Our Staff Eastside Detroit

Meet our team! Did you know? Each staff member is required to become Pet CPR & First Aid certified before completing their status as a Trainee. This helps ensure our Pack Leaders know how to handle any situations that may arise. We are proud to be surrounded by a team of dedicated dog lovers, some of whom have been with us for over 10 years! Read all about your dog's BFFs below.

IMG_3887
Haynes, O

Olivia Haynes

Customer Experience Manager Since 2023

Green, C

Chace Green

Pack Leader since 2023

Williams, J

Julia Williams

Customer Service/Pack Leader since 2023

Phillips, S

Shantae Phillips

Overnight Technician/Pack Leader since 2023

Townsend, C 1

Chanell Townsend

Pack Leader since 2023

Echols, K

Kayla Echols

Pack Leader since 2023

Rock, D 1

DeJhana Rock

Pack Leader since 2024

IMG-1734

Liz Blondy

Founder and Owner

Founded Canine To Five in 2005

Pets: A Landseer Newfoundland named Clover

Liz is a long-time Detroiter who, after a decade in sales, decided to combine her love of animals and her hometown passion into a career. In 2005, she opened Canine To Five Detroit Dog Daycare in Midtown, Canine To Five Ferndale in 2013, Canine To Five Commerce in 2021, and Canine To Five Eastside in 2023. All facilities offer daycare and boarding, plus Midtown and Commerce offer grooming! The business also hosts events like pack walks and dog-friendly happy hours.

Canine To Five is now recognized as a Detroit small business success story, and Liz has emerged as a staunch and prominent advocate for Detroit’s resurgence. Firmly convinced that small businesses are the key to true revival, she co-founded Open City Detroit, a networking group designed to encourage entrepreneurship, and participates in many initiatives to foster a strong grassroots business community.

IMG-1752

Benjamin Paga

Director of Operations

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

Pets: 2 dogs named Bonnie & Kiba, 1 cat named Oliver

Ben is our Director of Operations, and going above and beyond for our clients is totally his thing. Coming from a background in the rescue/vet world, Ben says doggy daycare is a completely different environment. "It has been so inspiring to work with a team that loves, adores, and truly wants to learn more and grow with each dog that comes through our door, as well as our clients that treat their pups as their own children."

Ben currently lives in Ferndale with his Shepherd mixes, Bonnie & Kiba, and long haired cat, Oliver. In his free time, Ben enjoys painting, wood burning, trail hikes with his dogs, gardening, and fixing his house. His favorite thing about Canine to Five is “The need to learn more. I love this company because we grow with the times. I love learning more about each and every dog and their individual behaviors, quirks and personalities and then being able to have a conversation with our awesome clients really just makes my day. Seeing a dog go from underconfident to giving that first booty bump to the owner walking in for the first time with a treat pouch is the biggest win for my staff and I. The ability to enrich all dogs' lives is my favorite thing about Canine to Five."

IMG-1785

samantha hillmer

Director of Marketing & Client Experience

Joined Canine to Five team in 2017

Pets: A Boxer Mix named Charlie & A Cattle Dog/Terrier Mix named Violet

Samantha is the doer of all things. As our Director of Marketing & Client Experience, she is behind all of our client communication and social media, she helps document and improve our processes, maintains our reservation software, updates our website, writes blog posts, and honestly - so much more.

Outside of having an knack for technology, Sam has over 10 years of experience working with animals! She has worked everywhere from grooming salons to vet clinics, working with border patrol K9’s, horses, and has even helped deliver newborn puppies. She loves working at Canine to Five because basically everything she does is also her hobby! Writing, social media, graphic design - it truly is her dream job. Sam also loves that Canine to Five is all about being positive and provides a healthy outlet for dogs who would otherwise be bored at home. "Working for a business that shares your same values and training beliefs is so great. I know my own dogs are happy and safe at Canine to Five, so it's easy for me to communicate the benefits to potential clients when doing my job."

Samantha currently resides in Allen Park with her husband, Matt, her two daughters, Hailey & Hannah, and her two dogs, Charlie & Violet.

Daris, M

melissa daris

Human Resources Manager

Joined Canine to Five team in 2021

Pets: A Sheltie named Luna and a Bengal cat named Ivan

Melissa came to Canine To Five with a background in Human Resources and Management.  She previously worked in animal medicine at an ER and Specialty Veterinary Hospital.  This combined experience made her the perfect fit for Canine To Five.

Melissa takes care of all of Canine To Five's employees whether it be recruiting, benefits, payroll and anything else "HR"

Melissa currently resides in Royal Oak with her husband Tom, daughter Eva, son Tommy, her dog Luna and cat Ivan.

instagramphotodownload.com_Ferndale_Dog_Daycare (1)

Kaitlin Lulofs

Canine Concierge Manager

Joined Canine to Five team in 2016

Pets: A Cocker Spaniel named Noah, and two delicate Millipedes named Thorne and Admiral Rodcocker

Kaitlin is a Pack Leader who joined our team in 2016. She previously lived in Denver, Colorado where she was a live-in care provider for a special needs Chow Chow and studied Mortuary Science. The very first day she moved back to Michigan, she was walking around her neighborhood and saw Canine to Five.. her eyes lit up! She knew she had to work with us.

Kaitlin currently resides in Ferndale with her roommate, her Cocker Spaniel, Noah, and her different species of insects! During her free time, she legitimately plans all year for Halloween, watches Law & Order, and is currently learning how to drive so she can get her license! She is also always trying to convince the world that leggings are pants. Her favorite this about Canine to Five? “All the dog kisses, duh!”

Merkle, J 1

Jessica Merkle

Operations Assistant

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2014

Pets: 3 Pitbulls named Alison Chains, Denis and Billy Loomis

Jess lived next door to Canine to Five owner, Liz, for years. One day while she was walking her dog, Liz asked if she’d like to work for her. Jess’ boss at the time also happened to be a Canine to Five client, and suggested she worked here as well - They knew she would love it! Working with dogs is a true dream come true for Jess.   Jess currently resides in Detroit with three dogs. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is the friendships – both human and dog!

IMG-1800

Lou Ray

director of finance

Joined Canine to Five team in 2019

Pets: Suzie & Blue Ray the Lab Mixes

Lou is a Certified Public Accountant who joined our team to provide our company assistance with accountability, metrics, and strategy development. Prior to Canine to Five, he owned and operated an industrial supply distribution company. When he isn't talking finances, Lou enjoys golfing, cycling, hiking, and traveling up north. He has owned dogs his whole life, and currently resides in Grosse Pointe with his wife and two dogs, Suzie & Blue Ray. Lou says his favorite thing about Canine to Five is our employees and their enthusiasm for the dogs in our care.