In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re stepping away from our regularly scheduled dog content to recognize some of the incredible women in our industry. From feeding and training your pups to ensuring that their style is on point there are many women working tirelessly to ensure your pup has everything they need.
For anyone who has ever lost a pup or wanted to rescue, there are women making reunifications and adoptions happen every single day. And behind some of the best-trained police, search and rescue, and medical detection dogs out there? You guessed it - more amazing women! Meet 10 of these incredible dog-loving women.
Food and Treats
Gabby Slome, Ollie
We have to give a special shout-out to our own co-founder Gabby this month. Without her hard work and dedication to superior nutrition for our pups, Ollie wouldn’t exist as it does today. If your pup is enjoying one of our four delicious and nutritious Recipes it is because of Gabby’s leadership and hard work. She was able to impact the $30 billion dollar pet food industry and provide a superior product that our customers love.
Andrea & Natalie Tovar, Bocces Bakery
From baking in a home kitchen to creating the signature pup treats for Shake Shack, Bocce’s Bakery has grown up… a lot! Sisters Andrea and Natalie Tovar began their business baking healthier treats for Andrea’s pup, Bocce. Now you can find their products in your local pet store as well as seasonally in large retailers like Target and Whole Foods! If you’re near a Shake Shack don’t hesitate to pick your pup up a Poochtini or Bag O’Bones and know that these amazing women had a hand in creating them!
Karen Pryor, Karen Pryor Academy
If you’ve ever heard of clicker training, chances are you know who Karen Pryor is! An industry veteran, Karen launched her first program in 2007. She is considered a pioneer of the force-free dog training methodologies used by many of the top trainers today. In fact, over 13,000 people have taken her coursework and 1,800 trainers have earned training partner status with KPA.
Jenny Efimova, Dogminded Boston
After finding an old-school trainer who used outdated methods with her puppy, Larkin, Jenny decided to learn more about dog training and eventually became a trainer herself. She’s gone on to become a Karen Pryor Academy Training Partner and a Fear Free Certified Training Professional. Jenny creates incredible Instagram content along with the ever adorable and vegetable-hating Larkin (we know buddy). She’s available for virtual training for those who are not able to make it to Boston to work with her live.Nicole Skeehan, Uluru Training
As a way to keep her business alive through COVID closures, Nicole Skeehan and her talented team of trainers produced daily classes through Facebook live. She even had the opportunity to partner with PetPlan health insurance to create a special series of classes for new puppy parents! Nicole’s business savvy innovation spun out into a new service offering, Uluru Training. This virtual platform allows pet parents to bring class into their own homes easily and affordably.
Chaz Olajide, Sir Dogwood
“Based in Chicago, Sir Dogwood was founded in 2016 as an inclusive community for swank pups and their sartorially-minded owners. Sir Dogwood features a highly curated selection of quality dog wear and accessories from the freshest and most innovative designers in the US and abroad.” Chaz and her team have incredible pieces for every style. If you’re not local to Chicago, you can find everything on her website and have your favorite pieces shipped directly to you.
Katrina Boldry, Bold Lead Designs
Although we featured Boldry’s gorgeous 8 way brahma leashes in our Holiday Gift Guide this year, that’s not all she has to offer. Find a variety of beautiful and handcrafted leashes, collars and even harnesses in her well stocked shop. She even offers a range of service dog harnesses so that handlers can find the perfect style. Her fastener free leash is a huge innovation for people with limited dexterity. We love the ability to customize her products for the individual dog and handler’s needs.
Rescue & Research
Dr. Cindy Otto, University of Pennsylvania Working Dog Center
After the devastating events of September 11th, Dr. Cindy Otto launched the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. At the center, she and her team raise dogs from puppies into careers including police dogs, search and rescue dogs and medical detection dogs. This year they even ran a study to see if dogs could detect COVID-19. The center also conducts research to ensure these amazing animals stay fit and healthy!
Risa Weinstock, CEO Animal Care Centers of New York
Risa oversees operations of Animal Care Centers of New York (NYACC) which in 2020 took in over 14,000 animals (down from over 23,000 in 2019). In addition to taking in animals her team also works with owners in need to make a proactive effort to keep pets with their owners.
Aurora Velazquez, Executive Director ACCT Philadelphia
Like in New York, Philadelphia’s open intake shelter ACCT is also woman-lead. Aurora Velazquez joined the team in Philadelphia in 2019. Prior to that she held a similar role at NYACC! She joined the team during a time of much controversy after severe infection had spread through the shelter’s main site. Under her leadership much has improved for the agency.
While we couldn’t cover every amazing treat maker, trainer, rescue organization leader, or trailblazer in the dog industry in this article you can also check out our roundup of Black owned dog brands that features more incredible women breaking barriers in the dog space. We hope you will recognize some of the amazing women in your own community.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.