Woofers World | Your Team

When you entrust your pet with the Woofers team, you can rest assured that they’re in gentle, caring hands of professional pet carers. As an independently owned and family run business, we only hire full-time, certified and trained professionals.

Prior to employment, potential team members are required to have police and reference checks and are democratically chosen by the exisiting team. This ensures a harmonious workplace that improves the standard of care and creates a safe environment that animals respond well to.

Because we are more like family than coworkers, we are able to work closely together to continually improve the quality of our services and the overall level of professionalism, education and accountability.

These dedicated professionals bring a level of expertise, commitment and passion to their role that that can’t be found in a franchise or sub-contractor arrangement.

Our philosophy of “the greater the staff, the greater the service” has served our clients and their pets well over the last 10+ years.

If you have any questions or need more information, please send us a message through our contact page or call Woofers HQ directly on 1300 269 969.

Your HQ & Support Team

Jonathan Whitelaw

Managing Director

As a young child Jonathan helped many of his neighbours care for their pets. Now, he’s one of Melbourne’s greatest advocates for improving pets’ well being. Jonathan is the founder of Woofers World and spends his days between dog training, dog walking, office work and steering the business down a happy, sustainable path.

After leaving university, where he studied Applied Science, Jonathan had a successful career as a Seafarer. In 2005, led by a little blind ambition, his dream of making a career of working with animals came true. Since then his multitude of studies in canine behaviour, dog training and adult education – including extensive experience helping dog owners with their animals – has made for many a happy pet parent and even more happy pets. And it doesn’t stop there; he’s always looking how to improve our world with pets.

Danielle Whitelaw

Accounts Manager

Danielle is an all-rounder with Woofers, but mostly you’ll find her looking after accounts and business-ey stuff, on reception, and running our social media. As sister to Jonathan, she has been involved with Woofers since its inception, but officially joined the team in 2012.

After helping out during a growth phase, she decided she loved hanging out with the pooches more than her life in commercial property and fund management. So much so that she stuck around and brought a wealth of commercial experience with her.

Danielle has had many roles within Woofers including full-time Animal Handler, so she loves it when one of the Handlers is off and she gets to get out of the office and play with the dogs. Whilst she doesn’t have any pets of her own, there are not many days she doesn’t have a four-legged friend staying with her as she is one of our most sought after Sleepover minders.

Rachel Bloomfield

Animal Placements Coordinator

At the end of high school, Rachel had a choice between a career in childcare or a career in pet care. Well, Rachel chose to work with pets and ended up with Honours in Animal Science and Management from Melbourne University. She then refined her devotion for pets and completed a course in dog training and behaviour.

Rachel became part of the Woofers family in 2010 when she began working as an Animal Handler. She transitioned into Dog Trainer, then Operations Manager and now leads a team of dog minders as the Sleepover Coordinator where she gets to use her exceptional organisational skills and still continues to make pets happy.

Rachel and her husband Adam have a lovely Border Collie cross called Bamboo, who often helps greet customers at Woofers HQ – when she’s not asleep under Rachels desk.

Jaymi Warne

Administrative Coordinator

Jaymi is the team’s administrative guru and she’s a great support for the Handlers and Groomers. As Receptionist, Office manager, Social Coordinator, Purveyour, Retail Manager and often responsible for the jokes on the shop sandwichboard she’s likely the first person that people speak with when calling or visiting Woofers HQ.

After studying a Diploma in Live Audio Engineering, Jaymi had a range of customer service roles that have helped her thrive in the busy Woofers World office. She trained under Crown for customer service and says she feels at her best when she’s busy. Maybe that’s part of why she has a great rapport with the dogs and an uncanny ability to make everyone smile at Woofers – because there’s never a dull moment!

Jaymi grew up in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs and now lives with her partner Cam in Patterson Lakes. They are proud parents of two domestic rats called Boss and Smed, and a very cute but naughty Dingo cross called Eddie. When not brightening up the day at Woofers, she loves watching local bands, building guitars from scratch, renovating their house, and of course hanging with Eddie.

Your Dog Trainers & Animal Handlers

Jess McKinnon

Head Trainer

Jess is the strength behind Woofers’ dog training team. As Head Trainer she’s always reading and studying to stay abreast of the latest in training disciplines and techniques. Originally, Jess joined the Woofers Team in 2012 when she worked for years as a full-time handler but now spends most of her days teaching classes, helping the team and working many of the Woofers families to get the best out of their dogs.

Jess always knew that she wanted to work with animals; the only question was in which area. During her Animal Science degree at the University of Melbourne she developed an interest in animal behaviour and welfare. But it was her rescue dog Poppy that really helped crystallise this interest into a passion for working with these amazing animals.

Jess has continued to study the sciences and she is now specialising in canine behaviour science. She not only has nationally accredited qualifications, she has participated in countless courses and seminars with renowned trainers and behaviour specialists all over the country.

Jess and her partner David recently moved into their first home and take great enjoyment playing dog sports with their young Border Terrier Flynn in agility and nosework. (@Flynn_the_border_terrier)

Fran Wood

Dog Trainer / Animal Handler

Fran knew from a very young age that she wanted to work with animals. During her study of Animal Management in the U.K., she hoped to specialise in working with dogs. After receiving her diploma she went on to become a canine security officer and her love for dogs grew even more.

Born in the U.K., Fran and her partner Tom moved to Australia in 2012 after their global travels led them to fantastic places around the world. In August 2016 they celebrated their wedding with friends and family and are now proud to call Australia home.

Fran joined the Woofers team in 2015 and has continued her study of canines. Recently she completed a Certificate III in Dog Training and Behaviour and she is often an instructor at Woofers’ Puppy School and group dog training classes.

Everyone who meets Fran is warmed by her bubbly personality and the dogs absolutely adore her. Fran and Tom have adopted Bo the “shop-dog”, who, like all dogs that meet Fran, crave her attention and blossom from her calm and gentle handling.

Chris Maxwell

Animal Handler

Chris finsihed school and took up a great opportunity to work in his field of interest, horticulture. He had a long and successful career in the industry working in many varied roles and gaining lots of experience.

In 2012, Chris decided to switch his work to another field of interest, animals. He got a great job working with dogs as a leading hand in a dog daycare facility where he gained many hours of hands on experience with dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Chris says he was lucky to land a job as an Animal Handler with Woofers World in 2016. But his colleagues at Woofers say they are the lucky ones. Chris loves walking, playing and hanging out with all his client’s lovely creatures during the day. He is currently studying Certificate III in Dog Training and Behavior with NDTF.

Chris and partner Tania, who is an excellent dog groomer, have two little Papillion crosses, Coco and Gucci (no, they didn’t name them!). Rounding out the family are Cleo the cat and Bailey the rabbit.

Preston Henshaw

Dog Trainer / Animal Handler

Preston has become a familiar figure in the team of Animal Handlers and Dog Trainers since joining Woofers World in 2016. He has a keen interest in psychology and philosophy, and his quest for knowledge about dogs and dog behaviour has led him to learn from some of the best dog trainers in the world.

Not only is Preston a certified dog trainer, he has a myriad of experiences that have helped him specialise his dog training skills with working-breeds, protection animals, tracking and reactivity. He spends many nights a week helping dog owners and their pets as part of group obedience classes.

Preston lives with his loving partner, Tayla, and their two dogs Luna (the Kelpie) and Tilly (the Border Collie).

Federica Pelizzari

Dog Trainer / Animal Handler

Federica, also known as “Feddy”, is a qualified Dog Trainer and spends most of her day as Animal Handler with Woofers World. Her love and enthusiasm for her dogs, pets, and life in general is contagious and she’s a joy to be around.

Federica’s background was originally in the Arts. She studied art in Italy and always used animals as the subjects in her sculptures and pieces. This interest and adoration for animals soon surpassed her love of art and she began working with horses and then shelter dogs.

During her university studies she supported a small kennel in her hometown. She took great pride in helping the less fortunate pets. “I wanted to give them happiness!” she says. So she did!

After moving to Australia 2013 with her partner Marco, she attended dog training school at NDTF while working at a dog daycare and kennel. As she says, “I followed the good vibes of this magic country and I found my new family at Woofers World. It’s a great adventure!”

Lisa Weightman

Dog Trainer / Animal Handler

Cassie Pearton

Dog Trainer / Animal Handler

Christy Cloake

Animal Handler

Luke Paulin-Roberts

Dog Trainer / Animal Handler

Bea Yates

Animal Handler
Your Groom-Room Team

Shannon Foote

Senior Groomer

Camilla Souza

Senior Groomer

In 2012 Camilla arrived in Australia from Brazil with one husband, two bags and no job. Her “wonderful” husband Marco supported her with decision to move away from her previous life as a Biologists and pursue her passion of working with dogs.

Camilla trained hard to learn English and become a good groomer and she joined the Woofers team in 2017 after building skills at other local Melbourne salons.

Camilla slotted straight in to the Woofers Groom-Room and feels right at home in any salon. She believes that dogs understand her and she understands dogs so is extremely happy every day.

A love for the Australian way of life including BBQ, music, cooking, wine and lots of traveling meant that Camilla and Marco don’t have any pets of their own yet, but Camilla believes every single four legged client is her baby and welcomes more babies to her grooming table.

Maria-Fernanda Marco

Senior Groomer
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