Proudly serving Lee's Summit and the surrounding area

About Cuddle Up Pup

Line of paw prints

I grew up in an animal loving family. We had an array of family pets, dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, hedge hogs and even a couple of rats at one time. My mother was the head Veterinarian Technician at the veterinarian clinic that operated a kennel. I started working at a very young age shadowing my mom at the vet clinic and part time in their traditional kennel as a kennel attendant.

Later, I worked in other facilities and veterinarian clinics for many years, from a kennel attendant, groomer, veterinarian assistant, to management. My journey into the animal industry led me to work with the pet resort, Puppy’s Playpen. Puppy’s Playpen was a new company, with a new concept of cage less boarding. While working there it was an unforgettable experience and I was able to accumulate tremendous amount of knowledge in how the industry was changing from the traditional kennel style to a more home-like environment.

Stephanie with the HSUS

In 2005 during the tragedy of hurricane Katrina we put together a team in conjunction with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to rescue animals that were injured or displaced due to the storm. When we checked in with HSUS, we were separated out based on their needs and our individual experience. Due to my background working as veterinarian assistant, I was placed in triage to assist the veterinarians with the inflow of the newly arriving animals. I met and worked with extraordinary people from all over the United States during that time. After we returned home I got certified with the HSUS in Disaster Animal Response team training. To better myself I continued in courses of study, such as animal behavior, medical training, and pet nutrition to stay up to speed with the industry. 

family photo of the cuddle up pup owner's family and pets

When I met my husband Andrew, he had no idea what he was getting into with all my animals. Andrew loves all animals, but he was certainly not prepared for a house and bed full of them. At the time, I had three dogs: Fred, my American pit bull, Hammy, a Chihuahua, and Huggy Bear, a basenji mix. I had an array of dogs with their own unique personalities. I had Fred since high school, my mother brought him home after someone dumped him at the clinic. He was in a dire condition, with wounds that indicated he was used in dog fighting. After a long time of healing, not only his physical wounds that scarred his body for life, but his emotional wounds from never being loved, he turned out to be a happy go lucky pup (though often hilariously stubborn) and he went everywhere with me. As Fred grew older he had major medical issues, with help from colleagues in the industry, we were able to keep him healthy for a long time till he passed at the age of 14. Then there was Huggy Bear whom I bonded with while helping a rescue group try to find him a home. They were having trouble placing him, because he was a fear biter and terrified of people which left him unadoptable. After some time, I began to earn his trust, and every day he would gain a little more confidence. I kept him as my own with all his quirkiness until he passed away.

Small, but not to be forgotten is my chihuahua Hammy. I got him from a couple that saw him get thrown out of a moving vehicle. When they brought him to me he had road rash down his back, but was still in happy spirits. My daughter and I cuddle with him a lot because he is almost hairless and looking for warmth from anybody willing to hang out with him.

My husband Andrew only had one dog growing up as a teenager. Her name was Baby Dog, and she was a beautiful, sweet Doberman. When I met him, she was very old and nearing her final years. He was very close to her and being his only dog he spoiled her rotten. All our fur babies got along with each and we became a happy couple with four dogs. In the mix of all our dogs, I would occasionally foster puppies or a basket of kittens people would bring to me. It was not unusual for me to have a few extra dogs around in transit to their forever home. Poor Andrew, with his one behaved dog, joined my life with all my mix of behavioral, quirky personalities, and medical issue dogs. He grew to love them all like me of course.

  • Baby Dog

  • Hammy

  • Stephanie And Fred

  • Huggy Bear

After many years, together we had our daughter Isabella. All the dogs fell in love with her like she has been there with us the whole entire time. After Fred, Huggy Bear, and Baby Dog went over the Rainbow Bridge, we felt that Hammy was lonely without the other dogs, and the house was a bit too quiet. We decided it was time to get another dog. One of the breeds I always wanted was an Irish Wolfhound. So, we got Troy and my parents got his sibling Bridgid. Now Hammy has a younger (but much bigger) brother.

The dogs Troy and Bridgid

After working in so many areas of the pet industry and knowing we will always have a passion for dogs, Andrew and I decided to open Cuddle Up Pup. We spent two years planning a completely different kind of pet resort. We collected different ideas from the multiple systems and facilities we were associated with over our years in this industry. We saw a lot of new methods that inspired us and we sought to integrate the different facets of boarding and daycare methods into one business. My husband spent a lot of hours researching durable building materials that would stand up to the wear of claws and cleaning while still mimicking floor and wall surfaces you would find at home. We never felt good leaving our dogs in a kennel that felt cold and prison like and wanted each one of our suites to feel like a warm bedroom. We wanted a place where dogs could lounge around on pet beds and leather couches when they break from playing. We wanted to create a place where the client drops off their furry family member and drives away to work or vacation a little jealous of their dog. Most importantly we wanted to create a place that your dog would fall in love with and us with them. I love it when a client tells me their dog knows when they are going to daycare because they get all excited that morning.

We want all the animals in our care to feel like they are home. With a comfortable place for them to lay their head, a friend to romp around with, a person to snuggle with or get belly rubs from, Cuddle Up Pup is an all-round place for every dog’s desire or need.