Everyone who works at the Dog Ranch is a thoroughly trained dog handler and cleaner, and all staff are educated and overseen by our General Managers Steve and Cam, and Karen the owner. The Handlers are also guided by an Operation Manual and Employee Handbook covering all aspects of caring for dogs. Handlers, Trainers, and Groomers all have up to date qualifications.
Karen’s 20-year entrepreneurial business career in Toronto and Vancouver has always been paired with her love of dogs and being outdoors. As owner, managing director and co-creator of the Dog Ranch, she is responsible for all Ranch operations and overall canine and human satisfaction. Karen can jump into almost any role, and is tireless in her efforts to ensure the Dog Ranch delivers the highest quality, totally dog-centred boarding services in Greater Vancouver and Bowen Island. On Bowen, Karen and the Dog Ranch are enthusiastic participants in all kinds of community activities; the Ranch has made many friends on the Island, the North Shore and in Greater Vancouver.
Steve is a long-time Bowen Islander and, after a career in the city, took the big leap to get out from behind a desk and work on Bowen full-time. He has recently jumped in feet first to helping Karen oversee the Dog Ranch as General Manager, after spending the previous 2 years part time as a valued member of the Dog Ranch dog-handling team as well as overseeing the endless building and property work. Steve has a never-ending enthusiasm for our dogs, and they clearly adore him.
Cameron Lawton AKA Big Cam
The ultimate dog lover, Cam comes to the Dog Ranch to work alongside Steve and help Karen oversee the Ranch’s day-to-day operations. With his vast experience in the service industries he’s has gained a lot of crucial HR management experience which is needed for the 24/7/365 boarding business. He’s made Bowen home with his two awesome bulldogs best friends Mayo and Marshy, and we are thrilled he’s onboard as our full time general manager over- seeing the care of our guests and Dog Ranch dog care, training and grooming team.
Alex now a Bowen Islander came to Bowen Island from Vancouver Island 10 years ago. Making her mark in the community with her vast experience in Creative Arts & Cosmetology and now with her passion for animals. She can be seen enjoying our beautiful island with Ducky & Ziggy. We are very excited to have her here to help us lead our crew and provide the best care we can for your beloved pets!
Zoe has come over from Penrith UK to work with the Dog Ranch team, and has quickly become an integral part of our dog-loving Bowen community. Her adoring care for the dogs is matched no less to her unwavering work ethic getting right into the thick of all things dog here at the Dog Ranch! Not only has she worked as a dog walker and trainer with her own business in the UK, but she’s a long time horse lover, and last year drove the horse-drawn carriages in Banff. She’s taking in every moment of Bowen Island, and enjoys her time off exploring all the local magical trails and beaches.
Leila’s 14 years of running a pet care and dog walking service with her husband on Vancouver Island, and her lifelong love for animals and nature, has brought her to the Bowen Island Dog Ranch. She continues her gentle and compassionate approach to dog care in the essential role of Pet Groomer, overseeing the Groom Room here at the Dog Ranch for local Bowen pets and the boarding dogs that often need a groom after playtime at camp! Leila loves life with her two feisty pups Pumpkin and Ike by her side, and is thrilled she can be part of the Bowen Island community and Ranch team, but also once again living in magical Howe Sound.
A born teacher and dog lover, Yoko Sakai is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and launched her own dog training business Bow Wow Academy and is now partnering with the Bowen Island Dog Ranch offering our training class program specializing in positive reinforcement methods.
Yoko has trained thousands of dogs privately and was Wagzone’s Dog Trainer in North Vancouver, where she offered multiple levels of Obedience and Agility classes, and also worked with reactive dogs. Yoko achieved her Professional Dog Trainer designation through Georgina Bradley (CPDT-KA-DTP) at DogStars Professional Dog Trainers Program in Vancouver, and has become accredited through Dr. Dunbar’s Science-based Reactive Dog Training Program. She has recently been accredited in Susan Garret’s “IYC method”, and continues to keep current at seminars and is constantly brushing up her skills.
Her goal is to help more canine friends and their humans build happier and safer lives together.
Bowen Islander Megan joins the Dog Ranch team while taking some time off from her business and accounting studies. Megan’s ability to jump from one task to another with a never-ending upbeat attitude and professionalism, along with her talents in social media, make her a great addition to the Dog Ranch team. And all the pups just adore her—enough said!
Sophie grew up on Bowen, and worked with animals throughout her school years. On the island, she’s worked at The Cat’s Pajamas, our local cat boarding establishment, and as a stable assistant at Evergreen Acres, as well as at Crescent Stables in Langley. Before she heads out on her next school venture, we are lucky to have Sophie’s passion and experience on board to help us care for all the special pooches at the Dog Ranch.
Emma’s family are dog lovers through and through and the Dog Ranch used to care for their beautiful black lab Ebony. Being a “Bowen girl”, Emma was a natural fit to care for dogs at the Ranch working during her gap year, and she has a depth of understanding of our lovely island that is appreciated. We are thrilled to have her onboard as part of our dog-loving team and all that she does to keep the pups happy and healthy.
Willow, a Bowen Islander, has been with the Dog Ranch throughout most of her high school career, and we can always count on her lovely and calming influence on all the precious pups she cares for here. Willow is heading into the veterinary field, so we are doubly lucky that she is continuing to work with us every week while continuing her education in animal medicine.
One-half of an awesome sister-duo, Brylie has joined her sister, Megan, on the dog handling team as a part-timer. When Brylie is on-site, she’s a major pooch-magnet here, and the dogs bask in her endless happy energy. Add that to a first-class work ethic, and we have an excellent new addition to the Dog Ranch family.
Isobel discovered the Dog Ranch through her dog, Ollie, when he was a puppy. Isobel’s dedication to caring for dogs is inspiring and she looks forward to a career in the Veterinary field. We are thrilled to work with such a devoted, longtime dog lover, and admire her dedication and the quality in her every task.
Rudi is a longtime resident of Bowen Island and has had a lifelong interest in nature an the love of the animal world. After a career as a wildlife cinematographer, Rudi has joined our staff at the Dog Ranch and is helping take care of our dogs which has always been one of his favourite species.
Quite simply, the Ranch wouldn’t exist without Tim! He assisted Karen through the original business plan, and helps design all aspects of the Ranch buildings, systems, landscaping and administration. In short, he is an invaluable advisor to Karen, bringing tremendous expertise, professionalism and valued friendship.