A few words about our team:

We strive to offer our entire team a company culture of Kindness, Positivity, Honesty,  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.

We start our staff above minimum wage, offering increases whenever the company can budget to do so. 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 😉

At Mindful Mutts, we also pride ourselves on providing continued education for our team. Requirements for applying at MM are stringent to ensure both hands-on and educational experience are relevant to our science-based operations.

Stefania Butkovic - Owner/Operator

About the owner:

Stefania has been studying in many different avenues to learn all about dogs. Eventually she would like to be a Certified Dog Trainer using Positive Reinforcement (R+) as her main tools. 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:

After our big win (TWO awards) at the New West Platinum Awards 2016!

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. Sadly, the staff didn’t have it any better, usually never making more than minimum wage and being given ZERO training in animal behaviour.

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

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!

Stefania is a proud member of the Shock-Free Coalition, and as of July 2018 is volunteering as the Regional Coordinator for BC! Read the press release here.


Sapperton Crew

Jelena Ukalovic - Operations + Client Care Manager
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Jelena (right)

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


Sandra Stefanich - Wrangler

dog walker vancouver, dog walking vancouver, vancouver dog walker, vancouver dog training, dog trianing vancouver, dog daycare vancouver, vancouver dog daycareSandra has become a part of Mindful Mutts because she understands the benefits of education when working with animals. Ideally, she wants to continue to learn so she can better understand how to become a voice for those that don’t have one.  When Sandra isn’t working at Mindful Mutts she’s spending her time rocking out to Iggy Pop with her dog Iggy Pup, a black mini Schnauzer.

The first time Sandra heard of Mindful Mutts was when she completed Stefania’s Walks ‘n Wags Pet First Aid Course 2 years ago! When it was time to put her daycare experience to work a little closer to her home, she applied for the gig and was a perfect fit!


Downtown New West Crew

Megan Kosuljandic - Manager

Megan believes it is important to educate the public about, proper treatment and understanding of animals and believes in Mindful Mutts vision to do just that!

Megan applies everything she learns about dog behaviour to her own pooches at home, two senior Bichon Frise / Yorkie crosses, and one rescue pup. She looks forward to learning more as she continues to work at Mindful Mutts.  Educational info can be found below:


Nicole Humphry-Duval - Senior Wrangler

Nicole is a aspiring Zoologist. She believes education is the first step to helping understand animals better, and to help create a better and kinder world for them to thrive. She has recently completed a course in Animal Rehabilitation.

While Nicole may not have any pets of her own at the moment she has owned a pygmy goat named Ike, and thinks of all our Mindful Mutts dogs as a part of her family.  More info on what she’s working on educationally specific to her job as a Wrangler can be found below:


Mason Rudge - Wrangler

Mason comes to Mindful Mutts after a fun but tough job printing t-shirts,! While Mason can see themselves doing that in their future, they also would love to train assistance dogs.

Mason appreciates being in a environment that pushes for education in animal care, and would love to help build a world where we can alleviate poor animal care. Home is shared with a three year old chihuahua named Matthew, two cats Sybil and Felix, as well as two gerbil sisters.


Martha Bull - Wrangler

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:


Kurt Knoblick - HR +Community Liaison

Kurt (seen on the left) is a Jack of all trades, he is a stay at home parent to a wonderful 7 year old named Madison, a pet parent to a 16 year old cat, and a sassy 2 year old rescue pup named Fiona.

In his limited spare time Kurt volunteers as the VP of the New West Pride committee, he has a thriving Tupperware business and somehow still manages to find a few moments a week to put his exceptional customer service and HR experience to good use as our head of HR here at Mindful Mutts.