Happy Tails 
Pet Retreat


Clio Smeeton – President of the CEI

Clio has operated dog-breeding kennels for over 20 years in British Columbia. She has also trained and coursed Scottish Deer Hounds. In addition, she has provided injured and orphaned wildlife rehabilitation services for over 30 years in both BC and Alberta. She is a founding member of the Alberta Wildlife Rehabilitation Association. Clio is the owner of the 140-acre land that Happy Tails Retreat is located on. She is also the president of The Cochrane Ecological Institute and Wildlife Reserve (also located on the same property).

Ken Weagle – Director

With a M.Sc. in Biology, Ken has been involved with the breeding and boarding of dogs for over 40 years. He designed, built and operated Takkalik Kennels in Whitehorse, Yukon - a 12 space boarding kennel. He also bred and trained Siberian Huskies, in addition to cross breeding sled dogs. He was the President of the Siberian Husky Club of Canada for two terms. Takkalik Kennels was one of two boarding kennels operating in Yukon from 1976 to present.

We live on the property and you can therefore have a peace of mind knowing that your pet will be under 24 hour supervision!

Our staff that keep it going!

Kat Phillips

Kat was born and raised in Alberta, spending most of her time in Calgary. Eventually she ventured out to BC to study at the University of Victoria. There she completed a dual bachelors in Psychology and Environmental Studies, with a minor in Social Justice Studies. Kat worked in veterinary medicine for 3+ years as a receptionist and technician assistant, handling dogs and cats of varying breeds and temperaments.

Kat is our main animal care technician and kennel manager, ensuring animals are well cared for, and monitoring wildlife that come in with injuries. She manages our social media webpages, and works on research projects. She is in charge of the various interns and volunteers we have throughout the year.

Kari Pedder

Kari is the newest member of the CEI and Happy Tails Pet Retreat team. She is Calgary born and raised and is enthusiastic about anything animal-related! The past June, Kari graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelors of Science in Zoology and will be applying to veterinary medicine programs this coming Fall. Kari has built up her experience with animals through numerous volunteer activities, including those in small animal emergency, shelter, and general practice settings. She has spent 400+ hours volunteering and has fostered more than 35 animals. 

Kari will be helping out at both the boarding kennels and caring for the wildlife that come in. She is most looking forward to supporting the rehabilitation of the various wildlife that come through CEI! 

Catriona Matheson

Catriona grew up with wildlife, and has assisted with wildlife care since the 1970's. Cat's has a B.A. in History and the Classics, and her day job is Recruiting for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Catriona assists with wildlife care and Happy Tails Pet Retreat during evenings, weekends and days off. Her contributions also extend into strategic planning, facility development, fundraising and facility promotion.


Tolstoy is our kennel manager. He assumed the position at an early age, about 4 months, and has adapted to his two main duties very well. The first duty is checking that all the dogs know who is in charge and checking that they are all inside at night. The second is rodent control, which he preforms with exemplary skill.