Vail Pet Partner Team Profiles

Steve Hilbert & Eva

Breed: German Shepherd
Team Member Since: 2007 (Retired)


Sally Clair & Kokomo

Breed: Yellow Lab
Team Member since: 2005 (retired)

I love my Kokomo – my partner – because she is loyal. Because she never lets me down. Because she loves me unconditionally. Because she smiles. Because she likes to lounge.

Laura Sellards & Murphy

Breed: Golden Retriever
Team member since: 2008

Cathy and Gracie

Cathy Vito & Gracie

Breed: Jack Russell Terrier
Team Member since: 2007

Cathy Vito & Murphy

Breed: Golden Retriever
Team Member since: 2011


Blondie & Puck

Vail Pet Partner Founder
Blondie Vucich & Puck

Breed: Rat Terrier
Team member since: 2005

Puck is a 10 year old Rat Terrier mix and he is a perfect little gentleman. He is quiet and well behaved and does not fit the typical description of a small dog……no high pitched barking or jumping! He began his career at the Vail Valley Medical Center but has now moved onto Jack’s Place where he enjoys the quiet, interactive environment. His favorite past times are hiking with his brother, Yanni, and snoozing beneath the covers.


Nanette & Jetta

Nanette Kuich & Jetta

Breed: Flat Coat Retriever
Team member since: 2008

Jetta has a reputation as the calmest, most kid friendly dog when she reads at elementary schools and libraries. But she is a first class retriever when it comes to swimming and playing in snow and mud puddles!


Robin Ruff & Chloe

Breed: Australian Shepherd
Team member since: 2009
My name is Robin Ruff.  My dog, Chloe, and I are a Vail Pet Partner team.  My husband and I adopted Chloe from the Eagle Animal Shelter 6 years ago.  Chloe is a Black Tr-Australian Shepherd and is a bundle of love and fur!  Chloe and I have been involved with Vail Pet Partners for 4 years and love visiting patients and their families at Jack’s Place.  Chloe is so friendly and loving and adores attention from all ages of people.  Chloe also loves going hiking, snowshoeing, and running.  We love being a part of this wonderful organization that brings animals and people together.


Events Co-Chair  &  Wagging Tales Program – Gypsum
Scott Ruff & Molly

Breed: Australian Shepard
Team member since:

Wagging Tales Program – Charter School
Rita Skelton & Moose

Breed: Yellow Lab
Team member since:

Team Members:

Joyce Chizmadia and Bailey
Breed: Golden Retriever
Team member since: 2010
Heidi & April Showers Heidi Clark & April Showers
Breed:  Australian Sheperd
Team member since: 2008
Abby Dixon & Becca
Breed:  Cavachon
Team Member Since: 2007 

Becca and Abby Dixon have been in the pet partner program for over 6 years.  Becca is an 8 year old Cavachon, which is a mix of a Cavalier King Charles and Bichon.   We spend most of our time in the reading program at June Creek Elementary and also at Jack’s Place.

Simone Horness & Ruca
Breed:  Golden Retriever
Team Member Since: (Retired)
Cynthia Kruse & Miss Tillie
Breed:  Australian Shepard
Team member since: 2007Miss Tillie was one of the top 10 Premier Conformation Champions at the Australian Shepherd Club of America 2009 National Specialty show.  She has been competing in agility since 2006 and has all of her national titles.
Gigi Lepley and Pearl
Breed: Newfoundland
Team member: 2008 – 2010   (Retired)
Stephanie Lucero & Balto
Breed:  Leonberger
Team member since: 2010 – 2011  (Retired) 

Balto would rather be wet and muddy all the time… but when he gets cleaned up for work, he acts like a princess.

Ellen Mitchell & Hana
Breed:  Labradoodle
Team member since: 2010
Dennie Moore & Pepper
Breed:  Black Lab
Team Member since:  2009 (retired) 

Pepper has been our sweetest family pet ever and is immensely loved by his human brother and sister, Kyle and Karlie. He missed them terribly when they went to college and sleeps in their rooms with them whenever one or the other is home.  Getting to those rooms upstairs is difficult, because he had his left front leg amputated in 2008, due to a bone cancer tumor. When they are home he has no problem hopping up those stairs to sleep close by….it makes us all smile!
A year after the amputation and healing process we decided that he needed to help others and so we went through the Pet Partners training and certification.
Jeanne & Kosak Jeanne Nedrelow & Kosak
Breed:  Italian Greyhound
Team member since: 2009 

Kosak has been a Vail Pet Partner for 7 years. She is originally from Tijuana, Mexico and was given to me by a friend. Her name stems from a freestyle skiing air maneuver called a Kosak. My son Jens was a mogul freestyle skier with Ski Club Vail and he named her.  Kosak has been a very active dog, as most greyhounds are, and is a wonderful and compassionate dog. She has been involved with Vail Pet Partners at Jack’s Place and at the Vail Valley Medical Center. She has given many patients love and has made a mark on their lives. She has several friends “she” emails and will be everlasting pen pals. The joy she has given patients is only unsurpassed by the joy she has given me for a lifetime.


Lynne Nelson-Kern & Samara
Breed:  Labradoodle
Team member since: 2010
Pam Starr & Rascal
Breed:  Bichon
Team member since:
Deanna Tuley & Sophie
Breed:  Golden Retriever
Team member since: