CityPets Handlers come from a variety of backgrounds, including farming, hunting, horse riding, conservation and other outdoor and animal related pursuits. They are practical, internally motivated, emotionally intelligent, no. 8 wire type people, with integrity and of course, a passion for animals.
If you think you have what it takes to become a CityPets handler, own a station wagon or larger vehicle, hold a clean license, love a challenge and have a professional work ethic, send your CV and cover letter to: including experiences you've had working with animals.
flash - founder - director
Flash is the Founding Director of CityPets and it's her vision which grew CityPets from a local dog walking business to New Zealand's number one Adventure Dog Walking Company.
Flash grew up horse riding, tramping, swimming and learning bushcraft, always with a large group of adopted dogs by her side. She has spent her life adopting, training and socialising unwanted dogs before finding them permanent homes.
Taylor - handler/admin
By the time she was twenty Taylor realised that her life's passion was working with dogs so by the time she began handling for CityPets, she could boast extensive experience working in doggy daycares and kennels.
Taylor's love of the outdoors coupled with her passion for seeing dogs run their hearts out in the wilderness makes her a perfect fit with the CityPets ethos of allowing dogs to be true to their canine natures.
Not only is she an accomplished handler, she is also Flash's 2IC, running both administration and social media.
Taylor is also a qualified personal trainer and brings her high energy fitness to every Canine Adventure she goes on.
Shekinah - handler/Admin
Shekinah is from the far north where there are no shortage of dogs and pups to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome, particularly dogs with anxiety and stress disorders - something she is extremely passionate about. She holds a soft spot for the misunderstood bully breed, and is staunch advocate for bully breed rights. Shekinah's dog is a staffy named Harley.
Shekinah studied health science at University of Auckland and became a personal trainer once she graduated.
john - handler
John has always been around dogs and was brought up with animals as the family business, running a boarding kennel and cattery. One of those creative types he's trained as a thespian both at home and in London where he wrangled Zombies in NZ's hit export 'The Generation Of Z'.
He kept his canine tendencies in check by house-sitting in the UK, now back in NZ he's balances CityPets pups with his theatre world.
He loves taking his packs of intrepid adventurers into the wilderness because helps him resist getting a dog of his own!
TOM - HANDLER
Tom and his side kick Syd, his Aussie Terrier moved to Auckland in 2011 after the Christchurch earthquakes.
Tom studied animation at South Seas Film & Television School and despite graduating, still hadn't found his true calling, that is until he began working as a pack leader for CityPets.
Since then he's never looked back, we love him and more importantly the dogs love him too. He's solid, reliable, calm and has an energy the dogs both love and respect, the perfect combination for a CityPets Canine Adventurer!
Briar - Handler
Pack life is something Briar had figured out during her childhood. From as young as she could mount her horse independently she travelled anywhere she could on horseback, and always with her family's dogs by her side.
Briar has recently completed her masters in politics, specifically conflict and terrorism studies.
Unsurprisingly, handling for CityPets is a breath of fresh air after many long years buried in academia studying conflict and terrorism.
james - handler
When James isn't running his pack of high energy hounds through off-track trails and hills around Auckland, he pursues his thespian passion as Detective Darryl Warwick on Shortland Street and Remmington from Pleasuredome. James' runs are not for the faint hearted which is why he takes out the boisterous and high energy packs who have the energy to spare for another hill and one last run down a stream!
sophie - handler
Sophie adopted her first Husky at nineteen, quickly became obsessed by the breed and added a second to her pack two years later. As well as volunteering for the SPCA and rescuing sick and injured animals as a child, she has become steadily more passionate about Husky rescue. She is currently handling long hours to save money to become a pilot intending to fly commercially once she's qualified.
Naomi - Handler
Naomi's love of animals has had her doing years of volunteering with animal organisations, first for the RSPCA in the UK then in NZ she's volunteered at the Auckland zoo and the Royal NZ Bird Rescue, looking after sick native birds. In her spare time she knits blankets to send to Africa for orphaned rhinos.
Naomi has a double majored degree (Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy), plus tertiary qualifications in animal husbandry and handling, photography, and canine behaviour and psychology. When she's not working at CityPets she runs a teeny weeny publishing company from her front room
Sam is our mountain man who spends all his free time in the wild outdoors, hunting, fishing and spearfishing - so he's in his element taking our wilderness dogs into wild and isolated locations. Sam rescued his dog Rye from life on a chain and taught him everything, - from the basics like 'sit' and 'come' all the way to being a capable duck retriever. Now Rye has a loving family and Sam has an amazing dog and friend. Sam has a degree in Economics and International Business from Auckland University and left CityPets to pursue a job which involves wearing a suit and lots of important numbers. Sam misses his dogs and comes back to handle for CityPets on his days off.
Most handlers begin working for CityPets while putting themselves through university which means eventually it's time for our handlers to graduate and move on with the next stages of their lives. The wonderful side of being part of the CityPets team is no one ever truly leaves the pack. Long beyond their final day handling, the camaraderie and shared experiences keep people united and it's not uncommon for an occasional sick day to be claimed in order that a handler can be reunited with their packs once more. There's also awesome handler reunions involving excellent work stories wittily told. Once a CityPets handler always a CityPets handler.
Before CityPets, Abigail was the Head Research Assistant studying humpback whales in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands. During that time she also operated the drone filming the whales and edited an award winning video using her drone footage. Abigail also holds a certificate of Animal Management and a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Biodiversity. She is a keen diver and is passionate about preserving our environment.
Growing up surrounded by animals and spending her weekends socialising stressed and anxious dogs for the SPCA, Alex is the perfect CityPets team player. Alex put herself through university handling for CityPets by day and running social media by night. She currently holds a Masters of Architectural Studies, continues to play hockey at a national level and coach young up and coming players. She formed WetNose Studios and can be found at Auckland dog events photographing dogs.
Fredy hales from the far shores of Mexico where he grew up as his family's 'crazy animal lover", so it was no surprise that his first jobs were working in a variety of kennels around the world. Since handling for CityPets, Fredy has become fascinated by canine social behavior, and it is evident he understands it well as his pack's return home calm, happy and with smiles on their faces. Fredy has a degree in Construction Management where he came top of his class. At home, Fredy likes to teach his dog Bailey new tricks.
Julian - handler
Julian grew up in a family passionate about breeding and showing Irish Setters and this is where his love of all things canine first began. Julian holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration, as well as Paramedicine. On his rostered days off you can find Julian taking to the hills, recharging his batteries with packs of CityPets hounds, the perfect balance to a career spent saving people's lives.
Georgina joined our admin team with a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing and International Business. She brought a highly pragmatic and animal focused approach to our team of intrepid handlers and wasn't afraid of stepping into the handler role when the need arose. Like the rest of our team she's a passionate believer in animal rights.
Hanne is a Norwegian Viking who lives the saying, 'there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.' This held her in good stead as a wilderness adventurer, happy to brave the elements and get wet and muddy while taking our dogs that extra mile. Hanne holds a Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology and is a keen conservationist, she also fosters kittens.
natasha - admin
Natasha is responsible for the communication between handlers, clients and the rest of our team. When asked about her life experiences and accomplishments, without hesitation she responded that she'd successfully performed CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitation both on her pet rat and on her pet rabbit, who both went on to live happy and healthy lives until old age. She's worked in animal rescue shelters in Melbourne and fostered large numbers of dogs and kittens but her CPR story pretty much sums up everything which is important about her, and the rest is just twiddle twaddle.
Isaac comes the Waikato where he lived with his family on a life style block hosting a wide variety of animals which is what led to his deep and enduring love of all animals..
Isaac holds a PHD in medicine along with his Bachelor of Surgery. He was a gold medalist at the 2008 Oceania Continental Karate Championship as well as well as being NZ Gold Medalist 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.
Isaac speaks fluent Mandarin which he endeavoured to teach the dogs while out on their Adventures.
Jordy comes from rural Gisborne where she spent time mustering with large packs of farm dogs. She has the kiwi number 8 wire attitude in spades, and is never afraid to run the extra mile. She holds a conjoint Bachelor of Science, (Earth Science) and Bachelor of Engineering . She's a keen sportswoman who coaches youth cricket, before she came to Auckland was a volunteer Lifeguard.
Liam is best described as a good keen man, most at home in the mountains with a pack of dogs by his side. While other people make lots of noise and have lots to say about everything, Liam quietly and unobtrusively gets things done, a man not to be underestimated! Liam is in his final year of his Masters in Osteopathy and once achieved, will practice on animals and humans alike. He is also a keen photographer, mountain biker and snowboarder and has a lazy and lovely Husky called Mishka.
Amber's job application read a little like this: "Even though I may seem a little small, I have a very loud voice and understand the leadership necessary in pack life." Retrospectively we came to realise that this was a very accurate description indeed!
Amber comes from a small farm South of Auckland where she rides daily and her second job is a riding instructor,
She currently has two dogs, three cats, two ponies, a rabbit called Patrick, and a fish called Hotsauce. She's in her second year of a four year degree majoring in Landscape Architecture.
When Solomon isn't touring the world as a circus performer, you'll find him taking out packs of dogs to the most remote and isolated locations CityPets has to offer. Being Flash's son, Solomon grew up surrounded by dogs of every description, making canine communication his second language. He is currently studying Circus at CODARTS in Rotterdam, and returns to NZ periodically to recharge with the dogs on Auckland's wild and woolly west coast beaches and forests.
Tristan was raised working sheep dogs on his family farm in Wales leading him to volunteer extensively at both the SPCA and RSPCA in the UK and NZ. Tristan has worked in Tonga assisting with Humpback Whale research, which complements his work towards his PHD research into Environmental Science. Tristan is a fully licensed Tandem Skydiver instructor and in his spare time runs trails. This explains why his dogs were known to fall asleep with their heads in their food bowls when they got home.