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2016 Q1

Publisher: Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC Editor-in-Chief: Ann Frame Hertzog Chief Photographer: Steven Hertzog Featured Writers: Julie Dunlop Derek Helms Emily Mulligan Bob Luder Patricia A. Michaelis, Ph.D. Tara Trenary Liz Weslander | 785-856-8889 On the Cover Sherry & Tim Emerson with Phoenix the cockatoo, Hope a red foot tortoise, and Spoggy a ball python Photo by Steven Hertzog 785-856-8889

Copy Editor: Tara Trenary Contributing Writers: Janice Early Austin Falley Megan Gilliland Ad Coordinator: Linda Jalenak

Contributing Photographer: Patrick Connor INQUIRIES & ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC 3514 Clinton Parkway, Suite A-113 Lawrence, KS 66047 | 785-856-8889

Lawrence Business Magazine, is published quarterly by Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC and is distributed by direct mail to over 3000 businesses in the Lawrence & Douglas County Community. It is also distributed at key retail locations throughout the area and mailed to individual subscribers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reprinted or reproduced without the publisher’s permission. Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Statements and opinions printed in the Lawrence Business Magazine are the those of the author or advertiser and are not necessarily the opinion of Lawrence Business Magazine.



2016 Q1

Conte nts Features: 14

Foundation Awards

Third Annual Celebration

23 Non-Profit:

Keeshond Lovers United


Getting Ready for the Show

Show Dogs


Talking to the Animals

Veterinarians and Pets


Local Pet Food & Local Markets

Growing Businesses


The Business of Pets

Local Retailer Re-Opens


Man’s Best Friend

Service Dogs


Not Your Average Pet


What Do Dogs Do


Visiting with Downtown Pets

Exotic Pets - Snakes and Such


Departments: 7

Lawrence in Perspective


Business on the Hill


City of Lawrence


Professional Spotlight


Lawrence Memorial Hospital


Local Scene

76 Newsmakers 77


New Business

Lawrence Business Magazine: Telling the stories of people and businesses making a postive impact on Lawrence & Douglas County. /lawrencebusinessmagazine





WILD THINGS - UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL by Patricia A. Michaelis, Ph.D. photos by Steven Hertzog

Bald eagles, snakes, beavers, deer, owls and an endangered black-footed ferret. These animals don’t really make great pets, but children and adults in the Lawrence area can encounter them and other wildlife native to northeast Kansas at the Prairie Park Nature Center, 2730 Harper St., in Lawrence. The Nature Center preserve and education building are operated by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department (LPRD) and financed by City of Lawrence sales tax revenue. The Center has three full-time staff: Marty Birrell, director; a naturalist; and an animal caretaker; as well as five to seven seasonal staff. Volunteers help with special events and projects like planting milkweed or eradicating invasive plants. In 2015, approximately 60,000 children and adults participated in Center events and activities. The Eagle Day events are popular, with more than 1800 attendees at one presented in Lawrence and 350 participants at one in Kansas City. Originally established to preserve a 7-acre patch of virgin prairie, the LPRD has expanded the park to include 100 acres of wetlands, woodlands and prairie habitats, and a 5-acre lake. Opened in 1999, the education building features natural habitat dioramas, displays and live animals, including a live bird of prey collection with eagles, owls, hawks and falcons. Many of the programs are focused on introducing visitors to wild animals and their habitats. The Center has rehabilitated a number of injured wildlife, and most of those that could not be reintroduced to the wild become part of the live animal programming. Other animals are received from other wildlife rehabilitators or are “surrendered” animals that can no longer be kept by their owners. The Center also receives some nonnative animals that are incorporated into the education programs. “We come here often,” says Samantha Lowell, who was here visiting with her son Ian. “Getting to know the local wildlife is great. The staff always seems to have time to talk with the kids and let them handle the animals.” In addition to the focus on wildlife, Birrell says the Center, “tries to generate serious conservation of the natural world and ecosystems, and preserving them for the future to benefit the children participating in current activities.” The educational programs introduce young people to difficult conservation and preservation issues, and encourage them to learn about all sides. Birrell cites teaching about the pros and cons of wind energy, which is a sustainable energy source but has severe consequences for wildlife. She also indicates the problem of lead from ammunition and in fishing lures could be resolved relatively quickly by using nonhazardous materials in manufacturing these items. A slogan for one of the Center’s programs is “to go from awareness to action,” which is accomplished through personal experiences. The idea is to encourage participants to learn about issues that impact the future of the planet as well as demonstrate the value of taking action as an informed individual and a concerned citizen. One example Birrell shares is that of a young woman who started attending events as Andrea showing a the resident wild animals to visiting class.


a child became a teen volunteer, was hired as a seasonal worker and is now planning to become a marine biologist.

Center with several different programs available for the birthday child and friends.

There are several intriguing weekend adventures coming up in March and April at the Center. “March Madness Raptors” features birds and their prey (Is a Kansas Jayhawk a bird of prey?), while the “Bug Gourmet” explores whether bugs taste good to humans since they are mainstays of meals for thousands of birds. In April, during “Sounds of Spring,” instead of bird calls, participants will listen for sounds of frogs and toads. They hope to hear the male Western chorus frogs calling to attract females, as well as the gray tree frogs and northern cricket frogs. Since this program is for ages 10 and above, it is not hard to imagine the imitations of frog “ribbits” that might be a “take-away” from this weekend event.

“We love Prairie Park Nature Center because they offer a very different educational experience than the library and other local museums,” says Carrie Wallace, who loves to bring her son Dmitri the Center. “There are so many good exhibits here, and the staff does a great job with kids of all ages.”

Other activities at the Center are designed for Boy Scouts to earn merit badges, summer camps and school field trips that are actually in fields of native prairie grass. Center staff take the animals to local classrooms, where students can learn about and interact with various species. Birthday parties can also be scheduled at the

The Prairie Park Nature Center recently lost a black-footed ferret, one of its educational animals, however a 4-year-old male ferret named Gryfalcon will arrive in April. Two prairie dogs, Lydia and Kitty, arrived at the Nature Center in 2015. They were born in Texas and were only 9 weeks old when they arrived in Lawrence. They will be part of the Center’s education animals. Prairie Park offers walking trails for bird-watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. The Dragonfly, the Center’s newsletter, provides a variety of articles on the environment and wildlife, as well as a kid’s page. Check out the Prairie Park Nature Center’s web site for information about programs and upcoming special events at p

Zeke and Kohana with hedgehog.


BUSINESS on the [HILL] by Austin Falley, Director of Communnications , KU Business School



DELIVERS KU to Your World

In 2015, the University of Kansas School of Business launched a fully online MBA program, giving countless prospective students access to the KU MBA from anywhere in the world. The inaugural cohort of online MBA students came from many parts of the U.S., including Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis. These MBA students work across business functions and industries—accounting, marketing, health care and banking—and their professional experiences are varied. One current online MBA student is even a professional basketball player. KU online MBA students are doctors, lawyers, engineers and marketers looking to build their management acumen. The current students tell the staff they chose KU because of its strong national reputation and the flexibility of its online MBA program.

KU ONLINE MBA CURRICULUM To complete the online MBA, students are required to complete core coursework and choose one set of focus area courses. Core Courses (30 credits) • ACCT 706: Accounting • FIN 706: Finance • DSCI 706: Statistics • MGMT 706: Managing People • MKTG 706: Marketing • MGMT 718: Business Law and Ethics • BE 718: Managerial Economics • DSCI 718: Operations and Supply Chain Management • IBUS 718: International Business • MGMT 719: Strategic Management


If you’re ready to learn the essentials of management, but you aren’t ready to commit to a full MBA program, consider the Foundations of Business certificate. You’ll take online courses from the same faculty as our full-time MBA program. Once complete, your Foundations of Business credits can be applied toward earning the KU online MBA in the future. The online MBA students are engineers who have moved into management roles; they are marketing managers who hope to sharpen their business knowledge; and they are bankers who want to stay competitive in an ever-changing global marketplace. No matter your goals, the University of Kansas will help you discover where business is going. Learn more about the online programs at

Focus Areas (Choose one, 12 credits) Finance • • • •

FIN 751: Business Investment and Valuation FIN 752: Investments FIN 753: Financing Business Growth FIN 754: Derivatives and Risk Management

Marketing • • • •

MKTG 751: Consumer Behavior MKTG 752: Integrated Marketing Communications MKTG 753: Global Marketing MKTG 754: Digital and Social Media Marketing

Management and Leadership • MGMT 751: Strategic Organizational Design and Change • MGMT 752: Management & Team Building Skills • MGMT 753: Leadership • MGMT 754: Managing Internationally


• $714 per credit hour • $29,998 estimated total program cost


The fenced area at Mutt Run is a great place to train dogs within a set boundary. Both the fenced area and open trails are maintained by Lawrence Parks and Recreation.

A Pup’s Paradise Two city-owned dog parks offer a place for dogs to run and socialize with others. by Megan Gilliland Communications Manager, City of Lawrence photos provided by City of Lawrence

The City of Lawrence operates two dog parks where fourlegged family members can roam and enjoy scenic landscapes as part of their daily exercise routine. Mutt Run, located at 1330 East 902 Rd., and Riverfront Park, near the intersection of North Second and Highways 24 and 40, both offer dogs (and their human owners) areas to interact with other dogs and run free in a safe environment. “I hear from park guests that Mutt Run is one-of-a-kind and a true gem for dogs and dog owners,” says Darin Pearson, park operations manager for Lawrence Parks and Recreation. “Mutt Run is really large. Guests tell me all the time they enjoy the expanse of the park, which offers areas to roam with their dog through trails, woods and native grasses.” Mutt Run opened in 2001 and has been extensively used by dog owners. The park sits on property leased from the U.S. Corps of Engineers below the Clinton Lake Dam in west Lawrence. It includes restrooms, a drinking fountain, water for dogs and a small parking lot. Mowed paths run through the fields and along wooded areas. As with all of the city’s parks, users must be responsible for their pets and obey rules and regulations posted at the site. “Mutt Run is an ideal atmosphere to bond with your dog, enjoy canine interaction and let your dog run free,” says Roger Steinbrock, marketing supervisor for Lawrence Parks and Recreation. Mutt Run has gained a loyal following in the community and has become a place to gather and socialize. “The park has become a community within a community in many ways,” Steinbrock says. “The people who go there regularly know


each other and know each other’s dogs. It has become a place where people can bring dogs to interact, but friendships and comradery have flourished through the park, as well.” Mutt Run also offers a small, 1-acre fenced area for those who want to keep their dogs within a boundary. To access the park, take Clinton Parkway west to the Clinton Lake Dam road, turn south on the dam road, and take the first left onto 902 Road. Follow 902 Road to the first left. The 30-plus acre offleash park is at the bend in the road that leads to the north side of the spillway. Additionally, the city maintains Riverfront Park, north of the city and near the levee in north Lawrence. Riverfront Park is much smaller and does not have the amenities that Mutt Run does; however, it does offer a place for dogs to run and enjoy activities apart from your backyard and off-leash. With the weather getting nicer and spring arriving soon, the city’s dog parks are a great way to get out and enjoy the natural surroundings. “Our parks system consists of 54 parks and over 4,000 acres to explore,” Steinbrock says. “The dog parks are just one part of a comprehensive system we offer to encourage our residents to get outside and live a healthy lifestyle.” Lawrence Parks and Recreation is committed to developing its programs and services in innovative, cost-efficient and effective ways to further enhance Lawrence’s quality of life. For more information on Lawrence Parks and Recreation, visit p

Pet owners and dogs have an opportunity to roam free at Mutt Run. Mutt Run offers both a fenced area and open area with trails.

Mutt Run has become a community within a community. Park guests note that they find the park a great place to socialize - for both humans and their four-legged friends. The park is a great place to bond with your dog and allow dogs to interact with one another.


photos by Patrick Conner

On Feb. 24, the Lawrence Business Magazine and Cadre Lawrence Foundation Awards were celebrated at the Six Mile Chop House in Lawrence. This year marks the third year Lawrence Business Magazine and Cadre Lawrence have partnered to honor locally owned or franchised for-profit businesses that have been open for at least three years and have shown growth in jobs (at least 20 percent more employees or a total of at least 20 new jobs) within the year. “The mission of the magazine,” says Ann Frame Hertzog, publisher and editor-in-chief of Lawrence Business Magazine, “is to cover people and businesses making a positive impact on our community, and what better way to show that than to support the Foundation Awards.” “A key fact is that 80 percent of local job growth is done by existing businesses in a community, not new businesses,” Hertzog says. “And the Lawrence Business Magazine and Cadre Lawrence want to honor those established companies and celebrate their contributions to our local community.”

Patrick Alderdice addresses the audience. “Cadre Lawrence was formed in 2013,” says Zak Bolick, cofounder of Cadre Lawrence, and commercial relationship manager of presenting sponsor INTRUST Bank, “with the mission to support and actively promote economic development in Lawrence and Douglas County. We look for opportunities to support job creation, sales and property tax generation, and provide balanced and thoughtful feedback to our elected and appointed officials in that regard.”


It’s not only about adding jobs and opportunities within the community; it’s also about making a commitment to stay local by collaborating with other businesses and buying locally. The Footprint Impact Award recognizes a business that has made a significant community impact by making a conscious business decision to work and interact locally—a business that not only focuses on the growth and success of its company, but also on giving back to the community. This year, Dee Bisel and MinuteMan Press were recognized for its dedication to the Lawrence community. “We think it is important to not only think about what a business does but how they do business,” Hertzog says. “Businesses committed to impacting our community and creating a local footprint of mutually beneficial relationships. That strengthens our community. Our Local businesses, supporting our local businesses—keeping it local.” “Tonight, it is all about job creation,” Bolick notes, “and we want to thank the sponsors that support the Foundation Awards and help make this event possible. RD Johnson Excavating, the Chamber, Midwest Concrete Materials, Alpha Roofing, the BTBC, Massage Envy, Pine Landscape Center, AesthetiCare of Lawrence, Bartlett & West and INTRUST Bank. INTRUST has been the presenting sponsor of this event since the beginning of the Foundation Awards in 2014, and I am not certain that this event would be possible without their continued partnership and support.” The guest speaker for the evening was Patrick Alderdice, President, CEO, and owner of Pennington & Company. A local company and former Foundation Award recipient, Pennington & Company has been in business 22 years and has raised more than $494 million (more than all of its competitors combined) for clients representing 62 national and international Greek-letter organizations on 126 campuses across the United States. Alderdice shared his unique outlook on life and business, and how personal dreams and goals can help you achieve business success. “Congratulations to all the 2015 Foundation Award recipients. This year, we recognized the growth of 10 businesses in Lawrence adding jobs in our community,” Bolick said during the ceremony. “In three short years, the Foundation Awards has recognized 36 local businesses and celebrated more than 264 jobs they have added to Lawrence and Douglas County. Their work and dedication are examples of the strength and importance of our small business sector.”

2016 Foundation Award Winners

Bridge Haven Memory Care

Express Employment Professionals

Bridge Haven Memory Care, LLC, operates four intimate, home-style assisted-living facilities all located in Lawrence. Local owner Robert Wilson opened the first Bridge Haven home in 2007 and has added three more during the past five years. Providing individualized nursing care and comfort for eight, 10 or 12 residents, Bridge Haven has the highest staff-to-resident ratio available. More than a business, Bridge Haven has a deep and honored mission: “We never forget the individual within.� Bridge Haven employs 59 individuals and added 21 new jobs to the market in 2015.

Express Employment Professionals is locally owned and franchised by Kate Blocker and Barry Kingery. Since purchasing the Express franchise in 2010, Express Employment has increased revenue by 85%. In addition to this, Express Employment has put hundreds upon hundreds of people to work each year in the Lawrence community, from temporary positions to professional placements in all sectors of business. From a corporate standpoint, Express takes pride in being the No. 1 privately held staffing company in North America. Locally, Barry and Kate are passionate about being servant local business owners, taking part in community events and serving on several boards of directors. In 2015, Express Employment doubled its workforce, adding two new employees and bringing its total local workforce to four.

Design Brilliance Design Brilliance is a full-service marketing and design firm with clients regionally and nationally. Daryl Bugner and her team work with more than 20 active clients and continue to grow their portfolio at a rapid pace. Design Brilliance specializes in branding, web design, social media management, campaign development, public relations and more. It started just three years ago and doubled its workforce in 2015, going from two employees to four. Design Brilliance is located in the Cider Gallery in the Warehouse Arts District of east Lawrence.

Good Energy Solutions Good Energy Solutions is a full-service energy partner that is able to provide comprehensive consulting and services in electrical, renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy management in the central U.S. Founded in 2007, Good Energy Solutions has earned a reputation of reliable service, expertise and quality through commercial and residential installations of solar and wind. Good En-



ergy Solutions is “Energy with Integrity.” The company has benefited from the boom in the solar industry. According to the Solar Foundation and the 2015 National Solar Jobs Census in the US: 1) Solar jobs have seen a 123% growth over the last five years. 2) Solar industry employment grew 12 times faster than the overall U.S. workforce. 3) Solar employers anticipate adding 30,000 more workers in 2016, an increase of 14.6%. Now, if you were at last year’s Foundation Awards, this company’s name may seem familiar to you. Good Energy Solutions was also a recipient of the 2015 Foundation Award, making this company the first repeat Foundation Award winner. The company continues to help its customers reduce energy use and energy costs through energy audits, energy efficiencies and energy management. In addition, it provides custom design and installation of clean renewable energy solutions including solar, wind and solar/wind hybrid systems. It also has an electrical division headed by a master electrician capable of any and all electrical service, from small home repair to large commercial installations. In 2015, Good Energy Solutions added 20% in new employment and today employs 22 people.

Home Instead Senior Care Home Instead Senior Care is recognized as a trusted source of in-home, nonmedical care for seniors. Whether you need someone to help a loved one for just a few hours per week, or if you need more comprehensive 24-hour assistance, Home Instead is equipped to help. Its caregivers are thoroughly screened, extensively trained, bonded and insured, and they are professional, reliable, dependable and matched to clients’ preferences. In addition, this company understands the importance of your home, recognizing the comfort and confidence you enjoy in living in your own home. In 2015, Home Instead employed 13 new people and today has 74 employees.

Minuteman Press Minuteman Press is in the business of helping businesses communicate with their customers. It builds business by helping you build yours. Minuteman Press was voted Lawrence’s Best Printer in 2014 and has also been designated Kansas’ first Sustainable Green Printer (SGP). Minuteman Press has been in business for 23 years in Lawrence and understands the importance of building relationships. It can be your partner for excellent graphic design, quality green printing, direct mail, banners, promotional products and marketing. In 2015, Minuteman Press added 20% new employment in Lawrence, with seven employees currently working in its shop.


Kelly H. Foos

The Law Firm of Stevens & Brand, LLP is proud to announce the addition of three talented associate attorneys to the firm. We are pleased to welcome Kelly H. Foos, Denise L. McNabb, and Joshua J. Langlois, and are excited to have them on our team.

Counsel Guide Advocate

Denise L. McNabb


Joshua J. Langlois


U.S. News – Best Lawyers® has announced the publication of its 2016 “Best Law Firm” rankings. The Lawrence and Topeka firm Stevens & Brand, LLP has been named as a 2016 Tier 1 Firm (the highest level) in the Topeka Metropolitan region in the practice areas of Corporate Law, Education Law, Family Law, and Trusts & Estates Law.


Rainbow International Restoration of NE Kansas Rainbow International is a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week emergency services company that specializes in water, fire, smoke and mold damage mitigation and reconstruction. It helps residential and commercial property owners restore their properties to pre-loss condition as quickly as possible after a devastating event. The company operates in Lawrence, Topeka, Eudora, Baldwin City and the surrounding communities. Rainbow International works closely with its customers’ insurance adjusters to ensure the property and contents are restored quickly in an effort to keep claim costs to a minimum. In 2015, Rainbow International added two new employees, bringing the company’s employment to seven.

RD Johnson Excavating If you get out much, you have likely seen RD Johnson Excavating trucks and heavy equipment moving dirt in and around Lawrence and Douglas County. This business, which started with a truck and a backhoe in 1980, now employs 76 employees in the community. Its time and material division serves smaller customers, and the bid job division serves larger customers like the University of Kansas and the City of Lawrence. The coverage area is generally a 30- to 40-mile radius around the city of Lawrence. In 2015, the company added 26 new employees to meet recent demand.

Summers, Spencer, & Company

Select One Security & Communications Select One Security is a low-voltage security alarm company that provides 24-hour monitored alarm service for burglary and fire systems. In addition, it offers services that include access control, high-definition surveillance cameras, residential and commercial audio/video, structured wiring and networking (including WIFI), gate systems and central vacuum systems. With its purchase of Overfield Security, the company continues to grow and has a bright future as it expands the market from Lawrence to the greater Kansas City area and Topeka. Select One had tremendous employee growth in 2015, going from just two to seven employees, creating five new jobs.

When you look at SS&C, you will see it is not your typical CPA firm. It goes much deeper to help clients prosper today while strengthening plans for tomorrow. SS&C prides itself on being small enough to offer highly personalized service but also large enough to offer unmatched versatility and expertise. The SS&C family of companies’ history goes back to 1984 and is comprised of Summers, Spencer & Company, P.A., certified public accountants (CPAs), SS&C Solutions Inc., an employee-owned business services firm, and SS&C Wealth Management Group, LLC. SS&C goes beyond tax planning, filling out forms and auditing. It advises clients about their current financial situation and prepares them for a better future, helping them retain more of their earnings along the way. As the first CPA firm to become employee-owned, it has a uniquely vested interest in providing clients with remarkable service, operating without internal barriers. This enables the company to tailor its collective talents to meet clients’ unique needs. SS&C continually embraces the latest technologies for the security and convenience of clients, and its secure private client portals allow clients a convenient means to share files and exchange information electronically. SS&C employs 65 people, with 18 of those in Lawrence. In 2015, it added 21 new jobs, six here in Lawrence. p


KATE MEGHJI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR What is your organization’s most important commodity or service? The Lawrence Humane Society (LHS) is the community’s only safety net for homeless, abused, lost and at-risk animals. The vast majority of animals we care for each year arrive at our shelter through no fault of their own, and we provide them with a safe haven, medical care, love and much more to give them a second chance at a healthy and happy life.

What is your organization’s most important priority? Our priority is to save more lives and reduce animal overpopulation and homelessness in our community by achieving and exceeding the animal welfare and sheltering industry’s best practices—from basic shelter operations to innovative new programs.

What have been some of the most important aspects of your success? Although animal welfare is my first love, I’ve worked and volunteered with many types of nonprofit organizations because I believe that we are all dealing with symptoms of larger society issues: poverty, violence, lack of education and more. I have a passion for collaboration with other agencies and groups to have greater impact together. I rarely consider failure as an option. I’m a very analytical person, and with every challenge we face—and every day there are new and surprising ones—I believe that with the right information, the right team and passion for the mission, there is very little we can’t achieve. In the nonprofit world, there is a lot of passion and emo-

Lawrence Humane Society

tion, and I think these emotional components sometimes impact our ability to make smart business decisions. I think tempering the emotional with the rational allows me to make decisions and create an atmosphere that is professional, compassionate and efficient, and, ultimately, creates second chances for more animals every year.

How many people does The Humane Society employ, serve, interact with on a daily basis? Currently, we have 28 paid employees and more than 400 active volunteers, and are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. More importantly, last year, we provided shelter and care to more than 3500 animals in need, reunited nearly 600 lost pets with their owners, found new homes for 2300 homeless pets and assisted regional agencies by taking in more than 300 transfers and cruelty seizures. We are the only animal shelter in Douglas County, and we provide stray animal housing for the City of Lawrence, Douglas County and a few small municipalities outside of the county.

How do you and your organization make a positive impact on the Lawrence community? By providing high-quality care and rehabilitation to the animals in our community that need it most, and by providing education and resources to the people in our community to enhance and celebrate the human-animal bond.

What do you see as your personal responsibility and your organization’s responsibility to the community? I have always viewed my responsibility to the community in which I live to utilize my passions and talents to make the world, in some small way, a better place. A better place for animals, for people, for the earth as a whole. I believe that it is the responsibility of the Lawrence Humane Society to be the central pet resource for the entire community through the direct services we provide to animals in need and also through education and advocacy to improve the overall status of animal welfare in our community. And it’s my responsibility to grow our impact in both of these areas to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our community now and in the future.

What would you change about doing business in Lawrence? I love the business community in Lawrence! Businesses in Lawrence seem to really care about giving back to the community through both financial support and volunteering, and the support that our organization receives from local businesses is simply tremendous. The only challenges we face are those related to Kansas laws—for example, nonprofit animal shelters are not sales-tax exempt in Kansas, but most other broad categories of nonprofits, like museums or zoos, are exempt.

Why did you become involved (what inspired you— is there a specific thing, person or incident)? I came to this field accidentally, and I’m so thrilled that I did. During college, I worked as a medical assistant at the student health center, and when I graduated, I needed a job while considering graduate schools. I saw that the local humane society was hiring a medical assistant, so I applied and got the job, and that did it for me. While I had adopted animals from shelters, I really had no comprehension of the severity of animal overpopulation and homelessness, and the daunting tasks that shelters have in dealing with these issues with such limited resources. I was really lucky—the executive director of the shelter who hired me and promoted me into several positions, including shelter manager, really mentored and inspired me to continue to grow my professional skill set to become an effective and compassionate manager. He really emphasized the importance of being a good business manager and a good steward of donor funds, in addition to being a passionate advocate for homeless animals, which is something I believe in strongly to this day.

Additionally, many people are unaware that we offer 24-hour emergency pickup of injured and ill stray animals, and partner with organizations like Just Food and Trinity Lutheran Church to provide pet food for food banks. Nor may they be aware that we try to find homes for feral and less social cats through our barn cat program, that we investigate allegations of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect in tandem with our local law enforcement partners, or that we offer low-cost microchipping for owned animals. We want the community to be proud of the strides we’re making in our community for the welfare of the animals we serve, and awareness of those services we do provide is the first step in that process.

As you look toward the future of the Humane Society, what do you see for the organization, and how are you working to make that happen? For the Lawrence Humane Society to adequately serve our community and its animals—both now and in the future—we need to look at all of our programs and services critically, and determine what our community and its pets need. We want to grow our impact, both inside and outside of our walls. We’re facing challenges in terms of an outdated facility, which currently limits the impact we’re able to have in our shelter. We’re working to address those challenges because we believe the future is bright for animal welfare in our community. And once we address our challenges so that we no longer need to be concerned about providing the animals in our care with the best possible temporary home, we can focus our efforts outside of our building and start working in the community to help underserved and at-risk pets before they walk through our doors. p

What is the biggest challenge you feel your organization faces? I believe awareness of our services is one of the biggest challenges the Lawrence Humane Society currently faces. Most community members are aware of our adoption and lost-and-found services. Many people, however, believe that the Lawrence Humane Society is animal control—we are not. We partner with our local municipalities to provide sheltering for the animals in our community, which animal control is called to pick up, but we do not actually perform animal-control services.




Keeshond Lovers United Judy Hintzman by Emily Mulligan photos by Steven Hertzog

A lady in her 60s in St. Louis is hospitalized long-term and then passes away, but no one in her family can care for her beloved 12-year-old dog. A family in Iowa has a 10-month-old puppy they say is too much for their family to handle. A reputable breeder in Nebraska has a well-trained pet that has aged out of breeding but still has a long life ahead of her and needs a new home. These are stories of a few of the dogs that have been cared for and eventually adopted through Keeshond Lovers United (KLU), a 501 (c)(3) and regional breed-specific rescue group based in Lawrence that is part of the Keeshond Club of America. Judy Hintzman is secretary and treasurer of KLU, which was incorporated in 2001, and is the one who receives the phone calls and email messages containing stories like the ones above. KLU is a network of volunteers who are Keeshond owners and foster families who transport, take in and care for Keeshonds in need of a home because their owners have given them up for any number of reasons. KLU also culls potential adopters and notifies qualified adopters of Keeshonds that are brought in for rescue. Its adopter and foster network includes families and individuals in not only

Kansas but also Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Wisconsin. “Because it’s so easy with the Internet to network, networking has become a big piece of this operation. We are able to zero in, so there aren’t that many of our breed looking for homes, because we have so many resources,” Hintzman says. KLU holds an animal shelter license in Kansas and Nebraska, so the group is permitted to accept the dogs directly from their owners and care for them until the dogs are matched with a new permanent home. Often obtaining the dogs can involve driving long distances to pick them up, so Hintzman relies on her network to transport the dogs from their owners or shelters to their foster homes. She also has made use of trips to visit her family in Wisconsin to transport Keeshonds one way or the other. KLU matches potential adopters with potential pets through a meticulous application process designed to ensure both pets and owners are happy so the match is a permanent one. Hintzman first learned about dog rescue groups and became involved with the organization when she adopted her first Keeshond in 2002. “Within three to four months, I offered to foster another Keeshond. I was what we call a ‘foster failure’—I adopted that dog, too,” she says.



In any given year, Hintzman rescues and places up to 100 Keeshonds in the Midwest. When a Keeshond is given up, she either is contacted by the owner through the KLU website or Facebook page; or, animal shelters, such as the Lawrence Humane Society, contact her when a Keeshond shows up. Hintzman says accepting the dogs from the owners who are giving them up is one of the saddest parts of her job. “Some people, it just breaks their heart to let the dog go. We cry with them,” she says. In the meantime, potential Keeshond adopters have filled out a detailed, six-page form, have gone through reference checks, including a veterinarian reference check if they have been a pet owner, and have met with a representative of KLU for a home visit. “We talk about the needs of the dog. ‘What will the dog do while you are at work and on vacation? What activities will the dog do with you?’ We get a sense of how the dog will be part of the family,” Hintzman explains. Once potential adopters are approved, it is a matter of waiting for the right dog match to come along. Adopters may specify the gender or age range of the dog they are looking for, but Hintzman also has a knack for matching pets and owners. “One of Judy’s talents is evaluating a dog’s personality, and that’s not easy,” says Julie Jacob, a local Keeshond breeder and KLU volunteer. “She can evaluate the dog and its body language, even if it has come from a difficult place like a puppy mill and hasn’t been touched.” While the dog is waiting to be adopted, it is often placed in a foster home for a period of weeks or months, depending on the dog’s condition. Foster homes do not own the dog, and all of the dog’s medical care must be approved by KLU. All of the fosters for Keeshonds through KLU are either current or former Keeshond owners, so they are familiar with the breed. “We take care of the vet care and medications. The foster provides food, treats and beds, etc. Our foster dogs don’t know they’re foster dogs; they live in our homes like our own dogs,” Hintzman says. Animal shelters have an important role, she says, and she serves on the Lawrence Humane Society board. But she explains that KLU providing a foster home that is familiar with the breed is particularly advantageous to Keeshonds, who are an amiable breed with a soft personality.

puppies and their mother, who were kept together. Shelters in Topeka and Lawrence took some and provided veterinary care, then transferred the dogs back to KLU. Then Hintzman reached out to Keeshond rescue groups in Colorado and Texas to take in others. All of the dogs required socialization, so being with fosters who were experienced with the breed was the best way to set them on a path to adoption, Hintzman says. Breed-specific rescue groups such as KLU do not exist to take the place of the traditional animal shelters, she explains. Rather, they are an avenue for aficionados of a particular breed to either find reliable homes for dogs they give up or to find quality dogs to adopt that they know have been recently well cared for. “If the rescue group is not breed-specific, they are not as quick to know the responses and needs of the dogs,” Hintzman says. “It allows us to know the normal behaviors and genetic problems, and generally what they respond to best.” Jacob says now that she is a breeder, she has even greater regard for rescues and the stringent requirements they have for foster homes and potential adopters. “The strict policies of breed-specific rescue really do work. Until we get people to start to commit to an animal for life, you’re still going to need breed rescue,” Jacob says. “Breed-specific or fosterbased rescue is best for the dogs because the shelter is not the best place to evaluate the temperament of dogs.” She emphasizes, though, that not all “rescue” groups abide by strict standards like the KLU does. Many cities have outlawed the sale of puppies except for rescue puppies, she says, so people bring in pregnant dogs for the purpose of selling the puppies. “I don’t think any rescue or Humane Society should allow puppies to be born. You’re there to rescue the ones that need homes, so why bring more into the world?” she asks. Both Hintzman and Jacob agree there is no better feeling than knowing they have helped facilitate wonderful matches between Keeshonds and their owners, including their own dogs. “If I hadn’t met Judy in 2002, my life would be totally different. I’d be missing a huge chunk of the four-legged love in my life,” Jacob says. p

“They tend to shut down in shelters and get behaviors that don’t really represent that dog’s actual personality,” she explains. Although many of the dogs come to KLU one or two at a time from a home or breeder, sometimes things happen that bring a group of Keeshonds to KLU’s network. Hintzman says that a few years ago, the state of Kansas confiscated a large group of dogs from an unlicensed breeder, and that group included 18 Keeshonds, one of which had puppies. The shelter contacted KLU first, so Hintzman set her network into motion and put as many as she could into foster homes, including the


Getting Ready for the Show by Bob Luder photos by Steven Hertzog

Mark Schroeder applies the foamy, white froth to the long, shiny, golden hair as gently as if he were giving a first shampoo to a newborn. His fingers dig in slightly, moving in tight circular motions over the back, sides and underbelly, careful not to miss a single spot. This ritual is followed by a soft, gradual, warm rinse which leads to a blow-dry and brushing out of excess, shedding hair. The recipient appears unfazed by it all—no sudden, unwanted movements, no vocalizations, not as much as a change in facial expression. This is a routine shared at least once every two weeks during the winter months, once a week during the sweatier summers.

Gage was ready for his close-up. Truth be told, Gage, an exquisite-looking Golden Retriever, might not have many more close-ups left in his future. At age 4, he’s already received his Grand Champion for conformation—conforming to the highest judged standards of his breed at a series of dog shows—having compiled his points for such a distinction in very quick and impressive fashion. Championships are awarded to dogs that have passed through a process of selection at dog shows. Dogs are judged based on their breeds and qualities that show they’re closest to the ideal in terms of breed standards, such as coat color, texture and luminosity. Other traits judged include bone structure, height, weight, even pigment of skin on their noses.


The more dogs that compete in a certain breed at a show, the more points are up for grabs. Kennel clubs of different countries have different point structures and requirements. The American Kennel Club requires a competitor must acquire 15 points to be designated “champion,” and included in those 15 points must be at least two “majors, which are larger shows with more entrants.” “(Gage) went from his Champion to Grand Champion in a month,” Schroeder says. “That’s impressive.” Once you’ve reached Grand Champion status, to show Gage further and “campaign” him for more titles would end up being quite costly. “Gage is our first show dog, and he’s probably done,” says Debbie Schroeder, Mark’s wife and partner in all activities involving Gage and their other Golden, 5-year-old Suki. “It’s just our choice. After Grand Champion, you can continue to show him. But, we’ve already taken him to shows in Dallas, Ashville, N.C., Arizona, Utah, Michigan. “If we wanted to campaign him, we could. But to do that is thousands of dollars. To get a dog to Westminster (Kennel Club Dog Show, the most prestigious dog show in the U.S.) would cost around $100,000.” It’s not as though the Schroeders intend to stop working with Gage altogether. He and Suki, who are not related, both already have titles in obedience and field competitions, and Mark says he’s currently working with Gage for more field titles. Debbie is working with Suki on a tracking title.

“We don’t have lives,” Mark says. “We have our dogs. “Have you ever seen the movie, “Best In Show”? It’s definitely over the top … but, it’s really not too far off.” During the week, Mark works in medical sales. Debbie is a nurse. But the weekends are all about the dogs. “I’ve always had Goldens,” Debbie says. “Mark had some Brittanys. At first, we just got dogs out of newspapers. But then, we started studying breeds.” Debbie says she’s drawn to Goldens largely because of the fragility of the breed. One in five Goldens dies of cancer. In fact, Debbie’s first Golden succumbed to that fate. The caregiver in her makes her want to care for those at-risk in their health. “I was looking for the purest breed,” she says. “I got Suki first. Then, the owner told us about Gage, whom he’d shown as a puppy.”

Mark Schroeder with Gage

The Schroeders have, in Mark’s words, been “weekend warriors” with their dogs ever since, taking them to shows, working with them in the field or giving them baths at Pawsh Wash, a dog-grooming and pet store in west Lawrence. They belong to the Kansas City Golden Retrievers Club, Golden Retrievers Club of America and Hunting Retrievers Club. “It’s a commitment,” Debbie says. “You can never just drop everything and go. You always have to take into account the dogs.”

Man’s Best Friend Lifelong commitments, fixations, perhaps even a few healthy obsessions, with dogs appears to be a popular pastime in the Lawrence area. One need only gaze upon the busy and constant traffic in and out of Pawsh Wash and the frenzied activity inside on a daily basis to know this is true. The business is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, and it needs about all that time to accommodate all who patronize it, whether they choose to wash and groom their animals themselves, or have one of the staff do it for them. “We run a lot of specials during the week,” says Emily Brickey, a manager at Pawsh Wash the last four years. “On Sundays, we do a 2-for-1 deal on self-service. We have a mid-week special where we do a $10 wash. “By far, our busiest day of the week is Friday, when we do $5 nail trimming. One day, we did 90 nail trims.” Brickey says Pawsh Wash, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, typically schedules 30 dogs per day, and that doesn’t include walk-ins. She says the more serious dog owners are about showing their pets, the more they seem to want to do the washing and grooming themselves. “They tend to know more about what they’re doing,” she says. “People who show their dogs know exactly what they want done.” Many Lawrence-based owners of show dogs also have attended obedience and conformation classes offered monthly by the


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Gage (on right) at his very first dog show at the age of 6 months. His grandsire, Blue, middle (#1 golden retriever in the country for 2010). Gage’s sire, Polo, left (won breed at the AKC Eukanuba National Championship Show 2013). 3 generations of Grand Champions!

Gage (being shown by professional handler Cortney Corral) in Best of Breed at the Golden Retriever Club of America National Specialty, October 2015 Lawrence Jayhawk Kennel Club (LJKC), which has offered such classes for 45 years. At present time, the club has 49 members with around 49 different breeds. “We have a number of owners who have won national specialties,” says Vickie Jacobs, secretary of the LJKC. “One owner received a Group 1 at the Westminster Dog Show. “We also have club members who have therapy dogs, do agility, obedience, conformation, tracking, lure coursing, barn hunts and carting.” Jacobs says LJCK obedience and conformation classes meet at the Douglas County Fairgrounds every Wednesday night from February through most of May. The club also meets once a month for general meetings, and during the summer it puts on picnics and hosts a lure coursing fun meet. During general meetings, the club offers a number of programs to the public.

All in the Family People show their dogs for all sorts of reasons, but many, make it a family affair. Toni Martin has shown her family’s 4-year-old Golden, Sam, for the last couple of years, taking him to dog shows in St. Louis and points east and north. Sam has two “minors” and one “major” to his credit. But now, it’s time for Martin’s 9-year-old daughter, Michaela, to literally take the lead. Michaela is training to become a junior showman, and Toni is hoping she’s ready for a big dog show later this year in Lawrence. “The two are inseparable,” Martin says of Sam and Michaela. “These dogs are such tremendous companions. They transition from show life to family life so well.” Michaela has spent hours upon hours with Sam—whose fancy show name is Kelore’s Kaptain My Kaptain, after the Kelore Ken-

Mark and Sookie on an actual pheasant hunt in Nebraska 2012 nel in Michigan where he was born—in the family’s yard working on presentation and conformation skills. “I have to make sure the lead (leash) is always pointing toward me and on my left,” Michaela says. “We’re always doing that a lot around here, gating, standing, speed, circumference.” Toni says, “You have to have full knowledge of breeds, especially your own breeds. It’s a lifestyle, so you use the same word commands whether it’s during show or around the house. You just make it fun.” That’s certainly been the case for Meagan Kiser and Ben Grace, an engaged couple in their late 20s who have made grooming and training Meagan’s two Belgian Tervurens, Ariel and Belle, a big part of their lives as a couple. Belgian Tervurens are mid-sized animals that share many of the same traits as Shepherds. They’re very elegant and stately in appearance, with short, thick black and mahogany hair, and sharp ears that point straight to the sky—at least they do if they’re show-worthy. They’re known as excellent herders of geese and sheep. In Europe, many serve as police dogs. “I grew up with one,” Kiser says. “My parents and I fell in love with the breed. I’ve always loved dogs. I grew up in Florida and Colorado, and I fell in love with dogs when I got a Lab and Tervuren when I was about 6.” Belle is 7, and Kiser has been showing her since she was about 1½. Ariel, Belle’s offspring, is 1 and still a little youthfully exuberant to excel at conformation showing. Showing Tervurens, especially locally, can pose challenges. The way


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Michaela with her golden, Sam the conformation points system is set up, dogs have opportunities to earn more points the more dogs are entered in their breed. Problem is, Kiser and Grace have found there aren’t many people in this area that show Tervurens. In fact, Grace says the couple will enter Ariel in some competitions, even though she isn’t ready, just to boost numbers and points potential for Belle. “I know Belle has one major,” Kiser says. “To become a champion, you have to have another major, and to win a major around here is hard because you have to have at least five dogs in competition, and there aren’t many around. “She probably has 8 to 12 points. I want to accumulate points so that we can breed her.” Grace says pure-bred puppies of a champion can get from $1,200 to $1,500. The other challenge is that, as a young couple (Kiser just recently graduated from the University of St. Mary, in Leavenworth, with her physical therapy degree), they can’t afford to show Belle all around the country, so they stick mostly to area shows in Lawrence, Kansas City and St. Joseph. “Maybe in a few years we’ll travel more when we have some money,” Grace says. Until then, Kiser and Grace will continue working with their dogs at home, practicing sitting and staying, and getting used to people, being petted and being judged.

Pawsh Wash Grromer

“We don’t do conformation stuff every day,” Grace says. “We spend more time doing agility. Agility is easier to practice at home, and Belle likes the running around. In fact, we might get back into doing more agility shows.” While Kiser and Grace adore their dogs and love spending time with them, they’re the first to admit they’re not quite as engulfed by the whole spectacle of dog shows as most of the peers they run into regularly at local shows. And, Kiser is quick to point out that loving the Tervurens does have its limits. “The dogs definitely won’t be in the wedding,” she says with a laugh.


Megan Kiser, Belgian Tervuren


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Top: Nicole Martin playing with dog in play area.

 32

Bottom three photos: Tom Liebl examining pets and in surgery.

Dog exercise area at Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital.

Talking to the Animals VETERINARIANS & PETS by Emily Mulligan photos by Steven Hertzog

Veterinarians are ultimately scientists, but being the doctor for beloved pets who can’t speak for themselves is a job with many (usually furry) layers. Vets must contend with pet owners’ emotions, their own emotions, scientific data, finances and, of course, somehow relate to every single animal that comes in the door of their clinic. Tom Liebl does not remember actually deciding to become a veterinarian. That is because his father was a farm vet in western Kansas, and his dad’s job was a family affair that involved the kids and Liebl’s mom cleaning out kennels, and even pulling calves and corralling pigs. Liebl is one of three veterinarians among the four kids in his family, and his own son will graduate from veterinary school this May. Liebl’s clinic at Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital is much more a “city” practice than his dad’s, focused mainly on dogs and cats. After veterinary school at Kansas State University, Liebl joined his brother’s veterinary practice in southern California. Then, after his first child was born, he and his wife decided to move back to Kansas. He took the job in Lawrence thinking he would work here until he found something in Kansas City. “That was 1990, and I’m still here,” he says. Matthew Coles is a veterinarian at the Animal Hospital of Lawrence. When he was in seventh grade in Oklahoma, he wrote a paper about becoming a vet. Within two years, he was working at a local veterinary office doing cleanup and “grunt work,” and then moved on to another office, where he worked like a veterinary technician, giving injections, developing x-rays and starting IVs. During veterinary school at Oklahoma State University, he worked at a clinic in Overland Park and lived with friends in Lawrence. So when the Animal Hospital was looking for a new vet, his wife

encouraged him to apply. Now, 12 years later, he is in the process of buying the business from William Bayouth. Jennifer O’Driscoll, owner and veterinarian at The Cat Clinic, was one of those kids who knew she wanted to be a veterinarian from a very young age. She grew up mostly in Dallas and went to veterinary school in Massachusetts, and says she moved to Lawrence “randomly.” But it has been a great fit for her practice that exclusively treats cats. After veterinary school, she did an internship and part of a residency in veterinary neurology before doing both emergency vet work and general practice for dogs and cats. Through her experience, she says she thought that not as much attention was paid to cats’ medical needs in practices that saw both dogs and cats, so she decided to open her own cat-focused clinic in 2011. She says cat behavior, in particular, is interesting to her, and she likes to be able to go in-depth into “cat problems.” The bulk of the four years in veterinary school is spent learning the science aspect of veterinary medicine. Even though the animals are usually smaller than humans, their body systems are no less complicated. Add to that the animals cannot speak for themselves, so the vets must use their strong science base and their five senses to assess the patients. “It does take a high level of attention. We’re looking for clues that are nonverbal clues,” Liebl says. “We see problem after problem that span a multitude of body systems—it could be heart, kidney, orthopedic, behavior, ophthalmology. The majority of us deal in the situation that we have to be all of those on any given day.” O’Driscoll says that many of cats’ most common physical medical


problems actually are caused by mental issues, such as stress from life changes or being alone. “One of the main differences between cats and dogs is that cats hide illness very well. Often, it has been going on for a while by the time they are showing symptoms,” she says. “Dogs are usually better at showing their people that something is wrong.” Helping animals is what they do, but the veterinary clinics are still businesses that have to pay bills. And with many medical procedures and tests that are available to humans, such as CT scans and endoscopies, now available to animals, veterinary care can become pretty pricey. Coles, Liebl and O’Driscoll all agree that balancing pet owners’ finances with diagnoses and treatments is a daily challenge of their work. Coles says he has had to learn to navigate those conversations on the job, because it’s not something that is taught in veterinary school. As much as possible, they all work with the pet owner to find the best, most affordable paths to diagnosis and treatment. “One of the most difficult conversations to have is for a cat that has an illness or problem that is probably fixable but expensive. It is hard for people to make a decision, and my crystal ball is always broken—I can’t tell the future,” O’Driscoll says.

Dr. Jennifer O’Driscoll in action at Cat Clinic


Finances present their set of challenges for the vets, but the emotional toll can be rough, as well. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association says that veterinarians have higher rates of depressive episodes and thoughts of suicide than the national average. It explains that it is likely a combination of personality traits that vets share and the stress of operating a clinical practice that accounts for those higher rates. Regardless, the vets say being in the position of seeing animals suffer and having to make a decision to end their lives is not an easy task.

Dr. Jennifer O’Driscoll “There is an emotional toll it starts to take. There is a lot of counseling and hand-holding you have to do,” Coles says. When it comes time for a pet’s life to end, the veterinarians must console themselves along with the pet owners and the animal. “I take comfort knowing they’ve had a great life and don’t have to spend the next days, weeks or months suffering.” Liebl says. “It’s one of those honors and duties as vets that we have to take that responsibility seriously. You have to find a place in your heart that it all makes sense.” The vets agree putting animals down is still difficult and emotional, even when it is clearly the best course of action. “Being a vet is a very emotional job dealing with people and animals,” O’Driscoll says. “The cats I euthanize, it is always in the best interest of the cat. But it is hard for the owner, even if the cat is sick and not getting better. Cats are around for a long time. I definitely have tried to get better at helping people when their cat passes away.” There are also happy emotions in being a veterinarian: puppies, kittens and happy families who have found a new friend. So the vets must reconcile all of the emotional extremes. “After you put an animal down, you can’t leave the clinic and take the rest of the day off to go grieve. The next half-hour is someone with a different problem. That’s the hardest part, is the roller coaster all through the day,” Liebl says. At least half of each day is spent doing checkups, the vets say. But at any moment, an animal with an urgent medical need can come through the door. “Things change so quickly here that what looks like a boring day can turn hectic in a minute,” Coles says. Even with emergency veterinary care available late at night and on weekends in Overland Park, the vets have a hard time keeping their work contained to regular hours.

“The career itself is very time-consuming. It’s never going to be 9 to 5,” Liebl says. “It stays with you most of your day. I knew that going in. It’s a lifestyle more than a job.” Even with just one species at The Cat Clinic, O’Driscoll says the variety in one day can be dizzying. She attempts to illustrate the range: “I might see a 20-year-old cat that is skinny and has a disease and arthritis, and we need to balance meds for the rest of its life. The next visit might be a 1-year-old cat that ate a string and needs surgery,” she explains. “Then, a 9-week-old kitten is bouncing around the exam room. And then, I see a 7-year-old cat that eats Doritos and too much cat food.” When pets and their owners come for routine checkups, Coles says he spends a lot of time discussing the most common issues for dogs and cats: dental problems and weight problems. He says pet owners can avoid costly dental procedures by starting early with brushing and giving them dental chews regularly. As for the weight problems, “You’re in complete control of that. Limit food, and give them exercise,” he says. Liebl explains that similar to the human world, veterinarians are about preventative health care, such as vaccines, nutrition and parasite control. He says the physical exam is the most important part of a vet visit, along with a discussion with the owner about how the animal is doing at home—because, unlike humans, the pets often behave quite differently at the vet’s office than at home. Despite the “roller coaster” of the day-to-day job and the challenges of dealing with patients that can’t talk, the veterinarians say their work might be some of the most satisfying. And not just because they can help make pets (and their owners) feel better when they’re sick. “Pets bring a level of enjoyment to everyone. The relationships that this job allows us to have with our clientele, their families and our staff are very rewarding. The intimacy I get to have with families over years of seeing their pet—watching the kids grow up and families evolve—it becomes a partnership thing that I really love,” Liebl says. p


Local Pet Food Local Pet Markets by Derek Helms photos by Steven Hertzog

The Kansas City, Topeka and Lawrence pet markets combined generate nearly $110 million annually in sales.

which they felt comfortable. Then, in a small twist of fate, the dog food industry had a market that needed to be filled.

“We’re just after 15% of that,” explains Gary Rexroad, of Love Grub Dog Food, of Lawrence, with a chuckle. “If we can capture 15%, we’ll be pretty happy.”

“We work with service dogs,” Angie explains. “And we’ve always gotten the food for our therapy dogs from a small family company in Nebraska, which had a contract with the service dog training center in Kansas. It’s been pretty well-known that this company made the best dog food available. But, unfortunately, the company’s owner passed away.”

Gary and his wife, Angie, started Love Grub Dog Food in 2013. The couple creates original dog food and dog treats from their home and a small factory in east Lawrence. In the short three years they have been in production, the company has turned a profit and is experiencing exciting growth. Not bad for a company they had absolutely no intention of starting.

Gary explains that he and Angie had absolutely no intention of taking over production of the food, but when they learned the family was going stop making the product, he had an idea.

“If you would have told me five years ago that we would start a dog food company in our kitchen, I would have told you that you were crazy,” Angie says emphatically. “We had no plan whatsoever to start a dog food business.”

“We asked if they would sell us the recipes because, at that time, we wanted the food just for our dogs. Understandably, the family didn’t want to sell the recipes and was most comfortable shutting down production and moving on.”

However, the Rexroads had planned to start a business eventually.

That’s when the idea struck.

“We had been discussing the idea of starting our own business for years,” explains Gary, an executive with Microsoft. “We knew we wanted to work on something together. We wanted to build something together, but we just hadn’t found the right fit.” The couple investigated a number of franchise opportunities and various other business ideas but never found a plan or industry in

“Angie and I started talking about where to get that high-quality food for our dogs, and we quickly decided that we could make it in our own oven,” Gary says. “So we got to work.” Angie and Gary keep their recipe fairly simple, producing a protein-heavy food that has no corn, wheat or soy. They work hard to get the best ingredients available and focus not on what is best for their bottom line but what food best serves the dogs that eat it.


Angie and Gary Rexroad

Love Grub in production “There are really only three things that matter with dog food,” Gary explains. “How it goes into the dog, what it does while in the dog and how it comes out. It’s that simple. A dog has to want to eat the food, obviously. Once a dog eats it, the food has to be healthy and helpful to their system. Finally, there can’t be any issues when the dog is ready to poop. Nobody wants to mess with that. Our customers have been very pleased with all three stages.” The Rexroads have self-financed Love Grub Dog Food from Day 1. Angie is the only full-time employee, and Gary still works a fulltime job with Microsoft. In addition to the dry kibble, which is sold at dozens of regional markets, they have introduced a “ridiculously healthy” treat. “Angie does most of the baking in our kitchen,” Gary says. “We also rent a small warehouse in east Lawrence where we produce most of the treats. We have intentionally implemented a slow-growth philosophy for two reasons. First, our top priority is maintaining the highest standards for the food. Second is to maintain the health of our business. We are very careful about our decisions. We plan on growing, but we only want to grow on our terms.” The Rexroads recently invested in a van and will soon expand their distribution, but, Gary explains, it all comes back to that Kansas City, Topeka and Lawrence market. “We don’t intend to grow out of our means, so to speak,” Gary says. “We are so proud to be a local business in Lawrence. We love this town, and we are so happy to be here.”


Another locally owned business has jumped head-first into the Lawrence pet market. John Funk and his family opened EarthWise Pet Supply, in northwest Lawrence, in early 2015. Much like the Rexroads, Funk wasn’t specifically looking to get into the pet market. “Since graduating from business school at Kansas State, I knew I wanted to run my own business,” Funk explains. “My parents and I explored many, many business ideas and franchise opportunities, but nothing seemed to fit.”

pany, says they are excited to be in Lawrence and looking forward to the future. “We were excited to welcome the 150 employees from Lawrence to our company,” she says. “We are proud to be a part of the community and look forward to continuing to produce one of America’s best-known pet food brands in Lawrence.” p

After dozens of ideas, the family landed on EarthWise Pet Supply. The business promotes itself as the fastest-growing pet-supply store in the country. The company has a presence in Wichita but did not have a location in Lawrence, Topeka or Kansas City. After completing their due diligence, Funk and his family contracted to open three stores in northeast Kansas, the Lawrence location being first. “Two things sold us on opening the first store in Lawrence,” Funk says. “We love how dedicated Lawrence is to health, wellness and their pets. And also, this location is perfect for what we hope to accomplish. We knew Lawrence would be the best location to start. Plus, we live here. We are invested in the community.” EarthWise Pet Supply caters to pet owners invested in natural pet supplies and pet food. In addition to a well-appointed sales floor, EarthWise has a full-time groomer and offers two do-it-yourself washing bays. “Pet grooming is a big portion of our business,” Funk says. “Offering people an opportunity to drop off their dog or cat, and not worry about the hassle or mess of cleaning and grooming them is very, very appealing to a lot of pet owners. We take great pride in taking care of these pets.” Funk says sales of natural pet food have been stable, and he expects them to grow annually. “As more and more people invest more time into learning about the benefits of natural pet food, we see more and more new customers,” Funk says. “We don’t just point customers to a bag of dog food. We really want to get to know you and your pet. What does your pet like and dislike? We’re invested in helping your pet live as healthy a life as possible.”

John Funk with customer, Mrs. Perkins at Earthwise

_____________________ In north Lawrence, another business, though not so small, is new to the Lawrence pet market. In March, 2015, The J.M. Smucker Company acquired Big Heart Pet Brands and took over its large Lawrence production facility. The manufacturing facility produces Kibbles ’n Bits dog food. The facility in Lawrence has nine manufacturing lines that produce 11 flavor varieties and 45 different Kibbles ’n Bits® items, as well as approximately 800 tons of dog food per day. The plant in Lawrence employs 150 full-time employees and boasts many of its workers have been with the plant more than 20 years. Though technically the new kids on the block, Maribeth Burns, vice president, corporate communications for The J.M. Smucker Com-


Sherry & Tim Emerson with Phoenix the cockatoo, Hope a red foot tortoise, and Spoggy a ball python

The Business

of Pets As a young kid growing up in Topeka, Pet World owner Tim Emerson spent his free time searching for, catching and sometimes, when he could get away with it, keeping creatures he found outdoors. By the time he was in middle school, Tim was frequenting Martin’s, the local pet store and home to more exotic animals such as sloths, monkeys and various birds. There was one rather large barrier, though, between the animals and the young humans who longed to interact with them. “Martin’s had a sign posted by the front door that clearly stated, ‘No Child Under 16 Admitted Without Parents,’ ” Tim recalls with the same mischievous chuckle Martin himself likely heard back in the late 1970s as he and his friends would stake out the parking lot for potential parental stand-ins and enter the store closely behind childless adults, hoping for a sloth encounter before being discovered and asked to leave.


by Julie Dunlap photos by Steven Hertzog “That policy never made sense to me,” Tim says. “It’s the kids who want the pets and bring in their parents. Why would any business owner turn away their best advertisers?” For nearly 28 years, Tim and his wife and co-owner, Sherry, have proven this hands-on business model to be not only profitable but the very reason Pet World is a beloved signature in Lawrence, following their company mission “to raise environmentally responsible adults.” Tim opened Pet World with the help of his then-girlfriend, Sherry, July 12, 1988. Three years later, the two sweethearts married and have owned and managed the store together ever since. “Pet

Bobbi Reid

World was Tim’s dream,” Sherry says with a bright smile, “and Tim was mine.” The Emerson family has since expanded by three more humans with daughter Autumn, 24, and twins Rhiannon and Spencer, 17, and countless furry, feathered, finned, shelled and scaled friends. Though Pet World was not the sole pet store in Lawrence at the time Tim bought it from the Stice family, by the mid-1990s, it was the only large pet and pet supplies retailer in town. These years of being a solo act were not just good for sales but further allowed the Emersons to fill a vital need in the community for accessible animal education. Toward the end of the 1990s, as national chains began to move in, Sherry recalls feeling some initial concern about the pending competition until hearing a business-oriented motivational speaker paint the scenario in a strikingly different light. “He told us not to worry about the competition,” she clarifies, “but to be the competition.” Already established as a business with a reputation for large inventory, fair prices, quality animal care, community outreach and high employee satisfaction, the Emersons knew Pet World upheld a high standard in every aspect of business practice. This high standard is exactly why state inspectors routinely train newly hired pet store inspectors at Pet World, citing their exemplary record for cleanliness and care as the model for other pet stores in Kansas. It’s also why generations of customers proved quick to rally around the Emersons during their darkest hours. For nearly 27 years, Pet World served, educated and grew through the typical ups and downs of the economy, pet trends and regulations. But on May 25, 2015, the owners were hit with a challenge of

Owen Lester

mammoth proportions when an electrical fire in the 8000-squarefoot store’s back room broke out in the electrical panel while the employees were participating in an annual company retreat hosted by the Emersons. The fire quickly spread within the back room, igniting combustibles in storage. While the flames were largely contained, the intense heat and toxic smoke rapidly took over all breathable air, destroying the facility and killing all birds, breeder snakes, most mammals and—most heartbreaking of all for the owners who have dedicated their lives to the care of animals—all boarded pets. Firefighters arrived approximately 30 minutes after the fire broke out, and, as word of the fire spread, veterinarians and other animal specialists rushed to the scene to care for rescued animals, administering oxygen to those in need, cleaning them and finding new homes for the survivors. As devastated as the animal-loving community of Lawrence was to have lost what had become a neighborhood nature sanctuary, nothing compared to the grief Tim and Sherry bore at the loss of life that day as environmental stewards and educators in the community. Overwhelming options, including closing Pet World forever, and countless decisions loomed large. But Tim, recalling his own days as a kid who longed so deeply to interact with nature and feeling the call and support of a community decades-old (longtime customers held a public vigil in the wake of the fire on behalf of Tim and Sherry, and continue to fund-raise today), took less than 24 hours to make the most important decision of all, telling Sherry, “We will rebuild and bring Pet World back to the Lawrence community as soon as possible.”


Sherry wrote about his unwavering focus on their website’s blog the day after the fire, sharing, “All he cared about were the kids and what they would do without Pet World in their lives.” And rebuild they did. For the next eight months, Tim and Sherry tirelessly planned and executed a rebuild of the structure, inventory, programming, displays and habitats. The hurdles were monumental, but the couple overcame them with tenacity and faith.

Audrey Dipman and Mom, Molly

Perhaps the most difficult and immediate hurdle was deciding what to do with their staff of 30 full- and part-time employees. “We held an employee meeting in our kitchen right after the fire,” Sherry recalls. “There were many tears, but we just couldn’t keep everyone on the payroll while we were in transition.” Though the Emersons had to temporarily and drastically cut their staff, all 30 of their employees were able to return when the store reopened. Pet World receives more than 500 applications every fall and operates an extensive 10-step employment process to narrow down the massive field to the few they hire each year. This process pays off in the long run, as turnover is exceptionally low, and the staff is exceptionally loyal.

Thomas Garcia

Within a month of the fire, the Emersons were able to hire a small number of employees back to open Pet World Express, a temporary store located across the parking lot in the same shopping center. Because the fire had destroyed their inventory records, they had to replace their inventory largely from memory and with a little help from their friends. “We had a Google spreadsheet at the temporary store where customers and employees could enter items they typically bought from us,” Sherry explains of the community effort. The space stocked nearly all pet supplies and a very small number of pets during that time. Rebuilding the original store proved to be much more complicated than originally anticipated. Understanding the fire was accidental and not preventable did nothing to significantly ease the guilt Tim and Sherry felt about the animals that perished. The facility, owned by an out-ofstate real estate developer, was up to code, but even those measures were not enough to prevent the fire or the spread of toxic air that quickly killed the animals in-house. It was up to Tim and Sherry to research, appeal to the city for more strict and specific codes and guidelines, and implement their own preventative measures to ensure a tragedy like this one would never happen again. Working with longtime local security advisors at Rueschhoff, and with the help of a passionate community of supporters who insisted on spearheading a fund-raising campaign that ultimately allowed the Emersons to go well above and beyond city-regulated requirements, the owners installed a number of extra measures, including a separate ventilation system for the boarding room, a wireless cellular security notification to alert the fire department instantly and separately from the previous landline-based system, and a new sprinkler system. In addition to new safety standards, Tim and Sherry began to rethink the overall design and flow of the store.

Audrey & Lincold Dipman with staff member Olivia Jimenez

“We incorporated feng shui principles of flow and organization when we designed the layout,” says Sherry, remarking with visible joy that Kansas Photo by Meg Kumin 43

customers almost always comment on how great the store feels before saying anything about how it looks. The Emersons maintained the same basic layout, updated the education room and color-coded the retail area walls, with golden brown walls lining the mammal area, green walls marking the reptiles and amphibians, and blue surrounding the fish and aquariums. The near corner of the fish area also features a sea life mural and sitting area complete with complementary coffee. Music plays overhead thanks to the help of MSM Systems Inc., completing the inviting atmosphere. “I love it when moms come in and take the time to sit and chat, and enjoy a cup of coffee while their kids explore the animals,” Sherry beams, pointing to a customer favorite, the tortoise habitat. The Emersons encourage safe, supervised physical interaction between their customers and animals, with many of their animals in open-air cages. They emphasize, “the day we have to lock up the animals is the day we lock up our doors.” As the grand reopening drew near, Tim and Sherry began to refill their pet inventory, filling the in-store habitats with guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, tortoises and more. Birds are due to arrive sometime in late March. Most were new acquisitions, though a few old friends made their way back. “We were able to save a number of fish after the fire,” Sherry says, “but we didn’t have anyplace to put them. So we sent them to our friend, Evan Boxberg, at the Olathe Pet Store, and told him he could keep them, sell them, whatever he needed to do.” But Boxberg had other plans. “At the grand opening,” Sherry continues, “Evan surprised us and showed up with a giant container with all of our fish. He said he wanted to bring them back home.” As Sherry tells this story, she spies another longtime Pet World supporter, Dawn, with her caregiver. Sherry jumps right in and helps Dawn find the perfect rabbit to hold. “Is it going to poop?” Dawn innocently asks, ultimately undeterred by Sherry’s answer. “You know how it works, Dawn,” Sherry replies with a gentle smile, “if it eats, it poops!” Dawn cuddles the rabbit a few more moments before delicately setting it back down, just in time for Sherry to greet Lawrence High School geography teacher David Platt at the door. Platt, another regular in the store, asks Sherry if Pet World would be willing to sponsor a photography show for high school kids after their upcoming trip to the Galapagos Islands. Of course, Sherry is happy to show off students’ photos of nature in the uniquely exotic location. This personal kind of service is just a snapshot of the extensive community education the Emersons provide. With educational-outreach programs ranging from in-house events to off-site summer camps at the Pet World Nature Preserve, near the Rim Rock area, and a partnership with Lawrence Public Schools


Storytime that has resulted in educational programs available for K through 12 students, Pet World puts children in literal touch with nature. Though all of these programs had to be suspended after the fire, they are all making their way back to Pet World’s calendar, with summer camps resuming this year. There is one thing, though, that Tim has not managed to make a part of their inventory, even with the redesign. “Sloths!” he laughs. “They’re really cool! And even in the wild, they are nice animals,” he insists, though he seems to be at peace with the unlikelihood of ever being able to deal the exotic creature in Lawrence.

Laila Garcia

Sloths or not, Tim is his usual jovial, lighthearted self as he leaves to pick up more fish for the store, infectiously happy to be back in the business of connecting humans and animals. For, as the Emersons have discovered, the foundation they built for 27 years did not burn down in the flames that day; that is the day its permanence was revealed. And eight sweat-, tear- and joy-filled months later, Tim and Sherry gratefully wake up every day with an even greater resolve and drive to continue their work as faithful stewards of nature for this city that considers Pet World an integral part of their home.

Danielle Springer

Since Pet World opened in 1988, the population of Lawrence has grown by more than 30%, bringing not only more humans to Lawrence but animals, as well. To accommodate this growth, two national large retail chains have also opened in Lawrence. Petco, located at 3115 Iowa St., has served the Lawrence area for roughly 20 years and offers a full range of domestic pet supplies and services, including dog training and grooming. PetSmart, located at 2727 Iowa St., opened in Lawrence in March 2015 and, in addition to a wide variety of domestic pet supplies and grooming and training services, sells live reptiles, small mammals, birds and fish. p Elle Martin


MAN’S BEST FRIEND by Liz Weslander photos by Steven Hertzog

While most dogs provide their owners with invaluable companionship, the only work the average house pet does on any given day is fetch a stick or two. There are, however, some local dogs that live up to the old adage “working like a dog” by doing things like making the streets of Lawrence safer, assisting their owners with daily tasks or brightening the day of the stressed and depressed. Kai and C.B., the Lawrence Police Department’s new patrol service dogs, may be some of the hardest working dogs in town. These German Shepherd mixes work three shifts a week helping the department find evidence and track and detain suspects. Kai and C.B. arrived in Lawrence in early 2015 after their handlers, officers Kevin Henderson and Matt Weidl, traveled with Sgt. Casey Cooper to San Antonio, Texas, to purchase the dogs from a kennel that imports the animals from a service dog breeder in Eastern Europe. The total cost for both dogs was $19,000. To get the dogs ready for police work, Henderson and Weidl took Kai and C.B. to an intense 10-week training given by the Kansas Highway Patrol. There, the dogs and their handlers spent 10 hours a day, five days a week learning and practicing the tools of the trade. “It was a lot of work but a lot of fun,” says Henderson, who is Kai’s handler. “The Highway Patrol is very well-respected in the dog world, and they have some outstanding trainers. We are so lucky to have been able to go and train with them.” Kai and C.B. are multipurpose service dogs, meaning they can


detect narcotics, locate evidence and track, apprehend and detain fleeing suspects. Sgt. Casey Cooper says the use of the dogs is guided by policies and established case laws, but the proper deployment of the patrol service dog is ultimately up to the discretion of the trained handler. “These handlers have proven their decision-making capabilities throughout their time at the police department and know the standards and expectations of the department,” he says. During a short demonstration, Henderson, using short verbal commands, directs Kai to find a set of keys dropped in the snow. With his tail wagging and his nose to the ground, Kai soon indicates he has found the keys by lying down in front them, his tail still wagging. When apprehending felons, Henderson explains the dogs are trained to bite the arm or whatever else is available. Their bite pressures are “extremely hard,” he says, but biting is not always necessary. Oftentimes, just the presence of the dog or the dog’s barking is enough to convince someone to surrender. “They don’t just bite everybody,” Henderson explains. “Only a fleeing, combative type of suspect. If somebody runs, but then that person stops to surrender, our dogs are trained to stop, lie down and detain them by barking. The barking is a huge intimidation factor.” Kai and C.B. live with their respective handlers, but given the serious nature of their duties and the intensity of their personalities, the dogs are not treated like your typical house pets.

Police dog Kai and Officer Kevin Henderson “They are bred to have the drive and the traits needed to handle police work,” Henderson says. “You have to treat them with respect and understand their capabilities.” He says you would never see Kai lounging on the couch at home or in the kitchen begging for food. When Kai is off duty, he hangs out in a large, comfortable pen below Henderson’s raised porch. When Kai is out of his pen and running around the backyard, Henderson is always present. To maintain focus and ensure safety, officers in the department refrain from petting the service dogs when they are at the station. Henderson and Weidl currently work opposite shifts three days a week in order to maximize the time the service dogs are available. Both officers also take their dogs to a weekly maintenance training session in Topeka with the Highway Patrol. “We probably do more training than some people think we need to do, but when we get the dogs out there and ready to go, we want them to do their job and do it correctly.” Henderson says. “These are our first dogs, and we want them to be successful.” C.B. and Kai make the department more efficient and increase safety for the community and the officers. Henderson would like to see the department purchase two more dogs in the future to cover all of the shifts. Having a dog that is trained to detect explosives would be especially helpful given they regularly have to call in a “bomb dog” from other departments to do sweeps at large events, he says. “Our dogs have been involved in 12 to 15 felony apprehensions so

far,” Henderson says. “That’s pretty good knowing that before we may not have found those people, and they could have committed more crimes to escape. It’s a great benefit to Lawrence and the county to have them working.” Dondo, a service dog for Bishop Seabury eighth-grader Alex White, is also a highly trained canine with an important job to do. However, the life of this Golden Retriever is not quite as an intense as the Lawrence Police Department’s German Shepherd mixes. Alex, who has hereditary spastic paraplegia, a progressive condition where the legs weaken and stiffen over time, has Dondo by his side at school and at activities such as youth group and Lawrence Children’s Choir (Dondo even gets to go on-stage with Alex when the choir performs). Technically, people are not supposed to pet Dondo when he is wearing his work harness, but because he is often surrounded by enthusiastic teenagers, Dondo sometimes sneaks in a pat or two. “If it’s anybody’s fault, it’s mine,” Alex says. “People understand they aren’t supposed to pet him, but if people ask to pet him, I will usually say yes. Sometimes it’s Dondo provoking them. If someone has pets at home, Dondo will start sniffing their legs or put his head in their lap.” Alex uses crutches to move about now but will eventually require the use of a wheelchair. Dondo is trained to help Alex with a variety of tasks, including helping him get back on his feet if he falls; retrieving dropped or selected items; assisting in dressing and undressing; turning lights on and off; and opening and closing doors.

Alex White and Dondo Alex says he doesn’t currently need all of the assistance Dondo is capable of providing. However, establishing a bond with Dondo, familiarizing him with the school environment and continuing to work on training with Dondo are all done with the future in mind. “The older I get, the more the condition will worsen,” Alex explains. “We got Dondo so that in the future, when I need him more, he will be there.” Alex’s family got Dondo from KSDS Inc. Assistance Dogs, a nonprofit in Washington, Kansas, that breeds and trains service and guide dogs for individuals with mobility issues and visual impairments. Dogs from KSDS, which are all Golden and Labrador Retrievers, undergo a multiyear training process that begins as soon as they are weaned from their mothers. Puppies are placed with volunteer puppy raisers, who help the dogs develop good social skills. After about a year with a puppy raiser, KSDS dogs undergo an intermediate obedience training that lasts about 18 months. Female inmates at the Topeka Correctional Facility perform this intermediate training through a program called Pooches and Pals. Once the dogs have completed these first two steps, KSDS carries out the advanced training with the dogs following strict standards set by Assistance Dogs International. Once KSDS matched Dondo with Alex, the pair spent two weeks at the KSDS facility learning to work together. Unlike police service dogs, when Dondo is at home or out of his harness, he gets to be a regular pet, a transition Alex says Dondo makes seamlessly. When the harness is on, Dondo has to work; but when the harness if off, Dondo will roll in the mud, get into the trash and make silly bids for attention in competition with the family’s other dog, a Scottish Terrier.



Winnie, Cierra Bostic, Robin Dillon

Lana Seibel, Paul Rivera, WInnie

On the rare occasion when Alex and Dondo are not together, Dondo looks for Alex and often paces until he returns. Alex, on the other hand, is OK with an occasional break. “Sometimes I am upset when we’re not together, but sometimes I’m not because it’s nice to have a little freedom,” Alex says. “The trainers tell us it’s kind of like being a married couple. There are times when one person needs some time apart, even though the other may want to be right at their side.” While Kai, C.B. and Dondo are dogs that basically have full-time jobs, the dogs that serve through the local nonprofit Loving Paws Animal Therapy are part-timers. Loving Paws is an animal-assisted activity program that certifies dogs and their owners to volunteer together in a therapeutic capacity in a variety of community settings. The organization cur-

Mary Shaw, Lana Seibel, Winnie


Raven Rajani with Shakti


L to R: Laura Teenor-Sutliffe with Bella, Betty Click with Sadie and Riley, Raven Rajani with Shakti (founding dog of the program), Lana Seibel with Winnie, Lea VanderVelde with Layla rently has more than 50 certified teams that regularly visit schools, libraries, after-school programs, assisted-living communities, the juvenile detention center and more.

After doing extensive research on the best practices for training and utilizing therapy dogs, and also teaching herself how to start a nonprofit, Rajani launched Loving Paws in 2013.

“We know for a fact that interactions with animals are healing,” Loving Paws founder Raven Rajani says. “They support happy hormones in our brains. And support good health both physically and emotionally. Our teams provide a social-tactile exchange, and the goal is to make people happy and to reduce their stress.”

“When I started this program, I knew I wanted dogs to be reciprocal participants,” Rajani says. “I’ve seen some programs where the dogs are not having fun, so from my perspective, I felt an ethical obligation not only as a social worker but also an advocate for animals to make sure that the animals that come through our program want to be social.”

One of the most popular sites for Loving Paws volunteers is the University of Kansas, where teams visit student housing and libraries to interact with the students for “stress-busting” sessions. “College students report that the primary impediments to success in their learning are stress, anxiety and depression, and that’s really what our target is, “ Rajani explains. “The students go absolutely mad for the dogs. It’s a blast.”

Rajani says Loving Paws looks for dogs that are not only highly trained by owners but also enjoy interacting and engaging with people. The Loving Paws certification process involves a threehour orientation for the handlers that includes diversity and sensitivity training, and ends in a written test. The dogs must also pass an evaluation that ensures the dog can navigate a variety of situations safely and courteously.

Rajani, a social worker and self-described “crazy dog person,” was inspired to start Loving Paws in Lawrence after completing a therapy-dog-training program in Kansas City with her Blue Staffordshire Terrier, Shakti. While volunteering at sites around Kansas City, she realized there was a need for a similar organization in Lawrence.

Once a handler/dog team successfully passes the volunteer team evaluation, the handler goes on a shadow visit without the dog to observe another team in action. To fulfill the certification, the team in training completes a visit under the supervision of a mentor to ensure they are ready to volunteer on their own.

“As I was driving back and forth every week, I thought: ‘Why am I doing this for the Kansas City community when we don’t have anything for our own community?’ ” she says.

“The thing I like about this program is that it is a win-win for everybody,” Rajani says. “The people who come through the program dig their dogs, and they think their dogs are special—and they are. And the humans are special for wanting to give their time and share their pets.” p


Not Your Average Pet by Julie Dunlap photos by Steven Hertzog

Many kids dream of owning a dog to train or a cat to cuddle, but the reality of owning one is often a different story. Allergies, environmental limitations and family lifestyle may not always be conducive to what a dog or cat needs to thrive. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to traditional pet ownership available, as the Marcellino family knows well. “Snakes are the perfect pet in many ways,” explains Whitney Marcellino, mother of Larson Bailey, 9, and Thomas, 7, and wife of snake enthusiast, Dr. Tom Marcellino. “They are generally clean, easy to care for, no allergies to worry about,” she assures as their kids expertly showcase their family’s slithering collection. As a child growing up in the Phoenix area, Tom became fascinated by snakes. He and his grandfather enjoyed spending time hiking the desert mountains, searching for and identifying various indigenous snakes. And some of his most thrilling memories with his firefighter father involved riding along with him on calls to remove and relocate rattlesnakes that had made their way into homes and businesses. Unlike Indiana Jones, Tom’s experiences with snakes fueled a passion for them, a passion he brought to the University of Kansas, where he majored in organismal biology. His coursework landed him in famed herpetologist Joe Collins’s Kansas Reptiles and Amphibians class, where his affinity for snakes was nurtured, leading to a summer research project with ecologist, naturalist and herpetologist Henry Fitch, at the Fitch Reservation in northeast Lawrence. He met his future wife, Whitney, while they were both students, introducing her to his budding snake collection from the start of their relationship. Far from squeamish, Whitney delighted in his hobby, quickly embracing it herself. “I grew up on a farm and spent most of my childhood hunting for creatures outside,” she smiles. The two snake charmers amassed a significant collection as the years passed, moving as many as 30 snakes from Kansas to Arizona during Tom’s residency then back to Kansas, where he currently practices family medicine.


“We used to have more exotic stuff,” Tom adds, “but since the kids came along, we got rid of anything with venom and anything too big.” With every move, Tom has been able to pass on his vast knowledge about snakes to others, from fellow Arizona-area residents new to the desert to area students of all ages studying reptiles and herpetology to Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts working on identifying snakes and snake safety. “If you can teach kids about snakes when they’re younger, you can teach them not to fear,” he says, cautioning, “but you do have to be careful.” He cites Douglas County’s current rattlesnake and copperhead populations—while not dense—as something to be cautious of while outdoors.

sake of the science aspect; it’s a good reason to go hiking and get outdoors.” Whitney nods, sharing that the hobby has become a part of their family life. Every family vacation involves some sort of educational nature experience, something the kids look forward to, and home life provides opportunities to breed snakes, observe them as they grow over time and even host snake races in their own backyard. Not every exotic pet makes its way to a home in the hands of a parent, though. For as long as she could remember, Adele Erickson had wanted a pet snake. Finally, at the age of 6, Adele was able to talk her father, Rodger Erickson, into taking her to Pet World, where she fell in love with a cinnamon Mojave ball python she lovingly named Spicy.

Larson Bailey and Thomas are right at home with their footless pets, currently numbering nine and joined by an indoor Gekko and outdoor chickens, rabbits, goats, horses and cats. Larson Bailey has a tendency to name the pets after Disney characters, proudly showing off Cruella De Vil, a California king snake the family adopted from Mono City, Calif., while the yet-to-be-named imported Bolivian boa constrictor wriggles around in a securely fastened pillowcase nearby.

Now 8, Adele has watched Spicy grow from an 18-inch charmer into a three-and-a-half foot playmate, solidifying her love of snakes along the way.

“The reptile industry is very big,” Tom says. Many of their most exotic creatures arrive from reptile shows, online and other special orders, but Tom’s greatest joys still come from searching under rocks and long trails, now with his own kids by his side.

Adele’s mother, Donna Ginther, does not share the same passion for their family’s squamate, but she does support Adele’s care and keeping of Spicy, a routine that includes heating and cooling the 12-cubic-foot glass and wood habitat, weekly water changes and biweekly rodent feedings.

“It’s like a treasure hunt,” he smiles. “You can’t just hobby for the

“She is very curious, which is common for ball pythons,” Adele, who has poured herself into research the past two years, going so far as to write a book of her own on the subject, proudly shares. “One of her favorite things to do is hide in my hair.”



Thomas Marcellino

Tom Marcellino withThomas and Larson Bailey

Tom, Thomas and Whitney Marcellino

“Caring for a snake is hard at first, but it gets easier,” Adele admits. Spicy is housed in Adele’s bedroom, ensuring daily care. Though the setup and maintenance for snakes are not necessarily complicated or timeconsuming, both Adele and the Marcellino family emphasize that no one should take on a nontraditional pet without doing a tremendous amount of research. Meghan Scheibe, director of development and marketing with the Lawrence Humane Society, agrees wholeheartedly, stating the most important thing a potential pet owner can do before adopting a pet is, “Research, research, research.” “Many people think these nontraditional pets won’t be as much work as, say, a dog or a cat, but that’s just not true,” Scheibe explains. The Lawrence Humane Society, located at 1805 E. 19th St. and perhaps better known for its adoptable cats and dogs, carries a small but steady supply of nontraditional pets, often including guinea pigs, birds, ferrets and rabbits, even an occasional chicken. Most of these animals are surrendered by their owners, as opposed to the dogs and cats, which are sometimes found stray. These owners often either find their living situations have changed and can no longer accommodate a small animal (a move, a new animal in the home, an illness), or they find the care and upkeep of a small animal to be more time-consuming than they believed it would be. Upon the animal’s arrival, a staff member meets with the owner to get a history on the pet to find out what kind of care was provided and why the animal is being surrendered. Once officially surrendered, the animal is given an examination by a member of the medical staff, including a dental exam for aging, with rabbits receiving the extra treatments of neutering/spaying and having an identification chip implanted. The Humane Society has a veterinarian on staff five days per week.

Larson Bailey Marcellino


Certified Environmental Drycleaner

“We’re really lucky here,” Scheibe says of the expert care their animals receive. After their paperwork and examinations are complete, the animals are listed on the Humane Society’s website, which is updated hourly, and are featured on its Facebook page, which has become an excellent resource for finding new homes for these pets-in-waiting. These nontraditional pets don’t have much time to get comfortable, though. While dogs will wait an average of 13.6 days for a new home, and cats will wait an average of 27 days, nontraditional pets only wait an average of 11.8 days before they are adopted. Not every type of animal is lucky enough to find a forever home, though, as Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary, Inc., founder and CEO Kail Marie has discovered through her work operating the sanctuary for surrendered birds. Marie’s clear and tireless dedication to providing an environment for parrots and other birds to live out long and happy lives evolved out of a deeply rooted love for all animals. A biologist by education and a zookeeper by training, Marie worked 15 years as a zookeeper in Tyler, Texas, where she suffered many a broken finger at the hand, er, beak of a parrot, an experience that may send some packing for a life strictly with humans but instead nurtured a calling for proper care and treatment of animals. It wasn’t until after her move to Kansas that Marie found a special way to make that happen. Twenty-one years ago, a cockatoo was brought to her for care after being confiscated from its owner, in treatment for hoarding. She willingly took in the bird and quickly began educating herself on the best possible care and outcome for this and other birds. Six years and a number of unwanted birds later, Marie turned her passion into a nonprofit organization to better situate herself to care for the birds and educate the community on our avian cohabitants.

Kail Marie Together with her partner, Michelle Brown, a county prosecutor in Junction City and vice president of Tallgrass, Marie moved to Lecompton, where she was able to renovate her house to include a 750-square-foot space for the 40 parrots that now call Tallgrass home. “Birds are social,” Marie explains, pointing out the varied pairings in the climate-controlled space. “But most people don’t understand that birds are wild animals. Even when domesticated and hand-raised, birds are actually wild animals.” And these wild animals can easily outlive their owners, as the beautifully colored macaws can live 70 years, African grays can hit 60 and even the pint-sized cockatiel can live to 30. Birds also need a tremendous amount of space to live happily. Marie’s macaw room, constructed almost entirely of concrete, glass and metal, contains two roomy, 5-x-5-x-7-foot cages (always left open for the birds to freely enter and exit as they desire), a hanging jungle gym of heavy hand-made ropes, several perching stools, a number of large plants and a few lizards to help with insect control, as well as one rooster, Paul E. Parrot, who prefers hanging out with his more exotic counterparts than roaming with the pigs, goats, chickens, turkeys and other animals outside. The birds—many of whom arrived with the name “Rio” but have since been renamed—seem gleefully happy with their home, even though the sanctuary is currently at capacity. Marie reports that she typically turns down three requests per week from rescuers searching for homes for rescued birds. She and Brown are working on an expansion that would double the size of the parrot habitat, allowing them to take in more feathered friends. Tallgrass was established to rescue and provide birds in need with a permanent home, which so far does not include rehoming or adoption because of the many needs and low success rates these pets and owners historically have. But that could change in the future, as Marie is exploring ways to establish a carefully vetted and well-supervised adoption program.


Southern Italian Food Made from Scratch

Make tions Reserva antic m o R a for Dinner for Two


Full Bar Catering Carry Out Banquet Room Available

R I S T O R A N T E 25th Street & Iowa | Lawrence KS 66047 785-838-3500 Adele Erickson Until then, Marie cares for the birds herself, treating them to daily baths, cleaning the space every day and financing the operation through charitable donations, a hefty expense given the $1000-per-month grocery bill and ongoing medical care. Recently, however, a photo depicting beloved bird resident, Javi, took the Internet by storm, appearing on the websites The Dodo, Huffington Post and Yahoo News. Word of the Tallgrass mission spread with Javi’s full face and featherless body (a side effect of neglect, birds often pick their own feathers off in distress), along with details of the Tallgrass’s vision and mission, which has resulted in a significant increase in donations worldwide. “Europe and Japan love her!” Marie laughs of Javi’s Internet fame. Though Marie doesn’t advise most people to adopt birds as pets, she does have one piece of advice for the thoroughly educated, well-prepared bird aficionado: “Buy a cockatiel. They’re wonderful birds!” p

by Tara Trenary photos by Steven Hertzog

It’s not difficult to figure out that Lawrencians really love their pets. Take a walk down Mass Street or a jog out by Clinton Lake, and see how many dogs you spot happily trotting along with their owners. East and West side alike, these college town folks know a thing or two about having pets. In the United States, 65 percent of households own a pet, according to the 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Association. Americans spent more than $60 billion on their pets last year alone. It’s no wonder there are so many businesses dedicated to this billion-dollar industry. Whether you have to board your pet overnight while you go on a business trip, need a person to bathe her once a month or walk him once a day, or just want a place to drop your friend so he can get in some quality romp time, Lawrence has the perfect fit for you.

Anthony Barnett didn’t always know he wanted to work with animals. With a degree in business from Baker University in hand, Anthony only knew that he wanted to start a small business, and that doggie daycare was a growth industry. So in 2004, he bought Home Sweet Home Dog Resort with an eye toward developing a small business, and a passionate career working with dogs was launched. “I’ve always connected with people and with animals, but the passion really followed the choice,” he says. When he first bought the Resort, Anthony depended on his staff’s knowledge and know-how when it came to the dogs. He spent

hours upon hours researching and taking in every bit of information he could to better the business. What started as a drive to make the business the best it could be turned into a passion for the dogs themselves. But it was a personal bout with anxiety and a passion for helping abused dogs that led Anthony to found the Symbiotic Behavioral Treatment Center, a nonprofit dedicated to treating PTSD and stress and anxiety disorders using the human/canine bond. “Pit Bulls have connected me with people in a way I never knew they could,” he says. Combining his work with animal cruelty survivors and veterans, while incorporating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through the Treatment Center is one way Anthony’s passions began to manifest themselves. “I started seeing parallels between the dogs I was working with and the people I was volunteering with,” he explains. “What I really get from working with dogs and with veterans is I feel like those are two groups that make a commitment to me without asking anything in return.” Since buying Home Sweet Home, Anthony’s passion for dog training and care, and also this interaction between dogs and humans, has compounded. Along with founding the Symbiotic Behavioral Treatment Center, he completed the Triple Crown Dog Training Academy Distance Education Program; has served on the Lawrence Humane Society Board of Directors; advises the Board of Directors for Kansas City Pet Project; is founder of Game Dog Guardian (a nonprofit whose mission is outreach with the human/ canine bond, working with human and canine trauma survivors, and therapy dog outreach); works with the Topeka VA Hospital with his two therapy dogs; conducts dog-safety education classes in


Denise Van Sickel


schools; works with Kansas City Marching Cobras running a program that brings together kids and his therapy dogs; advises law enforcement on dog fighting and aggressive dog threats, developing tactics to reduce dog shootings by police; and consults cities and states on dangerous dog laws and best practices.

A typical day at Home Sweet Home consists of caring for about 50 to 80 day care dogs at one time. Anthony’s 12 employees are welltrained and do everything from cleaning to grooming to managing play groups. They also fit in some training during the day as well as tours for prospective clients.

But his day-to-day commitment to Home Sweet Home and his dog packs remains his first priority. “A well-rounded offering can help provide a well-rounded life for dogs and humans,” he explains. “People aren’t the only ones suffering from a sedentary lifestyle.”

“Working at a dog day care is an extremely unique experience because there are very few other jobs that involve working with a pack of dogs,” explains Sage Dragen, also a manager at Home Sweet Home. “We know we are doing our job well when the dogs are excited for their time with us, and that’s an extremely rewarding aspect of the job.”

Home Sweet Home offers doggie day care, boarding and grooming, with a full training program in the works. Its focus is on providing dogs with mental and physical stimulation, as well as socialization—giving dogs a place to just be dogs. Its main goal is to make everyone happy, both dogs and their owners. “Anthony’s vision for the day care is more than just a place for people to drop their dogs off,” says Laura Falkenstien, a manager at Home Sweet Home. “It’s a place that can impact the lives of dogs. Anthony desires to improve the mental health of these dogs through exercise, mental stimulation [and] canine and human interaction.”

Though the industry itself is largely unregulated, Anthony’s standards are high, and he’s always trying to take his business to the next level. “I have to be good. I have to deliver,” he says. “We can’t cheat with a piece of paper. I have to be good at what I do.” That next level for Home Sweet Home started with the hiring of a trainer and the goal of opening a new facility on the west side of Lawrence with full-time training available. “We have a unique expertise and longevity of experience,” Anthony explains. “I want this service to be available to as many as possible.”

Denise Van Sickel has had an affinity for animals since she was a young child and always wanted to be a veterinarian. And though she didn’t actually follow her dream into that field, her passion and love of animals, and ultimately a really bad day at work, were the driving forces that pushed her to start her local pet-sitting business, Lawrence Pet Friends, in 2005. Van Sickel’s background in the corporate world helped prepare her to run her own business, and her compassion and passion for animals from an early age is the force behind the success of her business. On top of that, she knew she couldn’t board her own dogs when she traveled. “My philosophy has always been that a love for animals and the ability to provide care as each client desires is the formula to succeed,” she explains. “Happy, well-cared-for animals equal happy clients.” Van Sickel is self-taught, but her strong business and marketing background, along with her passion, have helped Lawrence Pet Friends succeed for 10 years. The company is a member of Professional Pet Sitters International, a support organization that helps hold pet-sitters accountable to the high expectations of clients and a is resource for the industry. Her objective is to provide a better alternative to boarding through in-home, stress-free care for pets. She believes pets fare better when they can stay in their own homes when their owner is away. Kelli Dillion

Lawrence Pet Friends started 11 years ago and was initially just Van Sickel visiting all of the pets, but now she employs 25 parttime pet-sitters and dog walkers. Her employees set their own


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schedules, allowing them the freedom of a job that fits into their lifestyles. Lawrence Pet Friends employs a wide range of people—working moms, college students, singles, married people with grown kids—to provide pet care to its more than 500 clients, many who have used the company for years and new clients who mostly learned about the company through word of mouth. The company operates 365 days a year and customizes pet care for each client’s needs, including special needs pets and administering medications. The Lawrence Pet Friends team not only provides in-home pet-sitting, daily dog walks, potty breaks and assistance with puppy house/crate training at clients’ homes but also offers small things such as turning on/off lights, watering flowers, bringing in mail and packages, and even house-sitting services for clients without pets. About 30 percent of the clientele are commuters to either Topeka or Kansas City who can’t get home during the day to walk their dogs. Lawrence Pet Friends supports the Lawrence Humane Society, where Van Sickel served on the board for many years. She was a member of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and is a graduate of Leadership Lawrence. Many of her staff also do volunteer work with nonprofit organizations relating to animals. “To me, it’s not about getting a bunch of clients,” Van Sickel says. “It’s about providing the best care to the animals of Lawrence. Every single decision I make as owner of Lawrence Pet Friends is based on what is best for the pets of Lawrence and also for my loyal, awesome staff who feel the same way.”


A “problem dog” eventually led Jerri Johnson to begin studying dog training and behavior modification, which ultimately blossomed into her company, Wagmore Canine Enrichment. Though she thought she wanted to be a veterinarian as a child, she realized there were many other ways she could work with animals. In 2011, she and her business partner, Jeannene Loewenstein, started Wagmore primarily as a dog-training company. But within a short period of time, they realized their clients needed other services, as well. So they expanded their offerings to include walking, day care, boarding and sitting, as well. “Our mission is to enrich the lives of canines by fostering understanding and respect through education, community service and providing high-quality, professional service,” she says. Wagmore is committed to helping solve problems for owners, whether tending to daily needs such as walking or focusing on deeper issues such as behavior problems. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in organismal biology and a master’s degree in business. Loewenstein has a master’s degree in education. Both have vocational-technical certificates in dog training from the Animal Behavior College, as well as certificates as pet-care technicians from the Pet Care Services Association, formerly the American Boarding Kennel Association. They are Certified Professional Dog Trainers-Knowledge Assessed (CPDTKA) from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Training

and complete continuing education credits, including seminars on animal behavior, health and husbandry, in order to stay current in their field and remain certified. They are also members of Heartland Positive Dog Training Alliance. With two full-time and two part-time employees, in addition to the owners, Wagmore offers behavior problem-solving, group and private training, dog walking and day care, overnight boarding and pet-sitting. The company strives to “create a bond between pets and their families that is based on mutual respect.” They rely on nonaversive, science-based training methods that use reinforcement rather than punishments in both training and day care. With 20 to 30 day care dogs per day as well as a few boarders, employees spend their days monitoring group play, going off-site for training appointments and covering walking and sitting assignments. Group classes are held in the evenings, and private, inhome training is also offered. These days, pets are a huge part of many of our everyday lives. They offer us the companionship we desire in return for little more than a walk or a cuddle. And as their companions, most of us are willing to spend the extra time and money necessary to make sure our friends are well taken care of. Whether it be day care, boarding, walking, sitting, training or just a friendly greeting here and there, Lawrence has a company that can help with all of your pets’ needs. p


About the Ball 6:45 p.m. Friday, April 8 Corpus Christi 6001 Bob Billings Pkwy Individual tickets: $175 Seating is limited to 500 guests




Tickets are available at


Hearts of Gold Ball by Janice Early, MBA Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Lawrence Memorial Hospital

At Lawrence Memorial Hospital, they’re putting some heart into the 2016 Hearts of Gold Ball. Every two years, Lawrence Memorial Hospital (LMH) Endowment Association hosts the community’s only black-tie event, with proceeds designated to benefit a specific need of the hospital. This year, on the evening of April 8, the Hearts of Gold Ball will benefit cardiovascular services at LMH. Cardiac care opened at LMH in August 2004, and since then, patients have received world-class cardiac care right here in Lawrence. After 10 years of providing interventional cardiology, LMH officials have determined the time is right to renovate the Heart Catheterization Lab and further enhance cardiovascular services.

And technological improvements will also make an impact. New state-of-the-art equipment will further reduce exposure to radiation for patients, as well as LMH’s interventional cardiologists and staff, and it will provide higher-quality images. Now, the LMH Endowment Association is asking the community join with the hospital to further strengthen cardiac services. “We are so proud that we have top-flight cardiologists here at the hospital who are prepared, 24 hours a day—every day—to provide the best care possible to our community members, our neighbors,” Sollars says. “At the Hearts of Gold Ball, we can show our support for cardiovascular services, all while having fun.”

“This project, which will benefit our patients and their families, will cost nearly $2 million,” says Gary Sollars, president of the LMH Endowment Association. “That is why we decided the Hearts of Gold Ball would be a perfect time to underscore the importance of receiving cardiac care at home. Last year alone, 457 patients visited our Cath Lab, and patients made 9,062 visits to Cardiovascular Specialists of Lawrence.”

In 2014, the Hearts of Gold Ball was held in the former pressroom at the Lawrence Journal-World and raised funds for the LMH Fourth Floor renovation project. The event raised a halfmillion dollars toward a $4.2-million project that included a complete overhaul of the acute rehabilitation and transitional care units, located on the fourth floor of LMH. That renovation is complete.

In the Heart Catheterization Lab, LMH cardiologists use specialized equipment to visualize the arteries and chambers of patients’ hearts, and address any problems. When a patient is suffering a heart attack, time is of the essence, and LMH cardiologists work with clinical staff to ensure patients’ needs are addressed quickly.

Now, an army of volunteers has kicked into high gear to ensure the 2016 Hearts of Gold will be an evening to remember thanks in large part to the generosity of Corpus Christi.

At LMH, the so-called “door-to-balloon time” is short. LMH ranks first among 932 hospitals of similar size for the amount of time it takes between a patient’s arrival at the hospital and when his or her artery is opened. LMH also has been named a Top Performer by The Joint Commission for both heart attack and heart failure, and has performed in the top 5 percent of all community hospitals. Once planned renovations are complete, the Cath lab will offer more room, comfort and privacy for patients and their families. “At LMH, we believe that patients and their families belong together whenever possible,” says Kathy Clausing-Willis, LMH vice president and chief development officer.

The April 8 event will kick off at 6:45 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner and a live auction. The evening will close with dancing to the music of Dave Halston and The Little Big Band. The theme of this year’s Hearts of Gold Ball is “Black and White.” And although it is a black-tie affair, no one is limited to black or white attire. “It’s spring,” says Tiffany Hall, annual giving manager for the LMH Endowment Association. “We want to celebrate the season while having a wonderful time and showing support for our world-class cardiovascular team.” To attend the 2016 Hearts of Gold Ball, visit HeartsOfGoldBall. com or contact Tiffany Hall for assistance at tiffany.hall@lmh. org or 785-505-3318. p


Mickey Roy, Lovegarden

Heidi with Ngaio, Raven Bookstore


Ernst and Son Hardware

Top to Bottom: Dana with Kya, Tooter and Tillaye’s Ken with Chauncy, Winfields Sam, Lovegarden


Top: Dashiell, Raven Bookstore Bottom: Jenna & Pumpkin, J Lynne Bridal

Linda and Max, ect. shop Top: Brit and Lizzy, Kring’s Bottom: Khan, Cottin’s Hardware












Integrity Midwest Insurance, LLC is bringing its brand of “Big City Ability with Hometown Values” to Eudora, Kansas. Integrity Midwest Insurance, LLC, based in Lawrence, KS, has acquired Miller Agency, Inc. of Eudora, KS.

The Oread, located on the north edge of the University of Kansas campus, was recently recognized as a Top 50 College Hotel by, a website devoted to showcasing the best of the best about national campuses to incoming freshmen and their parents. The Oread employs approximately 150 community members whose focus is on making the hotel a home away from home to thousands of travelers each year. It features the Bird Dog Bar, Five 21 restaurant and the Slice of History pizzeria, but The Nest on Ninth, its rooftop terrace and bar, makes this hotel a real destination. “Students and alumni love The Nest because it reminds them of their time spent at KU and provides that enduring vision of the Campanile and those red roofs of campus,” Longhurst said.

“This is a unique opportunity. The agency and the building both have a very rich history. We are very excited to build on the foundation David Miller has already laid and serve our friends and neighbors in Eudora.” said Clint Kueffer, president of Integrity Midwest Insurance, LLC. With origins dating back to 1921, Miller Agency, Inc. served as an independent insurance agency specializing in personal lines and commercial lines property and casualty insurance. Integrity Midwest Insurance, LLC is locally owned and operated by third generation insurance professionals. IMI serves clients throughout the Midwest providing insurance solutions ranging from General Liability and Workers Compensation to Homeowners and Personal Auto to Life and Health Insurance.

NEW DOUGLAS COUNTY BUSINESSES 1016 MASS LLC 1016 Massachusetts Street Lawrence KS 66044 1807 ALABAMA, LLC 900 Massachusetts St Lawrence KS 66044

BIRDIE & BUGS ENTERPRISES, LLC 1515 Cadet Ave. Lawrence KS 66044 BREAKOUT LAWRENCE, LLC 1103 Massachusetts St Lawrence KS 66044

3 CLEVER BRdS, LLC 913 N Fieldstone Drive Lawrence KS 66049

CALIBER CONTRACTING LLC 2029 Becker Drive Lawrence KS 66047

3D PROMOTIONS LLC 1901 W 31st St Lawrence KS 66046

CAPITOL ESTATES LLC 533 Elm Street Lawrence KS 66044

721 LLC 4108 Goldfield St Lawrence KS 66049

CENTER St ELECTRONICS, LLC 219 Hillside Dr Baldwin City KS 66006

838 W 22ND TERR LLC 1517 Medinah Road Lawrence KS 66047 94’ FILMS LLC 3913 Hollyhock Ct Lawrence KS 66049 A.F. LAWRENCE ENTERPRISES LLC 1300 Fair Lane Lawrence KS 66046 AIRSPEED AND ALTITUDE LLC 1405 Riverside Rd Lawrence KS 66044 ALL AMERICAN FARM AND HOME INSULATION, LLC 968 E 2300th Road Eudora KS 66025 ALLIANCE FUNDING, LLC 736 N 3rd Street Lawrence KS 66044 AM CONSULTING LLC 1329 Stonecreek Dr Lawrence KS 66049 ANSIBLE PARTNERS LLC 4210 Teal Dr Lawrence KS 66047 ASG HOLDING LLC 2510 W 6th Street Lawrence KS 66049 ATM CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT, LLC 643 Massachusetts St Lawrence KS 66044 BASIC NEEDS INC. 3001 Ranger Drive Lawrence KS 66049 BELLEMONT, LLC 915 Louisiana St Lawrence KS 66044

EMBELLISHED PHOTO STUDIO, CORP. 915 Cedar Place Eudora KS 66025

HENSON BAY COMMERCIAL HOLDINGS, LLC 1103 Massachusetts St Lawrence KS 66044

EVANS ACQUISITIONS, LLC 5710 Longleaf Drive Lawrence KS 66049

HENSON BAY RESIDENTIAL HOLDINGS, LLC 1103 Massachusetts St Lawrence KS 66044

FIVE STAR HOME IMPROVEMENT, LLC 25864 Clover Ct Lawrence KS 66044 FORM & FUNCTION, LLC 1446 Elmwood Lawrence KS 66044

FREE STATE REMODELING LLC 29 Browning Ct CJ WILLIAMS TRANSPORTATION, Eudora KS 66025 LLC 1125 John L. Williams Dr FRENCH GOURMET C.A. LLC Eudora KS 66025 941 Rhode Island St Lawrence KS 66044 CLEARFIELD FARMHAUS LLC 2222 N 600 Road GAVARNIE LLC Eudora KS 66025 3323 Iowa Lawrence KS 66046 CLINICAL CHILD AND PEDIATRIC PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING GCS GERCKEN COMPANY COUNCIL, INC. SERVICES, INC. 2015 Dole Human Development 1929 Massachusetts Lawrence KS 66049 Lawrence KS 66046 CORNERSTONE CHURCH OF LAWRENCE 1802 W 21st Terrace Lawrence KS 66046 DACA ROOFING, LLC 465 E 1750 RD Baldwin City KS 66006 DAVIDRIGGIN LLC 116 NW Bramble Bend Court Lawrence KS 66049 DEAR PROPERTY SERVICES, LLC 2302 N 1500 RD Eudora KS 66025 DERUSSEAU FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER INC. 1768 E 1310 Road Lawrence KS 66044 DO GREAT WORK, LLC 5507 Chamney Ct Lawrence KS 66049 ECK TRACE, LLC 915 Louisiana St Lawrence KS 66044 ELLO TELLO, LLC 713 High Street Baldwin City KS 66006

[ JAN to MAR 2016 ]

HOMETOWN GRAPHICS LLC 1018 E 2100TH RD Eudora KS 66025

JHT LLC 2410 UNIVERSITY Dr Lawrence KS 66049 JIN DO CONSULTING GROUP LLC 4505 Cherry Hills Drive Lawrence KS 66047 JONI BEARD CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES, LLC 827 Elm Lawrence KS 66044

HONEYBEE, L.C. 2418 Orchard Lane Lawrence KS 66049

JUELSGAARD CONSTRUCTION, INC. 1188 N 1100 Rd Lawrence KS 66047

HORNBAKER HOMESTEAD, LLC 958 E 1900th Rd Eudora KS 66025

JUNIPER AND SNOW LLC 302 Alabama ST Lawrence KS 66044

HOUSE SMART LLC 505 N Wilma Way Lawrence KS 66049

KANSAS CLAY, LLC 1831 E 1450 Rd Lawrence KS 66044

HSP PROPERTIES, LLC 4547 Larissa Dr Lawrence KS 66049

KANSAS CREDITOR ATTORNEY ASSOCIATION 1031 Vermont St, suite B Lawrence KS 66044

IDEAL STRATEGIES LLC 370 N 1700 Road Lecompton KS 66050

KANSAS HERITAGE FARMS, L.L.C. 833 E. 675TH Rd Lawrence KS 66047

GODZILLIONAIRE LLC 630 S Michigan St Lawrence KS 66044

INDIE OLIVE PAPER AND PRESS LLC 706 1/2 Main Street Eudora KS 66025

GREEN FACTOR, LLC 1881 E 1450 Rd Lawrence KS 66044

INTEGRITY LEASINGS LLC 1226 Helen Court Eudora KS 66025

KB & CO. BOUTIQUE LLC 862 N 1663 Road Lawrence KS 66049

GYM2TABLE, LLC 1903 Barker Avenue Lawrence KS 66046

INTENT ON SUCCESS LLC 550 Stoneridge Drive Lawrence KS 66049

HALCYON HOUSE LLC 1000 Ohio Lawrence KS 66044

J AND J INC 225 GLENVIEW Lawrence KS 66049


HALLER LLC 1741 W 20th St Lawrence KS 66046

J&T CATTLE CO., LLC 624 Blazing Star Drive Lawrence KS 66049

HANDMADE HEALING, LLC 412 W. 10TH St #2 Lawrence KS 66044


HARVEY BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION, LLC 1901 Golden Rain Drive Lawrence KS 66044 HEARTLANDS BEST LLC 1012 W 29th Terr Lawrence KS 66046 HEHOJORA ENTERPRISE LLC 3110 MESA WAY Lawrence KS 66049

JASMIN LLC 945 E 23RD STR Lawrence KS 66046 JAYHAWK INVESTMENT GROUP LLC 424 Doolittle Way Lawrence KS 66049


LAWRENCE ANTI-TRAFFICKING TASKFORCE AND EDUCATION ASSOCIATION 1901 Kasold Lawrence KS 66047 LEARNED PLUMBING LLC 1127 Sunset Drive Lawrence KS 66044 LEGENDS RENTALS LLC 1469 Legends Circle Lawrence KS 66049 LERNER REAL ESTATE LLC 1620 Indiana Street Lawrence KS 66044 LOCUS, LLC 713 High Street Baldwin City KS 66006


NEW DOUGLAS COUNTY BUSINESSES con’t LOUVRE LLC 1105 Louisiana Street Lawrence KS 66044 M. N L. FARMS LLC 188 E 1100 Road Baldwin City KS 66006 MAD ENTERPRISES, LLC 901 Easy St Lawrence KS 66049 MAD HOUSE PROPERTIES LLC 510 9th Street Baldwin City KS 66006 MICHELLE KUESER LLC 3719 Tucker Trail Lawrence KS 66049 MISSOURI SAND & ROCK COMPANY, LLC 1655 George Williams Way Lawrence KS 66047 MONSTER BUCK DISTILLERY INCORPORATED 2601 Iowa Street Lawrence KS 66046 MUD MEN LLC 662 N 1550 Road Lawrence KS 66049 NEW Lawrence CITY BAND INC. 1619 E 686th Road Lawrence KS 66049

ORANGE DOOR ENTERPRISES LLC 503 Colorado St Lawrence KS 66044

RUSTIC X CF LLC 1872 Villo Woods Ct Lawrence KS 66044

OREAD ADVENTURES LLC 4504 Woodland Drive Lawrence KS 66049

SAVE KANSAS COALITION, INC. 4831 W. 6TH St Lawrence KS 66049


SCHMILLE FURNITURE AND DESIGN LLC 4601 Roundabout Circle Lawrence KS 66049

PACHAMAMA’S MANAGER, INC. 901 New Hampshire Street Lawrence KS 66044

SHARK’S SURF AND SUPPLY, INC. 813 Massachusetts Street Lawrence KS 66044

POORBOY BURRITO COMPANY, LLC 149 Aspen Lane Lawrence KS 66049


PRAIRIE NATION FILMS INC 530 Walnut St Lawrence KS 66044

SLAVENS FAMILY FARM, LLC 924 EAST 1938 Rd Eudora KS 66025

PRESCOTT FINANCIAL SERVICES, PA 922 April Rain Rd Lawrence KS 66049

SMALL TIME NOBODY LLC 706 1/2 Main Street Eudora KS 66025


SPECIALIZED SURGICAL SOLUTIONS LLC 5204 Stonecreek Court Lawrence KS 66049

[JAN to MAR 2016]

THE BODHI TREE HOLISTIC HEALING CO. 2709 Pebble Lane Lawrence KS 66047

VALLEY VIEW FARM Lawrence LLC 1222 N 1000 RD Lawrence KS 66047

THE ELEMENTAL LLC 805 New Hampshire Lawrence KS 66044

VICTORIA CAGAN LSCSW, LLC 301 Wagonwheel Road Lawrence KS 66049

THE LEVEE LLC 239 Elm Street Lawrence KS 66044 TJ FOX BARREL RACING AND TRAINING LLC 1672 N 1000 RD Lawrence KS 66046 TODD APPRAISAL, INC. 1477 Legends Dr Lawrence KS 66049 TODD JADLOW GIVE IT BACK FOUNDATION INC 6326 LAKESIDE LANE Lawrence KS 66049 TR TRANSPORT LLC 630 Michigan St Lawrence KS 66044 TRANSMISSIONS DIRECT LLC 1722 Ohio Street Lawrence KS 66044

VISION QUEST RETAIL SOLUTIONS INC 1209 Vantuyl Drive Lawrence KS 66049 WAM PROPERTIES, LLC 315 Dakota St Lawrence KS 66046 WEI7 LLC 1440 Wakarusa Dr Lawrence KS 66049 WERST DELIVERY, LLC 1321 Birch St Eudora KS 66025 WESTERHOUSE HOLDINGS, L.L.C. 1958 N. 1100 RD. Eudora KS 66025 WHATEVER FOREVER LC 720 9th Street Lawrence KS 66044


WIGEN-TOCCALINO PROPERTY LLC 920 Delaware St Lawrence KS 66044

TRIPLE C LAWN CARE L.L.C. 1908 E 19TH Lawrence KS 66046

WL MASONRY, LLC 2201 Harper St Lawrence KS 66046

R & R REMODELING LLC 325 Baker St Baldwin City KS 66006

STAR GOLD ENTERPRISES, LLC 4979 Stoneback Dr Lawrence KS 66047 STAR STRUCK CLOTHING LLC 2700 Anne Court Lawrence KS 66046

RAJANI CONSULTING, LLC 1102 W 19th Ter Lawrence KS 66046

STUDIO HIJINX, LLC 240 Deerfield Lane Lawrence KS 66049

TRUEBLUEPAY.ORG INSTITUTE 1101 Wagon Wheel Road Lawrence KS 66049

WRIGHT HOME INSPECTIONS, LLC 4437 W 25th Pl. Lawrence KS 66047

NORBERT 444 SPORT LLC 564 E 1550TH Rd Baldwin City KS 66006

RENEWAL CLEANING SERVICES INC. 2500 W 31st Street Lawrence KS 66047


TRUST & FREEDOM FINANCIAL LLC 2306 Manchester Rd Lawrence KS 66049

Y G NAGOYA INC 711 W 23 ST Lawrence KS 66046

NORDERA PRODUCTIONS LLC 1542 Legend Trail Drive Lawrence KS 66047

REVEAL AUCTION NETWORK, LLC 808 Massachusetts Lawrence KS 66044

T&M PROPERTIES, LLC 2007 PALMER Dr Lawrence KS 66047

TUCKEL FARMS, LLC 926 E 1000 Road Lawrence KS 66047

OLEE, LLC 4547 Larissa Dr Lawrence KS 66049

RL TOPEKA 1 LLC 1112 Summerfield Way Lawrence KS 66049

TELOS ENTERPRISES, LLC 927 Crestline Drive Lawrence KS 66049

TURNING POINT BEHAVIORAL HEALTH, L.L.C. 1910 Haskell Ave Lawrence KS 66046

ONE HEART FARM, L.L.C. 833 E. 675TH Rd Lawrence KS 66047

ROCKHOSTCOM, INC. 2732 Lawrence AVENUE Lawrence KS 66047

NJH PROPERTIES LLC 4216 Goldfield Lawrence KS 66049 NOAH BARCLAY LLC 183 Pinecone Dr Lawrence KS 66046 NOLA’S BAKERY LLC 204 Eisenhower Dr Lawrence KS 66049


PROTHEROE CORPORATION 1113 Natalie Drive Lawrence KS 66046

THE FORK LLC 826 N Main St Eudora KS 66025 THE 1300 GROUP, LLC 1317 STONE CREEK Dr Lawrence KS 66049

TY HAAS HORSEMANSHIP LLC 2428 Arkansas Lawrence KS 66046

YOUNG INTELCTS, INC. 1144 11 Lawrence KS 66044

WH OSE D ESK? Be the first to correctly guess which local business figure works behind this desk. Winner receives a $50 gift card to 23rd Street Brewery.


Lawrence Business Magazine 2016 Q1  

Lawrence Business Magazine is a quarterly publication focusing on local businesses in Lawrence & Douglas County, Kansas, making a positive i...

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