Meet The Band Leader
Owner/Certified Positive Trainer & Certified Behavior Consultant, Francine Coughlin, CPDT-KA, IAABC, is a Massachusetts native. She is the proud “mother” of four rescue pups Teeny, Nelly Finnegan & Bettie, one lovely human daughter Ophelia, an ABC (Animal Behavior College) certified dog trainer (Honors Graduate), a Certified Behavior Consultant (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants), an American Kennel Club (AKC) Certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and S.T.A.R. Puppy Evaluator, and Founder and President of BnR’s Rock n’ Rescue, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit rescue organization. She also serves on the Executive Board of the Reading North Reading Chamber of Commerce as Vice President and on the North Reading Historical Commission. While living in Los Angeles for five years and working in the film industry, Francine got involved with volunteering at various dog rescue organizations and shelters and found this to be an interesting and incredibly rewarding way to devote her time. In 2010 back at home on the East Coast, she created Bark n’ Roll to incorporate her love for all things canine into a service that promises to bring some free spirited and friendly fun into its clients’ daily routines by getting to know their dogs and giving them the rock star treatment. She specializes in behavioral modification training work with even the most challenging of pups, who she finds are most often just misunderstood by their humans. She also makes it her mission to recruit only the most responsible and passionate members to her Team to keep our furry Band members rockin’ and walkin’ every day of the week.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Francine worked with Johnny Depp on Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3 and still loves and respects him. A True Hollywood Miracle!**
Meet The Band
Director of Operations Sarah Castine has been an animal lover all her life. Growing up in North Reading, she belonged to the local 4-H club, where she learned to ride and care for horses, as well as becoming a junior canine handler. She went on to show Norwegian Elkhounds at 4-H and AKC dog shows. As an adult, Sarah continues to pursue her passion for animals. She has worked in the field for the past six years, supervising doggie daycare, attending to boarding dogs, assisting in training and performing basic grooming. Sarah has volunteered for Great Dog Rescue Of New England as a foster mom to dogs looking for a forever home. However, her home has proven to be her three foster dogs’ forever home! Sarah is honored to participate in the care of a very important member of your family!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Sarah knows all the words to “Informer” By Snow and her favorite song is “Woman” by John Lennon. Bonus Fact: Sarah’s college major was music journalism, as she wanted to write for the NME in London.**
Certified Trainer & BnR Training Program Manager Theresa Kolpakova, M.Ed., ABCDT, is a native Pennsylvanian and a lover of all animals from zero to eight legs. She is a happy mama and lifelong buddy to a senior rescued feline, holds a Masters in Education through Community Arts and Ecological Teaching, and is an ABC (Animal Behavior College) Certified Dog Trainer. Theresa is also the founder of DogSpeak, providing Basic Manners Training for dogs and their people, and a volunteer trainer at the Northeast Animal Shelter, where she currently teaches classes to staff and volunteers on shelter dog behavior, body language, and bite prevention. She has always been fascinated with animal behaviors and the way we use our body language to affect our interactions with animals. As a humane educator and animal care technician with experience working in animal shelters and animal welfare organizations in California, New York, Massachusetts, and several countries in South America since 2001, Theresa has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of reptiles, birds, amphibians, and mammals. Her work with the Bronx Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Society as well as co-manager of a wildlife rehabilitation center in southern California inspired her to give greater attention to the individual and species-specific ways that animals use their body language to communicate with humans, and to creating clearer communication between herself and her animal ‘co-workers.’ Dogs have always captured Theresa’s heart with their love of living each moment to the fullest and their courageous nature to trust even after suffering traumatic experiences. She loved bringing animal-assisted therapy to children and adults with disabilities in California and piloted a shelter program designed specifically for those experiencing fear of dogs due to phobia or past trauma. Theresa is passionate about encouraging people toward positive reinforcement techniques to bring out the best in themselves and the dogs who share their lives, and is beyond honored to be a part of the Bark n’ Roll Band!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: For years as a pre-teen Theresa and her cousins had an all out air guitar and lip sync band dedicated to Kiss, and religiously met every weekend to “play concert” and perform in their family room. She always had the Detroit Rock City guitar solo, her fave. Bonus Fact: Theresa crushed on Ace as well as Vince Neil. Great taste!**
Assistant Operations Manager Karen Larson is a lifelong dog enthusiast, lover and caretaker. She learned how to walk a dog before she could ride a bike! Karen was a dog handler and dog walker for a high volume doggy daycare on the North Shore for more than a year. While there she earned a certificate in dog language and behavior and a strong level of experience working with every type of dog breed and behavior Karen is well-experienced working with both behaviorally challenged and highly reactive dogs, some of which were rescue fosters and have since been happily adopted. Karen attended college in Beverly, MA, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. Her daily goal is to maximize the happiness and well-being of all canines around her.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Karen is a dog Mom to Sadie, a rescue from our very own BnR’s Rock n’ Rescue! Sadie made her freedom trip into the Larson family in April of 2018 and she is a 10/10 good girl.**
Daycare Manager/Trainer Felicia Dombrowski is a Massachusetts native. She has always had a passion for animals and always had pets growing up. She is currently working on her ABC dog training certification. She has many interests, but her first passion is working with animals. She is the proud momma of her two fur babies Sunnie, a rescue boxer mix and Macie, a mini bulldog. She is excited to be rocking out with all your pups!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Felicia is also a special F/X makeup artist in the film industry.**
Facility Manager Dustina Hooper is a Northern NY native, who relocated to Stoneham in the Spring of 2017. She’s been an animal lover since she got her first cat at the age of 3. Having owned huskies and labs with her family in the past, she currently has no pets due to her living arrangement. That means more love to spread to our BnR band members! Before BnR, she worked in retail and at Petlife in Stoneham. In her free time she loves doing volunteer work and going to concerts.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Dustina is part of an international co-ed community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and serves as a Regional Membership Coordinator for the New England area.
Additional fun fact : Women in the fraternity are called BROTHERS and not sisters.**
Walker/In-Home Sitter Karen Tague is a lifelong resident of Stoneham. Growing up in a large family there was always a household pet from dogs to hamsters, to rabbits and chameleons. With a degree in Early Childhood Education Karen spent over 10 years teaching preschool and kindergarten. Most recently Karen spent a few busy tax seasons working for the IRS. An animal lover of all shapes and sizes she is currently without a canine of her own, but is excited to spend time walking, sitting, caring and bonding with your dogs through BnR!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Karen’s favorite rock album is “Give the People What They Want” by the Kinks. Nice one!**
Walker/Sitter Nancy Surette is a resident of Stoneham, where she can often be seen walking her two dogs Sam and April, both adopted from a shelter. Oh, and she also has three cats, also adopted! After spending the past 13 years in a customer service oriented environment, Nancy decided to follow a different path — and what could be better than working with dogs? Nancy is a caring and compassionate person, who realizes that all dogs are unique individuals and treats them with the love, patience and kindness that they all deserve. Nancy is very grateful and very happy to be part of the Bark n’ Roll team!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Nancy saw The Doors in concert at the Boston Arena in 1970 and rushed the stage. She got a nice spot up front, where she caught one of Jim Morrison’s Budweiser cans. Sadly she only kept it a few years. What a rock n’ roll memory!**
Walker/In-Home Sitter Shannon Maggio was born and raised in Wilmington, but recently moved to Methuen. She has just completed her online schooling to become an animal groomer. Shannon has always loved animals and they have always loved her back! We can see why. Shannon is an advocate for rescue with pitties near and dear to her heart. She is ecstatic to be a part of the Band!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Shannon is obsessed with felines as well as canines. Her cat is named Sizzle, but she calls him Nibby. Like most of us she has many pet names for her pets!**
Walker/Sitter Marie Birdsall has lived in the Boston area for 30 years. In her spare time, she loves playing with her 8 dogs and taking them for walks. (She also has 4 cats – all rescues.) Marie worked as an editor, writer, and instructional designer for over 40 years, and “retired” in 2016, but was searching for something that would keep her busy and active. When she saw Francine’s help wanted ad, Marie knew immediately what she wanted to do in retirement – to become a dogwalker. Marie loves working with animals, and is thrilled to be a part of the Bark n’ Roll team!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Marie’s first word was not Mama or Dada; it was Mike, the name of the family dog! Bonus fact: Marie grew up on a sheep farm outside NYC and they raised orphaned baby lambs in their home. A memorable lamb was Arthur, who was convinced he was a dog.**
Walker/Sitter/Daycare Attendant Sarah Kennedy known affectionately on our team as Kennedy to avoid confusion, has been in love with animals her whole life. Growing up on her grandparent’s farm and having family in the racing industry, she naturally gravitated toward animal husbandry, 4-H, and equine training. After seeing first hand the behind the scenes horrors of the racing industry, she began working in rescue and rehab, retraining horses for new loving homes, and advocating for animal rights, public education, and stronger laws. She put herself through college, getting her bachelors degree, and started her own business in adult health education. This has allowed her more time to return to working with animals. Sarah will happily walk or jog with your pup and sing them a song along the way. She’s looks forward to rockin’ out with the BnR Band Members daily!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Sarah takes care of a family of disabled kittens.**
Walker/In-Home Sitter/Daycare Attendant Micayla Mckown has been a MA resident all her life and loves living in Reading. She loves to spend time with her family and her menagerie of furry friends! Micayla studied to be an ultrasound tech, but found that her passion lies rockin’ out with the Band! She is an active gal, who loves the outdoors. She has been known to walk to work, and that’s a bit of a hike! She looks forward to spending her time with and lovin’ on your pups!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Micayla is of Irish, Sicilian & Cherokee Indian descent, quite the exotic mix!**
In-Home Sitter/Runner/Walker Michele Clark has been a resident of North Reading for almost 20 years. She’s a mother of 4 wonderful kids and 11 pets, including a yellow Lab Chloe and a French Bulldog Bandit. She’s a lover of all furry, feathery, slithery and scaly pets! For those who live locally, you may have seen her running through town everyday in order to stay active. She would love to take your family’s best friend with her! Michele is always happy and works with a smile on her face. She is excited to join Team BnR and their dog-filled lives.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Mic ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. WOW! Bonus Fact: Michele has bright red gorgeous long locks. Francine’s daughter O is convinced that she is Ariel, The Little Mermaid.**
Facility Manager Lauren Meleshuk is a life time resident of Reading. Growing up as the only girl (middle child) with two brothers, she found a life long love for animals. She has always had some group of pets to care for such as 1 cat, 4 rabbits & 2 birds when she was 10 to currently having 1 dog, 2 cats & her daughter’s leopard gecko, it’s always been an interesting mix! She studied at Middlesex Community College in Early Childhood Education & Psychology. She also has experience working with animals at other boarding and daycamp facilities. She spends her free time with her 2 children, her human daughter Kaleigh, 11 & her canine mystery-mix Denali, 1.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Nearly everyday in all weather Lauren & her family spend 1-2 hours playing “soccer” in the backyard with Denali as the “goalie!”
Facility Manager Lindsay Vollmar has lived in Reading all her life and has always been the resident “nature girl.” Back in high school AP biology class, whenever one of her classmates found some sort of interesting critter, they’d actually come get HER instead of the teacher. She has had a variety of pets including mice, hamsters, lizards, hermit crabs, fish and newts. She also begged her parents to get a cat, but they ended up getting a dog first. Ginger was with her family for 17 years! She did go on to adopt a cat named Misty and currently has two dogs, Tika and Lily.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Lindsay collects moths and butterflies and currently has over 500 of them in her collection.**
Daycare Attendant/Training Assistant Anna Suslowicz is a resident of Chelmsford. She grew up with a beloved Doberman Shepherd mix, a Bernese Golden mix, and a Mini Dachshund pup. Learning about and working with animals has always been a passion of hers. As a child she would tell her mom that she was going to help animals when she grew up. She is currently working towards her degree in Animal Care at Becker College. She has a 2 year old service dog named Domino, who is a rescue from Northeast Animal Shelter and also attends BnR’s daycare program. She aspires to train military and police working dogs, search and rescue dogs, and service dogs. She is very excited to be a part of the BnR Band and to rock n’ roll with them at 211 Main!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Anna currently has 16 animals she cares for in her home!**
Daycare Attendant Ashley Gibson hails from Reading. Her passion has been caring for animals since she was a child and currently has a 9 year old Bichon mix named Shea, 6 different kinds of lizards, a hedgehog and a tarantula. Animals are her world, and she is also an artist and spends her free time exploring nature in the woods of New England.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Ashley used to work in a funeral home.**
Daycare Attendant Kaylee Pasuy is a resident of Lynn. Since she was little she aspired to be a Veterinarian, and because of this has sought out careers in the animal care field. Beginning as a veterinary assistant, she went on to work part time walking dogs and later worked at a bustling shelter as kennel staff. It was in the shelter environment that she really got a feel for working with dogs of all different breeds and behaviors. She attended 3 years of college as a biology major with a pre-veterinary track and hopes to still go to Veterinary School in the future. Kaylee has shared her home with a variety of interesting pets, but currently has a Siamese cat named Mushu and a tortoise named Ethel. Since she doesn’t have a dog of her own taking family members’ and neighbors’ dogs to dog parks, Lynn Woods Reservation and Lynn beach is her favorite thing to do. She is stoked to be a member of the Bark n’ Roll Band and cannot wait to make new dog friends!
**Rockin” Fun Fact: Kaylee has hundreds of Star Wars action figures and recently met Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) at Boston Comic Con.**
Daycare Attendant Tori Melo was born and raised in Lawrence, where she is often outdoors at the local park with her three dogs Rusty, Chloe and Oakley. She is enrolled in the animal care specialist program at North Shore Community College in Danvers, and hopes to become a veterinary technician soon after completion of her program. Tori also spends time at a farm sanctuary volunteering to help the barn animals and to promote animal activism. Working with dogs has always been what she’s most loved! She’s thrilled to be a part of the Bark n’ Roll team!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Tori loves reading and owns over 500 books! She’s also quite the dog baker often making small pastries for her pups!**
Daycare Attendant Melina French has been a HUGE animal lover since she was a child, But her expertise and interest lies with dogs of all varieties! She loves her two dear pups, Sweetie and Junior, who have been a part of her life since she was 13. She wants to learn all there is to learn about canine care and makes it her mission to treat every BnR pup like her own! She is thrilled to be a part of the Band!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Melina loves fashion and is always creating new looks that she hopes her furry friends will enjoy (drooling and getting fur on!).**
Certified Trainer Meredith LoPresti, CPDT-KA lives in southeast New Hampshire with her Siberian husky Nora. You can often find Meredith and her dog passing the time outside hiking in the woods or splashing around at the beach. Her favorite pastime is teaching her dog fun tricks and she also has a hobby as an amateur photographer. Meredith has always had a passion for working with animals, from riding horses since she was very young, to now being able to work with dogs! She is so excited to be able to be a part of the BnR team and to help dogs and their owners have a close relationship built on mutual love and respect!
**Rockin Fun Fact: Some of Meredith’s favorite movies are Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Pirates of the Caribbean but her favorite of all time is The Princess Bride!**
Certified Trainer Brittany Venezia, ABCDT, is a resident of North Reading. She has loved animals every since she was little; Animal Planet has always been her favorite TV station. After high school, she studied Animal Science at UMass Amherst. Now she is working on her ABC dog training certification. She is excited to to start this new path in her animal care career. Previously, Brittany has worked with livestock at UMass and exotic animals at the Stone Zoo. She also has been working at a local veterinary clinic with cats, dogs, and some pocket pets. Brittany shares her home with a 12 year old Westie named Bella and a 2 year old rescue cat named Rue. She hopes to one day train service dogs and do agility training. She is looking forward to working with you and your furry friend!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Brittany helped train coatis, zebus, bears, otters, and snow leopards when she worked at the Stone Zoo!**
Certified Trainer/Marketing Coordinator/ Hiker Amy Barry, CCDT, has been an animal lover her whole life and particularly enjoys dogs and horses. She lives in North Reading and has one dog named Shelby and two horses named Buddy and Robin. She keeps busy with her pets, husband and 14 year old daughter. She has a passion for dog training and is a Catch certified trainer. She is also excited to lend her marketing skills to Bark n’ Roll so more people can hear about the great services we offer!
** Rockin’ Fun Fact: Amy once met her idol, Huey Lewis, and he wasn’t as nice as she hoped. Reality check!**
Trainer/AKC Evaluator Tracy Ottina has been with Bark n’ Roll since nearly the beginning. Tracy uses the positive reinforcement model of training to help you and your furry family member feel safe, secure and loved. Tracy recognizes that each dog has his/her own personality and, as such, modifies her approach accordingly. You can trust that Tracy will not overwhelm your little shy guy and she will redirect the enthusiasm of your rambunctious puppy in positive (and playful) directions. Tracy loves all animals and especially enjoys the challenge of working with canines that have reactive behaviors; whether it is based on over enthusiasm, separation anxiety, or fear, this particular group of misunderstood dogs have captured her heart.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Tracy used to design pool cues. Bonus Fact: Tracy won an award from the Academy of Arts & Sciences for Animation, under 18. It was an international competition for the 1984 Olympics in LA. Talented lady!**
Certified Trainer Cassie Thomas, ABCDT, grew up in Billerica. She has had a love of animals since childhood and was raised with a menagerie of pets: dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds. She now has two black cats of her own. Working with animals has been her dream since she was young, and she has earned her certification in dog training from ABC mentoring with the BnR Team. With a history of retail and service industry work behind her, she is excited to continue working with people and pets!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Cassie has lived in Colorado, Minnesota, and Rhode Island before moving back to Massachusetts and has seen her favorite band AJJ play a show in each state.**