Hello, my name is Cody Shepherd and I’m the owner of The Place 4 Paws, I have been since I took over from my dad in 2011. My family has worked with animals for generations, with the last name, Shepherd, it’s not hard to imagine what we used to do! Caring for animals is in my blood, it’s what I love to do! I grew up on the very farm where The Place 4 Paws is located, every day of my childhood I spent hours in the barns and fields with our sheep, chickens, turkeys, goats, geese, cats, and of course dogs. Growing up so closely connected with our animals has had a major impact on shaping who I am today; I’ll be the first to admit that I am more comfortable around creatures with four legs than those with two, but I am working on that! The Place 4 Paws opened December 4th 2004, I was still in high school back then, but would help out every day after school. When I graduated I started picking up more hours at the kennel, working every job imaginable from pooper scooper to managing the front desk and everything in between, but where I loved to be the most was working directly with our furry guests, thousands of hours spanning more than a decade and I still love what I do! In 2006 I started an apprenticeship at Band Box Poodle Salon in Calgary, down on 17th Ave. I spent three months working under the supervision of Master Groomer, Michele Jones from the UK, where I completed a canine beautician certification (groomer). For the next few years I grew and ran my own grooming salon out of the laundry room at the Place 4 Paws! Grooming was a wonderful way for me to be exposed to low stress handling techniques I learned so much about animals under stress and how to make them feel comfortable despite being in a high stress situation. Of course while all of this was going on I spent most of my spare time working with and training my best friend, Tundra. Tundra is a low content wolf dog and has been an amazing companion, I really do have her to thank for exposing me to what I truly believe to be my most passionate area of interest, animal behavior! In the fall of 2008 I took the next step in my life’s journey and enrolled at Mount Royal University, in the Psychology department. I like learning, but I love learning about behavior, how the mind works and how we can use that knowledge to improve our relationships with those whom we share our lives with, but who are unable to speak for themselves. My educational goal is to become a Veterinary behaviorist, I love helping animals overcome behavioral challenges, I find it highly rewarding and have worked with many behaviorally challenged pups overcome everything form separation anxiety to resource guarding issues, aggression towards people or dog and my personal favorite, pups with fear related issues. In 2011 our founder, Brent Shepherd decided to take a step back from the kennel, Brent had been struggling with heart disease for a few years at this point and we both agreed that time away from the business was in order, so I stepped away from university to formally take over the family business. As you can imagine, running a small business takes a lot of time and dedication, so I have postponed my academic endeavors to focus on The Place 4 Paws. That does not mean however that I have given up on education, far from it! In 2016 I completed the DOGSAFE® Authorized Instructor program, which allows me to hold and instruct pet first aid classes; I have also achived certification as a CBCC-KA (behaviorist). I attend industry related, educational conferences each year and keep up to date on current literature.
“You cannot get though a single day without having an impact on the world around you, what you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
This is my favorite quote from Dr. Jane Goodall, whom I had the honour of meeting in 2015. I’ve spent my life, all 29 years of it, working with animals; I work hard every day to make a difference in the lives each animal that comes into my life, be that a foster dog, a boarding client or a wounded goose I came across late at night on the side of the road. (Ask me about it!) What I do may not change the world, but I believe that it matters and will continue to do what I feel is right and help those who are unable to speak for themselves.
Tracy has been part of our team since 2012. Prior to coming on board with The Place 4 Paws, Tracy spent many years in the rescue world, working closely with the Cochran and Area Humane society in every aspect from animal care to office administrator. Tracy still has a strong presence within the CAHS and we are fortunate for the in site and guidance she brings to our group! Tracy’s commitment to continuing education and growth are evident by staying up to date on current literature and by attended industry conferences. Tracy loves to spend time with her own pups (and any foster she might have at the time) around town or out in the mountains!
Alicia joined our team in the summer of 2014 as a temporary helper during our busiest time of year and now she just can't leave. Alicia's first love is human health and wellness and she continues to work part time as a holitistic nutritionist at a local chiropractic clinic. A close second is her love of animals. She is also an active volunteer and medical foster home with Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society. One of her hobbies comes in very handy. Her weekly photographs and Facebook updates of the comings and goings of our guests helps pet owners see what a great time their fur babies are having in our care.
Lesa worked with our team and founder, Brent, several years back and we are thrilled to have her once again. Lesa is a certified groomer and had spent the last several years running her own successful grooming business. Her knowledge of canine health, nutrition, and bodily care is a huge asset in her combination roles of kennel techinician and reception. Her love of all animals from marine life and reptiles to cats and dogs shines through. Lesa, too, enjoys an active outdoor life away from the kennel which includes hiking, kayaking, quadding, and seeking out a variety of nature's creatures wherever they can be found.
Jordyn has grown up fostering animals, often offering up her bedroom to the cause. She has always had a special way with the shy and fearful, especially feral kittens. Jordyn is responsible for looking after the needs for the animals in her household so extending that to the kennel guests was a natural fit. Aside from school, Jordyn loves to read and is very active with competitive volleyball.
Tera has a huge heart for dogs, especially the shy guys. She is the first person to get down on the floor with a dog and soak up the love whenever she can. Tera has many years of experience volunteering in rescue, also fostering medical and behavioral cases. In the future, Tera hopes to gain further education in dog behavior and ultimately pursue a career helping dogs and their owners understand each other better. Tera loves spending one on one time with the guests at the kennel, throwing the ball or going on a leashed walk exploring all the sights and smells around the farm. In her free time, she can be found outdoors exploring with her two beloved herding dogs.
Growing up Hailey was known as the "D.T" (Dog Trainer) of the family. This title was bestowed on her from a young age, as she had no fear of the large family dogs. Hailey has been with us since December 2011, working while she finished high school. As she now continues her education in Emergency Medical Response, she remains a constant here at the kennel. With her diverse abilities and fantastic manner with the animals, she is a huge asset. You will always know when Hailey is in the building by the adorable little greeter that she brings along with her. Tuff is also a constant here, hard at work, making our customers both furry and human comfortable at the kennel. His sweet little face is sure to melt any heart.
Ever since she was a tiny child, Kristen has had a huge love for animals of all shapes and sizes, especially cats, dogs and horses. Before joining The Place 4 Paws, she operated her own petsitting and dog walking company for over 10 years. She has also been an employee of the Calgary Humane Society, helping all the animals that come into the shelter find a new, loving, forever home. When not busy with school, work, and taking care of her two beautiful daughters, you can find her playing ball with her spunky Dalmatian, or giving her two cats some snuggles.
The Place 4 Paws
10135 Twp Rd 264
Rocky View County, AB
Monday - Saturday:
2:00pm - 6:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm
OFFICE CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY