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.
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.
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.
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.