Meet The Band Leader
Band Leader/Owner/Certified Positive Trainer & Certified Behavior Consultant, Francine Coughlin, CPDT-KA, IAABC, is a Massachusetts native. She is the proud mother of rescue pups Teeny, Nelly, Finnegan, Bettie, Sugar & special needs pup Stewie, as well as one lovely human daughter Ophelia. She is 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 as the President of the Reading North Reading Chamber of Commerce and as Vice Chairperson of 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
Certified Trainer & BnR Training Program Director Theresa Kolpakova, M.Ed., ABCDT, is an ABC Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She loves all animals wild and wild at heart, and graduated in 2012 from Animal Behavior College. She has taught classes in the Northeast and Southwest on dog behavior and bite prevention for rescue shelter Staff and Volunteers of diverse age and ability, as well as group classes and clinics addressing reactive dog behaviors. As BnR’s Training Program Manager, she mentors an incredible team of certified trainers, and conducts remote behavior evaluations from her base in San Diego, CA. A humane educator with experience working in animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitation, and animal conservation and welfare organizations in North and South America since 2001, Theresa has loved bringing humane education (and dogs!) into elementary classrooms, as well as animal-assisted therapy to youth group homes and children with disabilities. She co-created a shelter program designed specifically for children and adults experiencing fear of dogs due to phobia or past trauma, and enjoys learning something new every day from the dogs and people she interacts with in training. As a force-free trainer, Theresa is the founder of DogSpeak, a private training service based in San Diego, CA, providing Positive Reinforcement Training for Dogs and Their People, including behavior consultations to address reactive, aggressive, and anxious behaviors. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) as well as a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Theresa is also honored to be a Board Member of BnR’s Rock n’ Rescue, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization coordinating with rescuers in Puerto Rico and the southeastern United States as well as working within the community to place adoptable dogs in permanent loving homes as well as providing free positive reinforcement training during each dog’s transition into a forever home.
**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!**
Executive Band Director Courtney Owens grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts. She met her first furry best friend Nikki, a Cocker Spaniel, when she was just a baby. Ever since she was a child, Courtney has dreamed of owning a dog of her very own, and has been infatuated with every dog she sees. She pursued her dream of becoming a hair stylist in 2011, but nothing could replace her love of dogs. Courtney traded in her shears and blow dryer for leashes and dog bones in 2014, and has never looked back. She worked as a kennel manager for a German Shepherd breeder, hand raising and training puppies from birth and caring for their mommas! Currently Courtney has two rescue kitties; a polydactyl tabby named Denna and a Savannah named Brahms. She saves all her dog lovins for BnR’s band members!
She is too excited to be a part of Bark n’ Roll!
**Rockin Fun Fact: Courtney is a life long fan of Elvis Presley and has visited his home Graceland for Elvis Week in Memphis, Tennessee SIX times!**
Client Care Coordinator Mily Mallard is a New Hampshire native and a graduate from the University of New Hampshire, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Equine Business and Management. Though her degree is equine specific, Mily has been working with dogs for over 10 years. She has experience working in veterinary, daycare, boarding, breeding, and rescue settings. Mily has settled in Hamilton, Massachusetts, where she lives with her Australian Shepherd, Cora. In addition to her love of dogs, Mily enjoys running, horseback riding, and photography.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Mily had a video of a horse at her barn featured on Ellen & Good Morning America!**
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 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/Trainer/Tour Bus Driver 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/Runner/Sitter Karen Douglas grew up in Connecticut, but has made the Boston area her home since graduating college. As a child, Karen always had one or two dogs in her family and now she is the proud Momma Bear to two teenage daughters and two black lab rescues, Derby and Memphis. Karen was an elementary teacher for 30 years but always had her eye on walking dogs, so within days of her retirement she contacted Bark n’ Roll for a dog walking position!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Karen has run 46 marathons. Her goal is to run one in every state by the time she is 90. Unfortunately she has a long way to go as so far she has done only 16 states! Go, Karen, GO!**
Walker/Sitter Juliana Papalegis grew up in Stoneham, and has always loved animals more than anything. She can’t remember a time growing up when she didn’t have at least one pet. She currently has multiple lizards, tarantulas, a fish, a bird, and a dog named Violet, who is a BnR’s Rock n’ Rescue Sato from Puerto Rico! It has always been a dream of hers to have a career, where she gets to spend her days caring for animals (especially dogs), and is thrilled to be a member of the Bark n’ Roll team. She also enjoys taking her dog on trips to the beach and for walks in the woods and playing video games while her bearded dragon sits on her shoulder.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Juliana has a YouTube channel and makes videos as a hobby. She likes making videos about pet care, movies, and anything else that interests her.**
Walker/Sitter Anya Sereno grew up in Stoneham and has gained the title of “Animal Whisperer” from her family and friends. Though cats will always be her first love (seriously — her first word was ‘kitty’!), she thoroughly enjoys caring for all types of animals. She’s had a passion for wildlife ever since she was young, one that resonates with her to this day; whether it’s befriending the murder of crows that hang out in her backyard (and naming the neighborhood hawk “Dwayne ‘The Hawk’ Johnson”) or rescuing the baby squirrel that had fallen out of its nest, she’s felt a call to help animals that she just can’t ignore. Currently sharing her house with 5 beautiful cats and 2 wonderful dogs, she’s no stranger to the hard work that comes with being a pet owner. She’s excited to be working with the BnR crew and she can’t wait to make so many new furry friends!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Anya was adopted from Russia when she was 10 months old and took it as a language class while in middle school. She can still read it and speak some of it, too!*
Daycare & Boarding Senior Band Leader 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!”
Daycare & Boarding Senior Band Leader 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 & Boarding Senior Band Leader / Daycare Training Program Manager 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 & Boarding Band Leader Nalani Donahue recently moved to Danvers from North Reading. Certified as an esthetician, she has worked as a dog walker in the Arlington- Medford area, and felt the happiest taking care of her fur friends. She is considering returning to school to become a vet tech. As a Bark n’ Roll team member she is excited to get to know your fur babies. She also can’t wait to beg friends and families to adopt from BnR’s Rock n’ Rescue! She currently has a rescued pittie boxer mix and boxer. If only she could adopt more dogs she would in a heartbeat!
Daycare & Boarding Band Leader Mary Hanafin grew up in Burlington, Massachusetts. She has always had a soft spot for animals. She went to Essex Tech and was in the companion animals program. She has been around animals since she was a baby, and wanted to have a career path that involves working with animals every day. She is so excited to be kicking off that career path as a part of Team Bark n’ Roll!
**Rockin’ Fun Facts: Mary played volleyball for three years at her high school and is the youngest of nine children.**
Daycare & Boarding Band Leader Nikki Cave grew up in Tewksbury, and attended Tewksbury Memorial High School. She grew up on her family’s farm, which created her deep passion and understanding of all different species of animals! She especially loves dogs and horses. Nikki has been horseback riding since the age of 5. She competed in horse shows from age 5 to 16. She was a part of a 4-h club from age 10-14. She’s always had a family dog, and is now the happy momma of a Catahoula pup named Ellie. Her favorite part of working on the family’s farm is driving teams of horses! She also worked at a local coffee shop for 9 years, and while she enjoyed it, she knew it was time to shift gears and start doing what she loves; being around animals. She’s so grateful and excited to have the opportunity to be part of such an amazing team of people and pups at BnR!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Nikki LOVES legendary musician Johnny Cash!**
Daycare & Boarding Attendant Mally Falk is a Methuen native who is currently at The University of Massachusetts- Lowell studying Ecology. She hopes to work in wildlife conservation and plans on working with animals prone to culling. Her favorite animals are wolves and foxes and she wants to do research based around the affects of culling to the environment and its balance, as well as coming up with alternatives to culling wolves and other predators. She has loved dogs since she was a kid and she has had dreams of working with animals since. She is passionate about wildlife and loves working with canines along all walks of life!
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Mally is a triplet and the only girl out of her three siblings! **
Daycare & Boarding Band Leader Lauren Flynn grew up in Western MA with her 2 cats and a Norwegian Elkhound. She has always had a passion for animals even as child. She would beg her mother to take her down the road to visit the horses and she would care for injured birds that flew into the window. She always knew she wanted to make a career out of caring for animals, which lead her to Becker College where she received an associates in veterinary animal science. In college, she primarily worked with retired greyhounds off the track and instantly fell in love with the breed. A week before she graduated she rescued a 2 year old greyhound mix named Tucker. She now shares her home with 4 dogs, 4 cats, chickens, ducks and geese. She hopes to one day own a farm where she can have even more animals.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: In high school Lauren placed top 30 in women’s downhill ski racing.**
Certified Trainer Felicia Scouten, ABCDT, is a Massachusetts native. She has always had a passion for animals and always had multiple pets growing up. She is a Certified Trainer with Animal Behavior College, and completed a rigorous one year plus program including currently mentoring several of the newest trainers on the BnR team. She works with some of our most challenging behavioral clients including reactivity, anxiety and aggression. She also has been leading our daycare training and enrichment program for over a year. She has many interests, but her first passion is working with dogs. She is the proud momma of her two fur babies Sunnie, a rescue Boxer mix and Macie, a Frenchie Mix. 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.**
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.**
Training Assistant Jessi Jaffe rediscovered her love of animals when her Newfoundland Dog, Xander, came into her life. He inspired the “trade in” of a life as a Certified Pharmacy Technician for one as a Certified Veterinary Technician. She has a special interest in behavior and is working towards her Veterinary Technician Specialty. She referred so many clients to Bark n’ Roll that when offered to join the team, she jumped at the chance. She is a Fear Free Certified Professional ™, and is looking forward to attending the Karen Pryor Academy for dog training next year.
**Rockin’ Fun Fact: Halloween is Jessi’s favorite day of the year. In fact, she likes it so much, she made it her wedding anniversary!**