Newark Pet Grooming & Boarding
Kennel SupervisorHolly Lea
My name is Holly Lea. I am 39 years old and a mother of 3 teenage girls ages 16-19. I have been married for 19 years. I will become a grandmother in mid-May and couldn’t be more excited. I graduated from New Castle Baptist Academy in 1994 and belong to Immanuel Church in Wilmington, DE. I grew up with 2 big brothers and a sister on a farm in Chester County, PA. I have been involved with animal rescue/foster for over 10 years, 5 of which I have worked with Forgotten Cats and fostered over 100 rescued cats.
Kennel SupervisorAmanda Lee
School: University of Delaware, Bachelor Degree in Animal Science and minoring in Wildlife Conse
Kennel AssistantLeigh Garwood
Leigh has been with VCA Kirkwood Animal Hospital since 2006. She works in the groom shop drying dogs and I take care of all of our boarding and resident cats. She loves all animals but CATS are her favorite! She has a 14 year old son, 5 cats of her own and several outside cats who she takes care of every day. I enjoy my cats, cats are what I do, my own or others.
Kennel AssistantHope Jennings
Currently a student at the University of Delaware, Hope is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Animal Biosciences at the university. She plans on continuing her studies in veterinary school and hopes to gain as much experience as she can in the field while working at VCA Kirkwood Animal Hospital. Hope has lived in Delaware all of her life and currently resides in Wilmington during the summer and winter breaks of school with her one and only yellow Labrador retriever, Mike. During the fall and spring semesters of school, she lives on-campus at UD in Newark. When Hope is not working or doing school work, she enjoys playing volleyball doing both intramural and pick-up games with faculty at the University of Delaware. Growing up, Hope always chose to work with animals whenever she could so it is no surprise that she found VCA Kirkwood a perfect place to work!
Kennel AssistantKristi Sukeena
Kristi has always loved animals. She has grown up around them her whole life. She went to the University of Delaware and got a degree in Dietetics. Towards the end of that degree, she realized that being a dietitian was not where her heart was. She decided to pursue her original passion of working with animals. Instead of waiting until she got her next degree in Animal Science, she wanted to start working with animals as soon as possible. Kristi began working at VCA in the summer of 2014 as a kennel technician and receptionist. She has been loving the job ever since. She currently lives in Bear and has two cats, Katee and Calvin. In Kristi’s spare time she loves to travel, spend a lot of time at the beach, and being with her friends and family.
Melissa is a Delaware native and graduate from Glasgow High School, where she studied animal science and was an active member of FFA. She also showed and trained horses. Melissa first began her career with animals working at a pet shop while still in high school. Melissa received her Professional Certification for pet grooming in 2002 and began grooming cats in 2004. She joined VCA Kirkwood in 2009 and took on the role of Grooming Supervisor shortly after. Her strengths in grooming are scissoring, blending, puppies and gaining the trust of the most scared pets. She grooms all breeds but specializes in curly coats and terriers. Melissa volunteers her time and talents at several local animal shelters. Melissa lives in Newark with her husband Ricky, daughter Haley, and step-children Lauren and Josh along with heir “Fat Boy“ Cyrus, a blue American Staffordshire Terrier, and their newest addition Kira, a young long-haired GSD. Melissa was asked, “Why do you do this job?” “I chose this career for many reasons. I have been around animals from birth, started riding and volunteering on a horse farm at age 8, got working papers for my first pet shop job at age 14 and around the age of 18, found that grooming pets was my calling. I take great pride in my work, making pets feel good and pet parents know that their pet is safe. To know that my name spreads like wild fire and to be told that I’m “highly recommended” is a wonderful feeling. There are clients that have moved(Florida, New York and North Carolina) but continue to bring their pets to me for grooming. With my pride in each groom and love of each pet, I find happiness not only in the kisses from the pets but smiles I bring to each owner, knowing I’ve brightened their day.”
Bonnie earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore in 1965. She then went on to teach elementary school. During her time as a teacher, she obtained 2 Miniature Schnauzers. The breeder showed Bonnie how to groom them herself. Eventually Bonnie moved to New York City where she took her beloved dogs to a groom shop and realized grooming was her true calling. She started off as a Bather and absorbed as much knowledge as she could about dog grooming until eventually was given the opportunity to groom. After 7 years in NYC, she started working with a dog show handler. For 15 years she traveled up and down the East coast grooming show dogs. One of her dogs even placed 2nd in group at Westminster! She then opened her own groom shop in Rensselaer, NY. About 15 years after that, she decided to close the business and relocate to Delaware. In 1995 she began working at Kirkwood Animal Hospital. She currently lives in Delaware City. Throughout her career as a Groomer, Bonnie fulfilled her love for the trade by continuing to groom at dog shows and the occasional second job at other groom shops. Bonnie is an organist and choir director at her church. The current loves in her life are a rescued Moluccan Cockatoo named Beau and 32 year old Blue, a Bluefront Amazon.