About Us

Despite the claims on many a slick website, the vast majority of dog trainers are not really “dog behaviorists” (or “psychologists”).   Trainers claim these over-inflated titles because the fields of animal care and training are completely unregulated.  Unlike with your doctor, electrician, lawyer, pilot, or plumber, you can’t just ask to see a license to ensure that your dog trainer or pet sitter is a professional in good standing.  In today’s day and age, it can be difficult to find the person or company with the right qualifications and personality to entrust with the training or care of your pets.

We at Harmonious Hounds, however, set ourselves apart  from the part-time hobbyists.  Our schooling, certifications, experience, and extensive backgrounds in the animal and educational fields demonstrate our commitment to our profession.  As true professionals, we carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance, as well as bonding.

Our business was founded back in 2011, when co-owners Lauren and Tim were both at crossroads in their careers, looking for a way to celebrate their love of companion animals.  Eight years later, they have built a thriving community, focused on education and bettering the lives of every animal that they meet.  Keep reading to learn how our company is the right choice to be YOUR dog trainer or pet sitter!

Lauren Stamatis, CPDT-KA
Lauren Harmonious Hounds

Our co-founder Lauren, has a B.A. in Zoology and Animal Science from the University of Vermont.  She has dedicated the past 20 years of her life to both domesticated and exotic animal care throughout the East Coast.


In terms of exotic animals, Lauren most notably worked at the world-renowned White Oak Conservation Center in Florida.  There she cared for a variety of ungulates and carnivores, but also assisted with training the resident education animals, Hassari the cheetah and Kadir the Anatolian Shepherd.  Additionally, she’s held positions at several other zoological institutions, including the New England Aquarium in Boston.   Most recently, she spent two and a half years locally caring for and training everything from snow leopards to sloths as a zookeeper at the Capron Park Zoo.  Altogether, she’s worked with countless species, including penguins, cheetah, rhinoceros, okapi, giraffe, kangaroo, and lemurs.

Her companion animal work includes over ten years spent managing dog daycare centers and cage-free boarding facilities.  Over that time, she honed her understanding of dog body language and husbandry. Equally important was her time at the innovative Humane Society of Chittenden County of Burlington, VT as a shelter animal caretaker.  Furthermore, upon moving to South Coast Massachusetts, she apprenticed under Karen Perusek, CDBC, CPDT-KA of Courteous Canine, LLC to gain more hands-on dog training and small business experience.

Lauren has extensive expertise in the use of positive reinforcement to modify animal behavior, having worked with a wide variety of species.


Lauren is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the largest association of dog trainers across the globe.  Consequently, she is always striving to expand her understanding of cutting-edge training techniques.   She is an advocate of professional development, constantly reading and attending seminars to expand on her knowledge.  This allows her to better assist you accomplish your goals for your pet.  Due to the fact that she is a highly detail-oriented person sharing her home with three dogs, and two cats, she understands the frustrations, needs, and fears of the pet owner who considers their animals  to be family.  She aims to provide you with the best possible service and make a difference in you and your pet’s life.

In the fall of 2017, Lauren took her companion animal career to the next level by earning the distinctive title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.   This means that she has passed rigorous testing and adheres to a strict code of ethics geared towards promoting humane, scientifically-founded dog training.

Lauren’s love of animals of every type, shape, and size has given her a dedication to rescue and shelter work. She gives back to her community by serving as the President of the New Bedford Coalition for Animals, a local non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and funds to benefit local animals and the people who love them.

Since 2013 Lauren has also served as the Planning Administrator for the City of Attleboro’s Planning Department, in addition to her role with Harmonious Hounds.

Tim Riendeau, CPDT-KA

Tim Harmonious Hounds

Our co-founder, Tim, has a B.F.A. in Visual Art from the University of Connecticut and a M.A. in Education from Sacred Heart University.  He has over 20 years of teaching experience in both the classroom and one-on-one settings. He is a natural-born teacher with the innovation to connect with students young and old.


Tim’s first experience with positive reinforcement training started when he worked his German Shepherd Dog, Moses, through obedience classes. Over time, Moses grew to have behavior issues while on leash.   As a result, Tim completed a Feisty Fido class to get a handle on his barking and lunging at other dogs. This gave him a better understanding of dog emotions and how to modify complex behavior issues.  His experience with highly emotional dog issues, combined with his gentle nature, make him adept at handling fearful dogs or those with special needs.


As a lifelong dog owner, Tim has always had a strong connection with animals. A return to Tim’s youthful dream of becoming a zookeeper led him to rethink his career path in education.  In pursuit of his role with Harmonious Hounds, he enjoys working with both people and animals.

After years of working with owners and their dogs to build healthier, happier lives together, he earned the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in the fall of 2017.  This makes him one of approximately 2,000 professionals dedicated to education, excellence, and sound scientific approaches to dog training.

Tim’s passion for animals and teaching drives him to build personal relationships with each of our clients. He goes above and beyond to keep each of them happy with our services.

Together, Lauren and Tim combine the latest animal learning theories with proven educational strategies to teach both you and your dog. Their love of animals and people ensures a positive experience for everyone!

Still not sure if we are the right fit for your needs?  Learn about us from our best advocates – our clients!  Check out our client testimonials to get a better feel for what we have to offer you and your pets.

Each team member at Harmonious Hounds undergoes a thorough training process which covers animal husbandry, learning, handling, and communication.  Staff are regularly quizzed on emergency protocols to keep them ready for anything.  Keep reading below to meet the rest of our staff!

Kayla Spagna

Office Administrator , Overnight Sitter, & Training Assistant
Kayla joined Harmonious Hounds in the spring of 2017.  She grew up with dogs her whole life and has experience with a variety of breeds, sizes, as well as service dogs and those with special needs.   She’s taken a keen interest in animal behavior, and often assists in our training classes.
Kayla is a graduate of Bridgewater State University, having obtained a Masters of Arts in English. Her focus was in creative writing and feminist theory, gender studies, and GLBT Studies.  Kayla has over 8 years of customer service experience, including working as a writing tutor with high school, undergraduate, and graduate students.  She concurrently works for Bridgewater State University, providing administration in the Undergraduate Research Office. She currently shares her home and life with her rambunctious pup, Merlin.  She is Pet CPR and First Aid certified.

Samantha Defrias

Office Administrator, Pet Care Provider, & Training Assistant
Samantha ( Sam ) joined Harmonious Hounds in the summer of 2019. She is from Fairhaven, MA and lives with her wife, 3 cats, 3 Labradors, and Chinese Crested Powder Puff named Iggy. She’s a life long pet owner and enthusiast who has been working as a positivity-based groomer for 3 years. She enjoys learning about everything and anything dog related and loves to go on adventures with her dogs, especially her silver lab Moony who she shares an extra special bond with. She’s always looking for new and exciting ways to connect with her four legged babies and can’t wait to meet yours!  She is Pet CPR & first aid certified.

Jillian Reichert

Pet Care Provider & Training Assistant
Jillian joined our team in the spring of 2019. She has always had a passion for helping animals. For the longest time Jillian did not know what dream she wanted to pursue. Growing up she switched from wanting to be a veterinarian to a marine biologist but nothing really stuck. After graduating high school, Jillian went to UMass Dartmouth with the hope of becoming a marine biologist.

Jillian has had animal care experience from rehabilitating seals and sea turtles at the National Marine Life Center, to working with a plethora of animals at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, to moving to Florida for an internship with Mote’s Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Investigation Program.

After her family adopted Spencer from the New England Brittany Rescue she found Harmonious Hounds to help her train her pup. She quickly took to their positive reinforcement training and she and Spencer have completed Manners I, II, and Rocket Recall. Once she heard that they were hiring she couldn’t wait to apply and be apart of their team!

Now she has discovered her true passion and career path, positive reinforcement dog training.  When Jillian isn’t working for Harmonious Hounds, or a local doggy daycare, she can be found relaxing with Spencer.

Nicholas Spagna

Pet Care Provider
Nick joined our team in the summer of 2018.  His love of dogs began early with his family’s dogs.  He sees working with animals, especially dogs, as a privilege and always works his hardest to keep those in his care happy and safe.  He is a Network and Cyber security student seeking an associates degree from New England Tech in Rhode Island.

Jessica Kruger

Pet Care Provider
Jess joined Harmonious Hounds in the fall of 2018.  In addition to her dedication to Harmonious Hounds, she also goes to school full time in a local nursing program. She is a motivated member of our team who is always dedicated to learning more so that she can best serve the animals in our care. She enjoys spending time with family, adventuring outside, and most importantly, playing and snuggling with her six-year-old dog Clifton. Jess has since also rescued a guinea pig named Sherlock and taken on several dozen fish.  She graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, MA with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology before coming to New Bedford to serve a year with AmeriCorps before joining our team.

SaRa Haskins

Pet Care Provider 
Sara joined our team in the summer of 2019. She lives in New Bedford, MA with her husband and son Marley, a 9-year-old Dachshund. She has been passionate about animals her whole life and has worked as a groomer, doggy daycare coordinator, and boarding assistant.

Her goal at Harmonious Hounds is to ensure that all creatures are well taken care of. She strives to always continue learning, growing and bonding with animals. Sara is excited about meeting your special furry friends!

Molly Ross

Pet Care Provider 
Molly joined our team in the fall of 2019.  She is a lifelong animal enthusiast. Growing up, there was nothing she enjoyed more than riding horses and playing with dogs! She lives in Rochester, MA with her brother and parents, along with their pet cat Daniel Tiger, 10 turkeys, and 8 chickens.

She graduated from Bristol County Agricultural High School in 2017 and studied Large Animal Science. In 2016, she was recognized as part of a national winning veterinary science team.

These days, Molly works full time at Edaville Family Theme Park in their business office, collaborating with the marketing department. She likes to spend her free time reading, playing with her cat and learning about how to combine her love of animals with her passion for communication.

Molly feels very lucky to be able to work for Harmonious Hounds, and learn all about dog care with support from lots of knowledgeable staff. Plus, spending time with so many adorable pups doesn’t hurt either!

Emily Vieira

Pet Care Provider 
Emily joined our team in the fall of 2019.  From the beginning of her life, she’s been surrounded by animals, especially dogs. She’s lived with dogs her entire childhood every age, breed, gender and all different needs! She was obsessed, if you asked anyone. Her love for dogs made her immediately jump for the opportunity to work for Harmonious Hounds!

Her dream is to become a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals. She’s currently enrolled in Bristol Community College, to become a vet technician and work alongside exotic veterinarians and learn everything there is to know.

Emily currently lives in New Bedford, MA with her fiancé, 1 coonhound, 2 bunnies, 1 hamster and 6 fish. It’s always a full house there!

Jes Keating

Pet Care Provider 
Jes joined Harmonious Hounds in the winter of 2019.  Jes is an aspiring vet tech currently working as a vet assistant with a 24 hour animal hospital. She loves working in the emergency and intensive care departments, and will soon be joining her hospitals surgery team. She loves walking dogs who have various special needs, and especially adores senior pets! Her dog, Koda, is an awesome 3 year old black lab who’s hobbies include ball, ball, and please throw that ball.

Have a question? We would love to hear from you.


Harmonious Hounds, LLC is insured and bonded. Our training instructors are certified dog trainers.  All of OUR staff are background checked for your peace of mind.

Meet the Harmonious Hounds mascots: