Get to know the owner and founder of Mindful Mutts, an innovative dog daycare in Downtown New West.
The staff at Mindful Mutts, known as “wranglers”, reject the heavy-handed, forceful methods that are typical in the animal industry. Instead, they improve their dogs’ behaviour by learning about their personalities and preferences. They use this information to create a tailored care program.
Stefania Butkovic, the owner and founder of Mindful Mutts, always had a natural inclination towards animals. When she was 8 years old, she was collecting money for animal welfare nonprofits and begging her dad to go see animals at the shelter every week. Through her volunteer work, she discovered that many organizations used inhumane methods.
At the same time, more people have been getting dogs before having children, living in smaller apartments, and working more hours. Butkovic calls for our cities to adapt to change by building more designated off-leash walking areas and dog parks - places where people can wander safely and freely with dogs.
These trends also call for a higher standard of care. This inspired her to quit her office job and dedicate her time to helping animals. “I saw a problem,” Butkovic mentioned. “Instead of sitting around and complaining, I decided to do something about it.”
Mindful Mutts opened in Downtown New West because of the distinct culture. “A lot of the businesses here are innovative. It’s something that makes this place unique.” Rather than trying to make as much money as possible, her goal was to make sure that dogs have a pleasant experience, without force, fear, or intimidation. If you walk down the Front Street Mews in Downtown New West, there’s a good chance that you might see a Wrangler from Mindful Mutts walking and talking with a cheery pup.