Prince Sol Dog Team

Sol Dog Lodge has built a “team of bests” for all areas of operations – professionals who not only have extensive experience but are dedicated to treating dogs and their humans like family.

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RACHEL MOLYNEUX

Director of Dog Care and Kennel Operations

Rachel started her life-long dog addiction as a shelter volunteer and her passion just grew over time. She has worked as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Bisbee Animal Shelter, Animal Care Officer for Cochise County Sheriff’s Department and Sierra Vista Police Department, Interim Shelter Supervisor for the Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center in Sierra Vista, and Rescue Program Coordinator for Pima Animal Care Center.

Throughout her years working in shelters, Rachel was often the go-to person for difficult and behaviorally challenged dogs. In 2013 she opened sol.DOG Tucson to provide effective dog services in the greater Tucson area with a focus on training, boarding and supporting rescue and adoption. Her commitment and passion for helping all dogs – and the people who love them – has allowed her to transform hundreds of dogs into cherished members of the family.

Rachel enjoys giving back to the community and supports the efforts of rescue groups throughout Southern Arizona. She continually seeks out continuing education opportunities to expand her skill set and understanding of canine behavior.

Rachel has an amazing and unique blend of business knowledge and extraordinary canine behavioral training experience which makes her a perfect fit for Sol Dog Lodge and Training Center.

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SHELLEY HARRIS

Director of Marketing and Community Outreach

Shelley grew up with great danes, a poodle (Babette, of course) and feral cats. Her adult, nomadic lifestyle did not allow for pets for many years, so she loved on her dad’s guide dogs, Gonzo and Whitman, who came through Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA. Her experiences with Guide Dogs’ training and development process inspired her.

Fast forward to her marketing work with an assisted living company that always included pets in the community: A 3-legged cat in Washington, DC, a black lab (George) in Bethesda, MD, and ultimately Mr. Fry in Tucson, AZ. Mr. Fry was brought to her assisted living community via Arizona Greyhound Rescue and a partnership was born. She watched the love, training, integrity and compassion AGR exercised for rescue dogs and knew she wanted to be a part of it.

For the past 3 years, Shelley has been an integral part of AGR’s Board of Directors. For AGR, and now for Sol Dog Lodge, Shelley serves as the Director of Community Outreach & Marketing. She is responsible for reaching the greatest audience of supporters, partners, fosters and adopters and for sharing the benefits of Sol Dog Lodge for the entire community.

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NICOLE WHITTINGTON

DOG CARE SPECIALIST

Nicole Whittington grew up in the tiny town of Parker, Arizona, but considers Tucson to be her true home.

She was always drawn to animals, and by the age of five, she told her parents she wanted to pursue a career helping animals. She graduated from the Pima Community College’s Veterinary Technician Program in 2009, but quickly realized that she wanted to have more long-term connections with healthy animals than she could expect as a technician. To that end, she began working at dog training facilities and continued her studies in animal behavior at the University of Arizona.

One of Nicole’s favorite parts of working at Sol Dog’s Doggie Day Camp is seeing two dogs that are friends greet each other – she says it’s very much akin to two humans expressing joy at seeing each other. “You can see it in their eyes and body language that they recognize their friend. It’s just like when we see someone we like a whole lot,” Nicole says. 

Nicole’s dog family includes a blue heeler named Tyrion, a corgi-chihuahua, and will welcome a borzoi hound into her home in late summer.  When Nicole is not hanging out with pooches, she enjoys spending time with her family and husband Shane, doing crafts, aquascaping beautiful fish tanks, and playing in a local rock band. For her, working with Sol Dog Lodge dovetails perfectly with her desire to continue her work training dogs, with an eventual focus in working with service dogs.

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Anisa Musa

DOG CARE SPECIALIST

Born in South Dakota, she relocated to Tucson as an infant. As she matured, she realized that she felt a deep connection to animals, dogs in particular. Her first animal-related job was working as an emergency veterinary technician, and this is where she found that she had a knack for working with the more difficult animals, always giving them that extra bit of attention they needed.

That ability to connect with dogs in need has become her favorite part of working with the Sol Dog Day Camp and training classes. “I love working with dogs that would normally not do well in that sort of setting… watching them come out of their shells is one of the best feelings!” according to Anisa. “It’s such a joy to watch a dog with challenges be able to finally relax and just play.”

At home, just like at work, Anisa’s life is filled with pups: Dakota and Sultan, who are two German shepherds, a Belgian malinois named Kaiju, and Perry, a tiny chihuahua who has declared himself boss of the household.  She loves teaching and training her dogs to do tricks, and has begun dabbling in dog sports and agility training.

At home, just like at work, Anisa’s life is filled with pups: Dakota and Sultan, who are two German shepherds, a Belgian malinois named Kaiju, and Perry, a tiny chihuahua who has declared himself boss of the household.  She loves teaching and training her dogs to do tricks, and has begun dabbling in dog sports and agility training.

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TERRA HOCKETT

DOG TRAINER

Born in Tucson, Terra Hockett has always had a passionate desire to help animals. She began working with dogs locally in 2006 and her early experience with dog care ran the gamut from dog bather to kennel tech to daycare attendant to pet sitter.  Her particular interest in dog behavior and the important role socialization plays in helping to maintain balanced dogs blossomed from these experiences.

She began moving forward with her interest in becoming a dog trainer in 2012 by shadowing a local certified dog trainer. Since then she has attended many dog training workshops and seminars hosted by prestigious trainers across the country. This has allowed her to learn everything she can about methods of competitive obedience, pack management, behavior modification, pet dog training, and all aspects of professional dog training and care.

Terra graduated from the Obedience Intensive Course at the Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers in California in 2014. She continues to increase her knowledge and training through seminars with world-renowned trainers from around the country such as Ivan Balabanov, Jay Jack, Chad Mackin, and Dogs Playing For Life.

In 2016 Terra began shadowing and studying extensively under behavior modification and pit bull expert Jay Jack, immersing herself in his training styles and methods that focus on using play and positive reinforcement to reach and rehabilitate difficult dogs of all breeds and backgrounds.

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Katherine Fisker

Fisker K9 Training

Born in Phoenix, and raised in Southern California, Katherine has always had a deep relationship with animals, and a strong passion to help animals in need. This interest began with bringing home stray animals…dogs, cats, rabbits and a horse (abandoned on the beach after one of the famous Malibu fires.)She had a great horse training career as a teenager and trained under several of our U.S. Equestrian Team members. She began rescuing race horses in need — those that were retired or didn’t make the cut.  Katherine used relationship based behavior modification to help them overcome issues and obtain permanent homes. She continued this well into her 40’s, when she retired from that due to illness

With her strong interest in animal behavior, Katherine turned her interest to dog training and took several courses in Behavior Modification from a world renowned PhD, Suzanne Hetts, at Animal Behavior Associates.  The courses were instrumental in her education, and wanting more experience, she took a position first in a boarding & daycare facility, and then at an animal shelter.

In her position at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Katherine focused on working to help the longest resident dogs and those with behavioral issues find homes. She excelled at this, and pushed to create their first Behavior, Education, Rehabilitation and Training Department (B.E.R.T for short.) Katherine worked there for three years and saw a huge need for private dog trainers to help owners resolve behavioral issues with their dogs — both to help them avoid being surrendered, or to help them stay in their new home after adoption.  Katherine went on to intern for six months at  K9 Guidance to Inclusion in Tucson where she ran daily play groups and trained.  She also shadowed Jamie Robinson of Seize the Leash for two years, with she practiced and learned about a play based approach to training.

Today Katherine runs her own business, Fisker K9 Training, and is currently a contract trainer at Sol Dog Lodge & Training Center.

Katherine actively pursues opportunities to expand her education and knowledge, and has attended seminars with world renowned trainers across the country including Mark McCabe of Training Between the Ears, Nelson Hodges of the Canine Humane Relationship Institute, Jay Jack of Next Level Dogs, and Pat Stuart of NePoPo, as well as attending a Dogs Playing for Life! seminar.  Katherine passionately believes in a positive-first approach to training, always striving to be fair to and considerate of the dog.

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VALERIE PULLARA

Executive Director

Valerie’s passion for dogs comes from her mother, Arlene, who embraced and lived with compassion and love for dogs – and people – every day. Growing up, Valerie and her family helped many dogs of all breeds through fostering, adopting, and volunteering. Following her mother’s example, she passed this love and commitment on to her own children over the years, continuing to work with different rescue and adoption groups around the country.

Throughout her extensive management career Valerie has focused on bringing purpose and vision to organizations that help people and communities including her work as a City Manager, as a chapter Executive Director of the American Red Cross, as Development Director for the Audubon Society in Tucson, and as Senior Project Manager for Beacon Group, Tucson’s premier non-profit that creates opportunities for people with disabilities.

Valerie is used to building partnerships, organizations, and facilities. She managed the start-up of the state-of-the-art Target.com fulfillment center in Tucson and ran a multimillion-dollar non-profit property management and economic redevelopment company that constructed affordable single-family homes and community redevelopment in Kentucky.

Valerie’s talents as a business and civic leader and catalyst for change are instrumental in the planning and development of Sol Dog Lodge.

Valerie joined Arizona Greyhound Rescue in 2005 as a volunteer, first writing grants, then serving on the Board. Along with her own dogs, Valerie is Arizona Greyhound Rescue’s Forever Foster Parent, keeping dogs that cannot be adopted due to special needs or behavioral problems.

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