Our Staff Ferndale

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 6 years! Read all about your dog's BFFs below.


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 and in 2013, Canine to Five Ferndale. Both facilities offer daycare, boarding and grooming, and the business also facilitates trainings and 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.

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Benjamin Paga

Facility Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2015

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

Ben is our Facility Manager, 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."


samantha hillmer

systems &    communications manager

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 Systems & Communications Manager, 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.

Cullen Perry

cullen perry

training Manager

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2012

Pets: 4 dogs - Birdie, Beowulf, Sabretooth, and Charlie, 5 cats - Elvira, Inana, Ishie, Lulu, and Flea, and a catfish named Salvador

Cullen is our dog guru. As our Training Manager, he makes sure all of our Pack Leaders are proficient in dog behavior and body language, and that all of our dogs are being taken care of properly and with positive techniques. When asked what his favorite thing about CTF was, he replied, "The dogs, obviously. I like that we have created an environment that can be healthy, positive, and enriching for so many different personality types. I love that our staff puts in the work to help dogs learn the skills they need to be successful. Our level of dedication and knowledge, matched with customer transparency and education, means that we can provide a beneficial service that is unique within the industry."

Cullen currently resides in Detroit with his 4 dogs, Birdie, Beowulf, Sabretooth, and Charlie, his 5 cats, Elvira, Inana, Ishie, Lulu, and Flea, and his catfish, Salvador.

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Kaitlin Lulofs

Canine Concierge & Customer service

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!”


Christian moultrie

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: A Pit Bull named Diesel

Avid dog cuddler, Christian, was originally looking for something customer service based when job searching. Once joining our team, he got that - and so much more! Having pets growing up sparked his interest to apply, and we are so glad he did. Before Canine to Five, he was a Customer Service Rep at Uhaul full-time, and he managed a popcorn shop part-time. Now training as a Pack Leader, Christian says his favorite thing about Canine to Five is getting acquainted and building a relationship with all of the different breeds of dogs.

Christian currently resides in Detroit, right outside of Dearborn, with his partner and dog, Diesel. In his free time, he loves to hang with his family, sleep, and sing.
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Kelly Karolinski

Customer Service

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: Rory, a 13 year old Cockapoo

When it comes to happy, positive energy at 6AM - Kelly is our girl! Kelly was looking for a job where the owner was not only passionate about their business, but their employees, too. After her interview, she could tell that Liz Blondy was that person! Kelly has had dogs her whole life and was inspired by her own dog, Rory, to choose a career working with them. Prior to Canine to Five, she was a hairstylist for 8 years. Kelly currently resides in Ferndale with her partner of 7 years and her Cockapoo, Rory. In her free time, she likes to work on art commissions and travel to music festivals. Kelly's favorite thing about Canine to Five is being surrounded by dogs every single day! (duh!)

Tommy Grobbel

Tommy Grobbel

Boarding Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2017

Pets: A Chug

Tommy joined our team because he loves dogs and thinks we do a great job ensuring that the animals are cared for and that everyone is happy. Before Canine to Five, he was a production floor hi-lo driver at an injection molding shop. Tom currently resides in Royal Oak with his chunky Chug. During his free time he plays disc golf. If the sun is out and he’s not working, you’ll find him on the course. Tommy’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is everything, it’s the best job he’s ever had! The staff is amazing and we do such a great job making sure all the dogs have a great time.

Gerret Vanderham

Gerret Vanderham

Pack Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: A Puggle name Otis, Frenchie named Olive, and Vizsla named Hans.

Gerret joined our team because of his love for dogs, and has become obsessed with Hungarian Vizslas ever since. Before Canine to Five, he was doing landscaping and working at a greenhouse, and now it remains his hobby. Gerret currently resides in Ferndale with his girlfriend of over ten years, Ashley, who puts up with his collections of everything – mainly vinyl records, vinyl toys/ figures, and lots and lots of art. In his free time he likes to play and mix some records, watch a good flick, go to concerts and music gigs, and take care of his 90+ house plant/cacti/succulents. Gerret’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is all of his unique co-workers. So many different personalities, but all the same when it comes to the dogs. Many have become friends and have been pretty special to him in one way or another. PLUS THE Vizslas of course!

Kelsey lee Santoro

Kelsey lee Santoro

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: A Boxer named Bruce, a Pitbull named Deja and 2 cats Honey & Vegas.

Kelsey is a Pack Leader who loves dogs and has always wanted to work with animals. Before Canine to Five, she worked at Sorrento’s pizza in Mt Clemens. Kelsey currently resides in Warren with her boyfriend Brett, their daughter Sophia, their 2 dogs, Bruce & Deja, and 2 cats, Honey & Vegas. In her free time… What’s free time?! If she can actually sit down and binge a show – she’s happy. But she loves being outside, if the sun is out she’s probably in the garden. Kelsey’s favorite thing about Canine to Five is that everyone is happy to be here, there’s so much positivity that goes around it’s hard not to love your job. Plus, endless doggy kisses!

Felix Freeman

Felix Freeman

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2018

Pets: A Beagle named Dude, a Tortie cat named Lark, and a Flame Point Siamese named Fallon.

Felix moved to Ferndale 2 years ago, and the first time he passed Canine To Five he told his best friend “I’m gonna work there one day.” After getting himself together, he applied and was given the opportunity! He needed to get out of retail and do something he found rewarding with his life. Before Canine to Five, Felix spent 9 years in corporate retail – everything from unloading trucks to a conveyor belt and sorting, to stocking shelves. He lives about a 60 second walk from CTF Ferndale, with two of his best friends as roommates, his beagle, Dude, two cats, and his roommate’s pet rats. Felix is an avid gamer in his free time. He also enjoys movies, and reading. He loves walking around Ferndale with Dude, and Dude loves meeting new people when they go. Felix says, “There’s just about everything to love about Canine to Five. I’ve loved animals, particularly dogs, my entire life, so working with them daily is a dream job. I also love how well the dogs are taken care of and individual needs are met as much as we can. Plus, the work environment and everyone from the owner to managers to other Pack leaders and front desk, everyone is super nice and helpful, everyone is very understanding and it’s just an amazing place to work.”

Mandy Maksimov

Pack Supervisor

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: A Pitty mix named Flynn, and three cats Samuel L Catson, Mima, and Fae

Mandy was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and lived on a hobby farm just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She has always surrounded herself with all kinds of animals, and finally decided she needed a break from the customer service jobs she'd taken on throughout the years, and wanted to commit herself solely to animals. Canine to Five was the perfect fit! Mandy absolutely adores working (and playing) with our dogs at Canine to Five! She currently resides in Detroit with her partner and their 4 pets. During her free time, she is usually reading, playing World of Warcraft, or spending time with her fur babies.


Daniel Bane

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2019

Pets: A black cat

Daniel joined our team with a passion for animals. Before Canine to Five, he worked with food and customer service. This Pack Leader currently resides in Hazel Park with his sister. During his free time, Daniel enjoys lots of sleeping, and nerdy things. His favorite part about working at Canine to Five is further development of the dogs and helping them become the greatest pets ever!


Jesse Guest

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: Jackson the Australian Shepherd, Darla the Terrier mix, & Violet the German Short-haired Pointer, Archie the Salty Old Man Cat, Geisha & Triton the Betta fish

Jesse joined Canine to Five to work with dogs after previously working in Healthcare. He currently resides in Royal Oak with his roommate and pets. During his free time, Jesse enjoys reading, taking naps, and hanging out with his friends (remotely). His favorite thing about Canine to Five is that it doesn't really feel coming to work. The day flies by because you're having so much fun!


Molly Thiel

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: None yet!

Molly joined our team with a lot of love to give for animals. After her personal experience working alongside a trainer with her own dog, she learned important techniques like recall, stress skills, and desensitizing methods that help make a happier dog. Prior to Canine to Five, she worked for nonprofits that focused on a variety of social issues. Molly currently lives in Farmington with her husband where she enjoys hiking, riding bikes, and taking care of her house plants. Her favorite thing about Canine to Five is being apart of making a dog's day great; Making them feel safe, cared for, and having fun, brings Molly a lot of joy.


Ally Littlefield

Pack Leader

Joined Canine to Five Team in 2020

Pets: Gracie the Yorkie & Asher the Great Dane

Ally is a Pack Leader who joined our team for one simple reason - SHE LOVES DOGS. "What better place for me to surround myself with animals that make my heart happy!" Since she was old enough to remember, her life has been surrounded by dogs. From the littlest breed (the kind that keeps you on your toes!), to the largest breed (her gentle giant). She believes it’s given her the BEST kind of experience and patience. Prior to Canine to Five, Ally had a lot of customer service jobs that included retail and restaurants, but she says she wasn’t truly happy until she joined our pack! She currently resides with her mom, dad, younger brother and sister. In her free time, Ally likes to spend time with friends, her boyfriend, and her puppies. She also really enjoys interior design, listening to podcasts, little weekends trips, and who doesn’t enjoy laying around every so often! There are many things Ally loves about Canine to Five, but says her favorite is, "The bond I create with the dogs. I truly care for them like they’re my own."


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.