My name is Stacie Engel and my husband, Patrick and I,
opened Ridgewood Canine Camp in May of 2012.
We are a licensed boarding kennel operating under the terms of the PA Dog Law and PA Department of Agriculture.
Many years ago, I was inspired to open a doggie daycare shortly after adopting Barron, a 9-month-old Black Mouth Cur. Barron had been abused and was very fearful of humans. Living in New York City at the time, we worked with trainers and behaviorists on how to best communicate with Barron. We found that Barron was the most comfortable when we visited the dog park. He was confident, happy, and relaxed. We visited the dog park twice a day, every day, for two years, and I quickly became fascinated watching the dogs communicate with each other. After adopting another dog and fostering several, it became clear that we needed to get out of the city. I grew up in Chester County, PA, so the search began for the perfect location to turn my dog passion into a career. We could not have been more fortunate to find the old Ridgewood Farmstead property.
The barn was originally built in 1810 and has a rich history. We brought the barn back to life with an extensive remodel. Today, Ridgewood Canine Camp operates on 3 floors of the barn. We are proud to be the only daycare in Berks County with over an acre of fenced land for our campers to explore.
Our property has an onsite caretaker’s cottage. Patrick & I lived here for the first five years we were in business. We were on call 24/7 and available in case of any emergencies. As our own family grew with 2-legged children, we no longer live on the property. Our staff member, Jessie, now lives in the cottage with her husband and their 4-legged children.
All our staff undergo hours of training to ensure our campers receive the best care. Everyone is certified in Pet First Aid and CPR. New staff are required to complete courses from the Dog Gurus and Pack Pro. These courses train our staff about dog body language, basic obedience, and dog group management. Continuing education is provided to staff as we attend seminars and other online courses. We are a positive reinforcement facility, and our practices are all about giving the dogs the happiest and best possible experience.
We currently live in Exeter with three human kids and five dogs. Barron passed away when he was 15 years old but is still the heart and soul behind Ridgewood Canine Camp. He is survived by Petey (13 yr old Pitbull), Hamlet (11 yr old Bulldog), Penny (9 yr old Pitbull mix), Keanu (2 yr old German Shepherd mix), and Dozer (1 yr old SuperMutt). You can find both Patrick & I, with Keanu or Dozer frequently at the facility. Patrick can be found mowing the grass or fixing a light. I am busy coaching staff, supervising dogs, or even cleaning kennels!
Stacie & Patrick
Meet Our Staff
Lauren – Manager
I have worked here since 2017 and I absolutely love everyday of it! I have been an animal lover since birth. I grew up with dogs, cats, and many other critters in my life. I currently have two rescue dogs – Jinx and Boseph. Bo is a 6-year-old Pit/Bulldog mix, that we adopted when he was three. And Jinx is a 1 ½ year old Black Mouth Cur mix that we adopted in Nov 2022. I also have two cats – Beaker and Smitten, and a Western Hognose snake, named Mr. Noodle the Fantastic.
My husband, Mike, and I love to travel! We enjoy camping, paddleboarding, and hiking with our dogs. I also enjoy sketching/painting, going to concerts and music festivals, and playing music with my husband.
My favorite part of my job is seeing the dogs every day and getting to be a part of their lives. I have plans to enroll in and complete the Catch Canine Trainers Academy. I love interacting with both people and dogs, so I can’t wait to pass on my knowledge to fellow dog owners!
Andrea – Assistant Manager
I have been a part of Ridgewood’s team since 2021 and I feel blessed to wake up every day excited to go to work.
I’ve loved animals my whole life and I have always felt a strong connection with them. I grew up with all kinds of animals, from dogs and cats to rats! Currently, my three dogs at home are a 12-year-old Beagle named Mugsy and two Bichon/Cavalier mixes named Zeppelin (13) and Hamilton (5). Outside of work, I enjoy making all kinds of art, including theatre, painting, and playing music. I also enjoy reading, gardening, and spending time with my family.
My absolute favorite part of my job is getting to have personal connections with our campers. Seeing them grow from puppyhood, knowing all their weird little quirks, and getting to be a part of their lives. I’m always looking to learn more about dogs so I can be even better at what I do. I am always eager to continue my education on dog body language and behavior through reading material and online seminars.
Cate – Assistant Manager
I started at Ridgewood as a Dog Daycare Attendant in February of 2020. I love that I was trusted with more responsibility and opportunity for growth.I am also currently in school with Catch Canine Trainers Academy to obtain a canine training certification. I hope to then continue my education with a certification in canine nutrition and (eventually!) a master’s degree in animal science. I would love to pursue a career as a dog behaviorist.
I have two dogs of my own, a 12-year-old Rottie named Bufo and a 6-year-old Border Collie named Angel. In my free time, I enjoy cross-stitching, doing puzzles, drawing, reading, and shopping. Having grown up with dogs and walking dogs/pet sitting all throughout school, it’s always been my passion to work with dogs. I’m so excited with where I find myself today and for the future ahead!
Heather – Head Groomer
I am a former veterinary technician with over 10 years of experience working with animals big and small. I have been working at Ridgewood Canine Camp since 2013 and have been grooming since 2016! I have a strong respect and compassion for dogs. My grooming philosophy centers around “Humanity over Vanity.”
I currently live with my partner of 13 years, my 2 daughters, and my little zoo! We have two pug mixes, three cats, and a turtle. When I’m not working with animals, you can find me in my garden, playing with my kids, or enjoying gaming & movies with my partner.
Jessie – Overnight Caretaker
I have worked at Ridgewood Canine Camp for 5 years. I have the privilege of living on the property in the caretaker’s cottage with my husband, Ben, and our dog, Freddie, a 9-year-old Sheltie mix. I am here to let the overnight campers out for last potty at night, and I am here to respond to any after-hours emergency. I LOVE my job! My favorite part about working at Ridgewood is meeting dogs and getting to be a part of their lives.
Growing up, my family always had one or two dogs and other small pets in the household. I love dogs so much that I became a certified dog trainer in 2014. For three years, I specialized in general obedience training using positive reinforcement. I enjoy bringing my training knowledge into the playgroups here at Ridgewood.
Outside of work, I like to spend time with my dog Freddie. He is my spoiled only child. I enjoy drawing, painting, and yoga. I also like to play video games and spend time with family and friends.
Ridgewood Canine Camp has been and continues to be my dream job! I love our team and of course, I love the 4-legged clients!