Our Careteam

Julie Savard

Owner, Administrator

Julie never does anything without jumping in all the way and becoming the best—it’s simply in her nature. When she began breeding Standard Poodles, she couldn’t stop until she was a notch above what everyone else was doing! When she discovered that she didn’t feel entirely comfortable leaving her own pets at a kennel, she had a thought: why not open her own resort?

Julie grew up in Wisconsin with two older brothers and a silver toy poodle named Sherrie, which she suspects triggered her love of poodles and animal care. She had been working as a groomer at Raintree Pet Resort when the opportunity arose to purchase the business. In 1990, Julie and her husband Homer jumped at the chance to start a family business based around their love of pets.

Julie is especially proud of the fact that her family’s resort has become somewhat of a trendsetter at the national level. Raintree Pet Resort was Arizona’s first dual-accredited pet resort, receiving accolades from both the American Boarding Kennel Association and the American Grooming Shop Association. Within four months of opening, Raintree was fully accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. For Julie, creating a state-of-the-art, progressive, safe, and fun-filled cross between pet resort and medical center is the crowning achievement of her life.

Julie and Homer have seven grandchildren, which now keep them busier than ever. Although they don’t keep any dogs at home, Julie thoroughly enjoys her grandchildren’s cats. Needless to say, she and her husband Homer enjoy passing on their love of animals to the next generation!

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Homer Savard

Owner

Homer and his wife were married in 1981, and their first Christmas gift was a silver toy poodle. Ever since then, Homer says their lives were overrun by poodles! It led to an intense passion for training and showing silver standard poodles, and Homer’s life hasn’t been the same. Since 1990, he’s owned Raintree Pet Resort alongside his wife, Julie.

Homer is mainly involved with the development side of the business, working on the layout, design, and financial models. When Homer and Julie decided to add a medical center to their existing facility, Homer spent over half of his working time for a whole year getting everything prepared. Of course, it was quite a challenge managing the remodeling while still running the resort, but Homer emerged victorious. In fact, he was so successful that he’s even led a few consulting projects to help others create pet resorts!

Homer’s success has inspired him to get his Real Estate License and earn his CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) designation. There are only about 9,000 other CCIMs worldwide!
At home, Homer and his wife have two adopted desert tortoises, Curly and Larry. They hibernate from November to April, so Homer affectionately calls them his “part-time” pets. The family also cares for Max, a female umbrella Cockatoo who has been entertaining the Savard’s clientele since 1996.

Homer’s always been interested in playing music; in fact, he’s been a semi-professional bluegrass musician for 35 years! He plays the banjo and mandolin, and his band even opened the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2001, opening the show in front of 10,000 people. He also likes fly fishing with his grandchildren and jumps at every opportunity to do so!

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Ally Milack

Resort Manager

Ally used to work in the corporate world, but found she never could truly enjoy her workday. Once she started working at Raintree Pet Resort, though, her attitude changed; knowing there were pets relying on her every day gave her all the motivation she needed! Ally has served as a Resort Manager here at Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center since 2010.

Born in Napa, California, Ally and her family moved to Scottsdale in 2004 when she was starting junior high. Just out of high school, Ally started working at Raintree Pet Resort. Her father knew Homer Savard through the real estate business and encouraged Ally to apply. Ally has been an integral part of Raintree Pet Resort’s success, and she’s thrilled to see the resort expanding by adding in a Medical Center.

Ally especially loves working with the caring team at Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center—she says some of the biggest laughs of her life have taken place here! She also adores seeing dogs drag their pet parents through our front door in their excitement to come stay and play. She likes to take pictures of group and individual playtimes when she gets the chance.

In 2014, Ally married her best friend, Nick. They share their lives with Tater, a miniature Australian shepherd/parsons Jack Russell terrier mix who Ally adopted from the Arizona Humane Society when he was three years old.

Ally describes herself as an adrenaline junkie; she’s been skydiving and has plans to bungee jump, ride in hot air balloons, and more!

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Ashley Hood

Resort Manager

When she moved to Phoenix in the early months of 2012, Ashley set a goal for herself: she was going to find a job working with animals, even if it meant picking up after the elephants at the zoo! Ashley was delighted when she was offered a position here at Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center. She’s worked her way up from her initial post as a dog walker, and now serves as one of the Resort Managers.

In high school, Ashley joined a program in which she took veterinary assistant classes and completed an externship at a local vet’s office. Although she adored her time there, Ashley moved away from the veterinary field for a while. It wasn’t long, though, before she realized that nothing made her feel as fulfilled as she had while working with animals! As soon as she started here at the resort, she knew she’d made the right call.

The busy holiday seasons at Raintree Pet Resort + Medical Center are Ashley’s favorite time of year here. There’s never a dull moment at the front desk, and Ashley can’t get enough of it!

At home, Ashley has three dogs: Bentley, a purebred Boxer; lab/pit bull mix Sophie; and Micah, a pit bull mix that Ashley found behind a Circle K. She also has two cats named Nigerian and Dinah.

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Christina Shen

Marketing Manager

Christina grew up in the Savard family business—she’s the daughter of owners Homer and Julie! The bond between pets and owners has always fascinated her, and now she gets to be a firsthand witness to that as the Marketing Manager of Raintree Pet Resort.

Christina grew up in Cave Creek, Arizona with her parents, older brother, and many poodles. Currently, she and her husband Mark reside in Phoenix with their three children: John Gabriel, 6; Evagrace, 3; and 6-month old Amelia. The family has a cat named George and two fish, Ralph and Raspberry Gia.

Christina is also a licensed associate mental health counselor with a Master’s Degree in counseling. When she’s not working, she enjoys gardening in her aeroponic gardens, which use no dirt and far less water than traditional gardens! She has a passion for both nutrition and preventative health for the two legged, four legged and even the “finned” members of her family!

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Danielle Johnson

Certified Veterinary Technician

As a young girl, Danielle tended to shy away from anything in the medical world. As she grew older, though, the nurturer inside of her began to take over! Becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician has satisfied Danielle’s deepest passions, and she’s thrilled to serve as a member of the Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center team.

Born in Fountain Valley, California, Danielle and her family moved to Phoenix when she was four years old. Danielle’s dad had a deep love for animals and he instilled that in his children very early on. By the time college came around, Danielle knew what she wanted to do. She graduated in June of 2014 with her Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology, and passed the Arizona Certified Veterinary Technician Exam and the Veterinary Technician National Exam shortly afterward.

Brenna, one of Danielle’s former instructors at veterinary technology school who had left teaching to join the Raintree Pet Resort team, hand-picked Danielle to come work at the resort. Danielle is still extremely honored and touched by this show of appreciation from her mentor!

As a Certified Veterinary Technician, Danielle enjoys a good dental cleaning. Since the mouth is a gateway to major organs, Danielle loves keeping a pet’s whole body healthy through a set of clean teeth! She also likes meeting clients with new puppies and educating them on the best possible care.

Currently, Danielle has two dogs of her own. Dodger is a Mini Dachshund/Chihuahua mix who Danielle adopted from veterinary school, and Bauer is a Jack Russell/Dachshund mix who prefers to act more like a cat than a dog.

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Maggie Nickerson

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Karen

Veterinary Technician

Karen has always had pets of her own, and knew that she wanted to do everything in her power to keep them happy and healthy. She quickly realized that the best way to accomplish that goal was to become educated in the field of animal care! Now, Karen gets to pass her knowledge on; she’s been caring for pets as a Veterinary Technician for over 10 years.

An Arizona native, Karen attended school to study veterinary technology and then secured her first job as a Veterinary Assistant in 2006. She worked her way up the ranks, eventually becoming a Veterinary Technician, supervisor, and manager! Karen then went back to school to continue her education and become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She joined the Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center team in the summer of 2016, and particularly enjoys taking the time to educate others on proper pet care in order to make a lasting impact on the community’s families.

Karen has four pets of her own at home. She shares her life with a domestic shorthair cat named Haylee and three Labrador retrievers. Karen’s dogs are particularly fond of swimming, and love trying to outdo each other when diving for toys.

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Marsha Perez

Veterinary Assistant

Marsha has adored animals from the time she was a young girl, but she never suspected that she would one day wind up in the veterinary industry. That changed several years ago, when she was living with her aunt and fell in love with the family dog, a spunky Jack Russell terrier. It wasn’t long before Marsha decided to pursue a career in animal medicine! She’s proud to now serve the pets and animal owners of the area as a Veterinary Assistant.

Marsha is originally from Houston, Texas and moved to Arizona during high school. After studying at Anthem College, she completed her degree in veterinary technology at the PIMA Medical Institute before taking on an externship at a nearby animal clinic. Shortly after completion of her required hours, Marsha joined the Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center family as a Veterinary Assistant, and will soon become a Certified Veterinary Technician after passing her licensing examinations.

Around the hospital, Marsha enjoys helping with dental cleanings, taking radiographs, and studying sample swabs under the microscope. Most of all, she loves working as part of a talented, compassionate team to make a lasting impact in the lives of the community’s pet owners.

When she isn’t caring for pets here at the hospital, Marsha enjoys playing video games, listening to music and attending concerts, hiking, catching a good movie, and spending time at home with her Chihuahua mix, Princess.

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