Kelsea Shaw, CPACP, lives in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, with her girlfriend of over 10 years and their 4-legged fur kids: 10-year old terrier mix, Charlestein McFarley, and 3-year old tuxedo cat, Bean Nugget. Kelsea’s career in pet care began in 2010 when she worked as a kennel tech and dog bather, and supervised small group play, at The Pooch Pad. In 2011, she joined the team at Barkaritaville Pet Resort, starting as receptionist and moving into lodging, bathing, and daycare before being promoted to Lodging Manager in 2017 and then to Operations Specialist in 2018. Her breadth of experience makes her perfectly suited for her current role where she fills in for all departments (Lodging, Customer Service, Daycare, Bathing), fine tunes department processes, writes protocols, and assists with administrative needs. As Kelsea puts it, “you name it, I probably do it!”
Through education and certification, Kelsea has acquired a wide range of credentials to help ensure the safety of the pets in her care including becoming a Certified Professional Animal Care Provider (CPACP) in April 2018.
PACCC: What was your motivation for becoming a CPACP?
Kelsea: I am always striving to learn. “If you aren’t growing, you’re dying” is my moto! If I am not learning or flexing my brain then I get very bored! I also like being one of the “top dogs” in everything that I do.
PACCC: Has being certified made a change to your business?
Kelsea: Of course. I am implementing a lot of that I have learned into our protocols and processes. That way, when we grow and expand, all processes will be spread as well—exceptional needs to be the standard! I am making sure that it is. Also, our staff will come to me with dog-related questions (mainly health, odd behavior, or handling techniques) or needing help dealing with a difficult dog. It is nice being able to help/teach them as well.
PACCC: Would you recommend certification to other pet care professionals?
Yes. The certification requires you to GO LEARN. It does not give you a handbook to study. It shows who put in the work/time it takes to give AMAZING care, not just memorize answers. Certification also sets you above the rest. No matter where you go or where you work, clients can search for PACCC certified personnel on PACCC’s website. And it requires you to keep learning. Industry is always changing. Science/health is always growing. You need to keep informed. PACCC holds you to that!
PACCC: What are some of the courses, books, websites, etc., that you found most valuable when preparing to take the PACCC Exam?
Kelsea: My goodness, I created a whole binder! I used the list of suggested material and researched the info and printed out the articles, researched info, etc. Other items: Knowing Dogs 101 and 201, Pet First Aid & CPR training, and a lot of time on the job!