Happy Tails 
Pet Retreat

Our Team

Clio Smeeton – Owner

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 –  Owner

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!

Kat Phillips

Kennel Manager

Kat was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. 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 has also completed the IWRC Wildlife Rehabilitation course.  Kat worked in veterinary medicine for 4+ 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.

Kelsey Baldwin


Meet Kelsey! Kelsey is a local river guide and outdoor enthusiast. Kelsey came to live and work at the Cochrane Ecological Institute in the Summer of 2023, and has loved experiencing all there is to learn about wildlife rehabilitation and care. In her free time Kelsey enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, hiking and exploring with her dog Gypsy - as well as anything else that involves being outside!

Kelsey is our groundskeeper and helps to maintain the property as well as our kennel. You can find her all over the property doing different tasks!

Barry Stark

Animal Care

Originally from the UK, Barry moved to Alberta, Canada in 2023, shifting gears from a career in the UK government to pursue a love for animals.
With three beloved pups of his own, he understands the bond between pets and their families. That's why Happy Tails isn't just a dog boarding facility; it's also a wildlife rescue center, providing sanctuary for creatures great and small.
When he's not tending to tails, you'll find him outdoors, often with his dogs by his side and exploring new trails with them.
Barry has been fortunate to see quite a bit of the world and loves to travel - hoping to see as much of Canada as possible. When he does get a chance to wind down at home he enjoys gaming.
While he enjoys watching hockey, he has yet to choose a team to root for. It's a tough decision in a country as passionate about their sport as Canada!

Amanda Campbell

Animal Care

Bio coming soon!

Catriona Matheson

Animal Care

Catriona grew up with wildlife, and has assisted with wildlife care since the 1970's. Cat 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.

Cat has completed the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Certification.


Kennel Supervisor

Tolstoy is our kennel supervisor. 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.