational info and seminar attendance:
Stefania continues to pursue her love of working with animals 5 years later. She is a lover of community and entrepreneurship. After years of brain storming, she finally started “Mindful Mutts” combining all things dog in one place. She launched a pilot project of a Low-Stress Dog Daycare & Training facility in May of 2016 in an effort to boldly set new standards of care for the industry. In January of 2018, she opened the second location in the beautiful neighborhood of Downtown New West. <3
In Spring of 2020 Stefania started her journey in furthering her education in dog behaviour. She was accepted into The Academy for Dog Trainers and is currently working through the intensive 2 year program.
Stefania has been Pet First Aid certified through Walks ‘N’ Wags since 2014 and has been a Certified Pet First Aid Instructor for over 3 years. To date she has certified well over 200 people! WNW is a national leader in Pet First Aid that is veterinary approved!
- April 2015 KPA Dog Trainer Foundations
- May 2015 Low Stress Handling for Dogs & Cats Silver Certification
- January 14, 2016 “Dog Emotion and Cognition” with Brian Hare
- June 3, 2017 Malena De Martini-Price “Separation Anxiety; Mission Possible” Seminar
- June 2+3, 2018 BC SPCA Animal Behaviour Science Symposium
- February 2019 Bravo Dog Knowledge; Puppy Essentials
- 2016-2018 Fear Free Certified Professional Levels 1 +2 Completed (let lapse due to completion of Trainers Certification)
- 2018 Lori Nanan’s “Dogs 101! A Free Mini Course“ + Nailed It!
- 2019 Fear Free Certified Professional Level 3 (Achieved “Elite”)
- June 7-10, 2019 BCSPCA Animal Behaviour Symposium
- Aug 3 2020 Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer
- Feb 2021: Clicker Expo
- May 2020-Ongoing The Academy For Dog Trainers
Kiran Basra - Managing Partner - She/Her They/Them
Kiran became a member of the Mindful Mutts family when she brought her puppy Kayda in for training classes, and daycare two years ago. Kiran continues to expand her knowledge in dog behaviour so she can better understand and raise Kayda.
Completed 2021: Bravo Dog Knowledge Foundations
Jelena Ukalovic - Trainer Assistant & Client Care Manager - She/Her
Jelena’s passion for dogs has led her to Mindful Mutts, and has continued to encourage her to expand her knowledge about dog behaviour by keeping up with science based dog behaviour courses. More certification and seminar attendance details can be found below!
Thankful for the guidance and knowledge Mindful Mutts has given her, she has raised her own pup Duke into the loving goofball he is. Jelena hopes to becomes a school teacher in the near future. <3
- 2016 Karen Pryor “Dog Trainer Foundations“
- 2017 Low Stress Handling for Dogs & Cats Silver Certification
- June 3, 2017 Malena De Martini-Price- “Separation Anxiety; Mission Possible” Seminar with proceeds to the BCSPCA
- 2018 Lori Nanan’s “Dogs 101! A Free Mini Course“
Kaeli Grotz - Daycare Manager - She/Her
Martha Bull - She/Her
Martha has found her way into the Mindful Mutts family, and found she really loves the hands on aspect of working with the dogs. Education is important to Martha when it comes to animal care, it’s also something she can always use when parenting her two kitties at home.
While she may not know what she wants to do when she grows up quite yet, she is happy taking care of and enriching the lives of each dog that comes in to Mindful Mutts. Martha has completed Dog Safe, Low Stress Canine & Feline handling and restraint, and more info on Wrangler studies can be found below:
- 2019 Lori Nanan’s “Dogs 101! A Free Mini Course“
- 2020 Brian Hare’s “Dog Emotion and Cognition” course completed
- June 2020 “Low Stress Handling” Certification achieved
- 2021 Karen Pryor “Dog Trainer Foundations“
Laura Savaschi - She/Her
Laura has spent her life caring for each and every animal that had been dropped off on her doorstep, known as the towns baby healer in Romania, she nursed countless kittens and baby animals back to health. Growing up in Romania Laura grew up around a lot of stray animals, which sparked her interest in animal behaviour.
Laura believes that the mental well being is just as important as physical well being of a animal, and she puts that knowledge and understanding to use with her 18 year old Romanian stray dog, and her two cats everyday.
- 2019 Lori Nanan’s “Dogs 101! A Free Mini Course“
- 2019 Bravo Dog Knowledge; Puppy Essentials
- 2020 Jean Donaldon’s “Dog Training 101“
- 2020 KPA Dog Trainer Foundations
- 2020 Bravo Dog Knowledge Foundations
Jace - He/Him
Jace joined the Mindful Mutts team with a profound respect for the effect that animals can have on our overall wellbeing and because he would like to expand his knowledge in dog behaviour and how to better animals’ lives through low stress and positive reinforcement methods.
Jace would like to become a veterinary technologist as well as rescue and foster animals in need of a safe environment. When Jace isn’t at work with the Mindful Mutts crew, at school, or flexing his artistic ability painting, you can find him spending time with his dog Kismet, and cat Amber.
Currently working through Bravo Dog Knowledge Foundations
Beatrix Pascual - She/Her
Beatrix has been surrounded by animals her whole life, growing up with chickens, horses, sheep, dogs and cats! It’s fair to say that her love and passion for animals got a jumpstart pretty early on. Beatrix has always had a respect for wildlife and our environment and it was only natural that animal welfare and well-being became a main focus in her life.
While Beatrix doesn’t currently have any animals of her own she aspires to become a veterinarian. She won’t be with us long since she goes back to school again this fall, but we are glad (and lucky!) to have her for as long as she’s available to help with your fuzzbutts. When she isn’t in school, you can find her spending time with, and enriching the lives of the pupperinos around her at Mindful Mutts.
Bio to come!