About Urban Pooch Canine Life Center

We Love Where We Work

Meet Our Team Contact Us

We’re proud to bring a 7,100 sq. ft. State-of-the-Art facility to Chicago that is specifically designed to support canine health & wellness, while increasing the bond between you and your pooch.

We feel that our pooches are our children and we would only trust them to the best in care. You have a choice and we encourage you to stop in for a tour – and guarantee you’ll immediately Experience the Difference! There is no place in Chicago like Urban Pooch Canine Life Center. We even offer a reward program for our loyal customers.

Located in the heart of Chicago’s vibrant Ravenswood neighborhood, Urban Pooch Canine Life Center offers a higher standard of care for your urban pooch. We have raised the bar on every aspect of the services and products available for you and your pooch.

Urban Pooch has an extensive selection of Natural Food, Treats, Fun Toys and Accessories available in our 1,100 sq. ft. store. We can even deliver if that makes your life easier!

We offer Daycare, Cageless Boarding, Expert Grooming, Training, a Self-Wash, Massage, and Social Events. Lots of natural light throughout our entire facility. Plus we have a special Social Lounge where you can see the pooches through one-way glass, but they can’t see you. Experience the difference!

  • Daycare – by the hour flexibility
  • Cageless Boarding – Pooch Pack Handlers on-site 24/7 and sleep with the pooches. No cages ever.
  • Playtime Express – Pick-up & Drop-off when it’s convenient for you
  • Expert Grooming – all breeds and sizes
  • Self-Wash – 3 tubs available for all sizes of dogs
  • Natural Food, Treats, Fun Toys & Accessories
  • Expert Food Consultation – catering to each pooch’s individual needs and nuances
  • Delivery of any retail items – right to your door with a friendly smile
  • Training – Training Classes and Individual Lessons taught by certified staff who are just simply amazing! We are one of the few places in Chicago that offer Therapy Dog International(TDI) training and certification. All taught at The Urban Pooch Training and Fitness Center – a 10,000 sq. ft. facility located at 5400 N Damen Avenue – only 1.3 miles away.
  • Massage/Reiki – By appointment and oh so soothing and rejuvenating
  • Social Lounge & Events – dog parents can see their pooches playing via one-way glass into the main playroom, while they concentrate on meeting and socializing with others. Your pooch has fun, you have fun – Success!
  • Belly Reward Program – every dollar you spend earns you valuable rewards quickly
  • Advanced air purification system provides the healthiest indoor environment available in Chicago
  • Triple HEPA filters, 4 zones, UV Lighting to kill airborne bacteria & viruses
  • All our floors are sealed with a triple antimicrobial sealant – ensuring the cleanest and safest play area
  • We’re cleaner and we smell better – come in and experience the difference!
  • Our staff has been intensively trained by top canine care experts in the country

Our Staff - What Makes Urban Pooch Different

Our Urban Pooch Pack is one of our greatest assets in providing your pooch with the utmost Love and care around the clock. 

We’re so grateful to have each of them and how much they contribute to making Urban Pooch one of the most special places on Earth! We absolutely have THE most amazing and talented people in Chicago AND we have more of them – which means better care and attention to that little (or big) Love bucket of yours with four legs. 

 You’ll never find that we try to do more with fewer people. This is unique in the Chicago market. Our goal is to always to dazzle pooches and their parents with our Amazing Service, Love, and Care!

Meet Our Team

Matt Woskey

Assistant Retail Manager
Our retail maven, Matthew was thrown into the holistic pet food trade head first back in early 2010. His first employer in the industry only had one requirement for hire, which was for Matt to get his dog on a better food. Since then, Matt has lived and breathed pet nutrition. He has an extensive knowledge of all the best foods, treats, and supplements on the market to help you find the right nutritional path for your pooch. Matt and his girlfriend Amy have rescued 4 animals (all males!) that all live with them in their one bedroom apartment near Wrigleyville. They have two dogs, Jake and Mugsy, that come to Urban Pooch’s daycare regularly. They also have a cat named Logan and a blind rat named Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, after the Star Trek: The Next Generation character who is also blind. In his spare time when he isn’t busy caring for the zoo in his apartment, Matt likes to see live music, ride his bike around the city, or sit on his back porch playing his ukulele.

Ivan Moreno

Pooch Pack Counselor
Bio coming soon.

Joey Gadberry

Pooch Pack Counselor
Bio coming soon.

Luis Diaz

Pooch Pack Counselor
Luis has had a passion for pooches all of his life and is very excited to work with them every day! Luis has worked with his family as part of “Diaz Brother’s Landscaping Company” since 2009 in every aspect of that business.

John Byrne-Szafoni

Pooch Pack Counselor
Most recently, John worked at Kriser’s Lincoln Park, where he was responsible for educating customers on the best foods, treats and supplements for their dogs and cats. He also managed store upkeep and organized stock & displays. John was also a Handler and Bather-Brusher at “Alfie’s Poochie Playlot” for two years down in far South Suburban Mokena where he did everything imaginable in each role. John grew-up in South Suburban Oak Lawn and is a life long White Sox fan!!

Ian Branson

Pooch Pack Counsleor
Ian has years of experience as a Handler where most recently he worked as a Daycare Attendant at “The Bark Bark Club” over in Edgewater where he did everything imaginable regarding Handler duties. He spent quite a bit of time working the overnight shift at Bark Bark. He also worked as a Handler at “Unleashed Pups, ” “The Mutt Hutt” and “Bark Chicago”. Ian brings a wealth of experience to our operation!

Hallie Burhall

After 37 years as a Medical Director, I retired and wanted to do something completely different. I love animals and Urban Pooch offered me a chance to be close to loving and loyal dogs. I had no practical experience working with animals but I was ready and willing to learn. The “pups” teach me everyday about unconditional love. I love the people and the pooches I work with and can’t think of a better way to spend my retirement.

Barb Daly

Barb comes to us from the realm of Hospital Radiology Administrative background… with retirement approaching she ventured into doggie work to keep busy and to support her golf games . Although new to the world of doggie day care, Barb has had pooch’s in her life since a youngster …all rescues in varied breeds…her current adopted dog being Molly, age 8, a terrier mix with a very defined Brussels/Griffon underbite…which makes you smile every time you see Molly and Barb !!!

Carmellia Dockery

Pooch Pack Counselor, Playtime Express
Carmellia brings a decade worth of experience in the world of pooches with her and I’m here to tell you – she has done it all at every facility in Chicago where she has worked. She started her career in the Pooch industry at West Loop Canine Club where she was a Kennel Attendant and quickly was promoted to Night Manager and she was also a bather there. Carmellia went on to work for K-9 University as a Kennel Attendant, Weekend Manager and Bather. She then joined Mutt Hutt where she worked as a Handler, Weekend Manager, Bather and also drove their van picking-up and dropping-off pooches. Most recently she worked at Bark Chicago where she did it all from being a Handler to opening the facility for the day and also was drove their van transporting pooches and was a bather. Carmellia has one son in college and another who is a Senior year at Westinghouse High School. She has a pooch and also 3 kitties.


Berwyn loves being a pooch, and is living the dream as the CEO of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center! He totally changed his Daddies’ lives – so much so that they decided to dedicate their lives to establishing a new level of service for dogs and dog parents by bringing state-of-the-art daycare and boarding to Chicago. Berwyn is involved in each decision both big and small. He loves to be the center of attention and sometimes growls when his Daddies pay too much attention to other dogs. But don’t let that growl fool you because he’s a softie at heart!

Vanessa Ramos

Front Desk Daycare/Boarding
Vanessa was born in Manhattan and spent summers and Holidays on her grandparents farm in Puerto Rico. She graduated from Medaille College in Buffalo, NY with an Associates in Science Degree in Veterinary Technology and took additional courses in Canine Breeding and Genetics. She adores all animals but has a soft spot for Boxers. She shares her home with her first Boxer for the last 15 years. Vanessa now has a Pit Bull, a Malinois, 3 Boxers and a Boston who thinks she’s a Boxer. For Vanessa it truly is “All About The Dogs.”

Emily Porter

I joined The Urban Pooch Family in July after 2 fun and educational years at Earth Pups. Before that I apprenticed at PetSmart for 2 years after getting the grooming itch from an amazing groomer named Kelly at Glen Ellyn Grooming. I always knew I wanted to work with animals as my best friend was a rescued Lab Mix named BlackBerry who lived with my family throughout my entire childhood until we lost our beloved pooch to liver issues when she was 11 years old. My mother is the one who brought me up with rescued pooches and taught me the endless joy of adopting an animal brings to a person’s life. I live with 5 pooches, my 2 rescues Matilda and Edgar and my 2 step dogs Clark and Fletcher. Matilda is a beautiful and stubborn Pekingese and Edgar is my fun loving small Terrier Mix. Clark is Half Chow with some Australian Shepherd and Fletcher is some sort of PitBull Mix. In my spare time, my boyfriend and I enjoy having friends over for good, drinks and music. I like to volunteer my grooming services to local shelters whenever possible.

Deb Frankenberry

Deb Frankenberry joined Urban Pooch in November of 2011 following almost 20 years of Grooming experience at various Grooming operations throughout the Midwest including down in Missouri and up in Minneapolis. Deb also owned a grooming shop back in the early 1990’s in Blacksburg, Virginia where she ran the shop and Groomed as well. From April of 2000 until 2009 she Groomed at “Groomingdales” in Columbia, Missouri and then owned a small shop there. Deb started grooming in 1986 as she was just finishing a degree in Psychology. Deb took an offer at that time to apprentice with the owner of a small Grooming Shop and never looked back. Deb and her 2 children moved to Chicago last summer to be with her partner have her 2 children. Deb has 3 pooches named Zuli (15 year old Terrier Mix), Birdie (10 year old and sometimes grumpy Schnauzer) and Frankie (6 year old Dachshund) who come to work with Deb every day! Frankie is especially popular at Urban Pooch but Birdie has a special place in the heart of owner Dan Gaughan. Deb finds dog grooming to be very rewarding and even relaxing most of the time. She especially loves grooming Terriers but all breeds (and mixed breeds too) have interesting features and challenges that keep her engaged. One of Deb’s favorite things to do is see live music. She also loves home remodeling projects but these activities don’t happen too much these days as her Partner and Deb’s blended family of 4 children and 3 pooches keep them very busy! She’s enjoyed getting to know all of the regular pooches at Urban Pooch and working with a great staff.

Brittany West

Retail Manager
Since I was a little girl I always dreamed of working with dogs. I grew up as the oldest in a family with 5 brothers and a house full of dogs. My mom taught me compassion for animals at a young age by adopting our first family dog. After that, we would foster and adopt up to 5 dogs at one time. During my years working on my Master’s Degree I took a part time job at Pooch Hotel and after working there for a while I realized this was what I wanted to do! I worked at Pooch Hotels and their sister company, Raw Dog Organic Food Store where I learned about diet and health needs for dogs and cats. I also worked for a year at Bark Chicago and their sister companies, Meeow Chicago and SpaBark Mobile Grooming. After learning about many different aspects of the pet care industry, I came to realize Urban Pooch Canine Life Center represented what I liked best about the industry. I currently enjoy working retail and meeting all the pups coming into the facility. The best part of my job is brining my 3 pooches to work – Sigma who is a 5 year old German Shepherd, Lambda who is a 2 year old Mini French Bulldog and Gremlin my 1 year old Brindle French Bulldog.

Chris Hackett

Assistant Head Pooch Pack Counselor
Hi my name is Chris and I’m the assistant head counselor at Urban Pooch. I am originally from Long Island NY and moved to Chicago 2 years ago. I spent my time in NY working at different pet stores along with being a volunteer firefighter. I have always had a passion to work with animals and I couldn’t be happier working here at Urban Pooch. My favorite dog here has to be Dolly the boxer! I have a dog of my own…a lab/pit named Gooney and I love him to pieces!

Dylan Fuelner

Head Pooch Pack Counselor
Most recently Dylan was Lead Kennel Attendant at “Doggie Day Play” in west suburban Oak Park where he supervised large playgroups and other handlers daily. Previously, Dylan was a Handler at Pet Care Plus in Chicago’s West Loop where he also worked as a runner bringing pooches from their Front Desk into the playrooms and visa versa daily. Currently Dylan is studying to be a Vet Tech and is attending Vet Tech University through Banfield Animal Hospital. His ultimate goal down the line is to open a non-profit shelter for under-socialized pooches where he would work with pooches that other shelters would put down. Ultimately he would use his Vet Tech training along with his desire to obtain a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine to expand the shelter into a Vet Clinic for pooch owners who cannot afford vet care.

Ed Kaczmarek

Ed is the co-founder of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center, and also Chief Marketing Officer. He’s a fun, creative kind of pooch. Ed is also Co-Founder of Brand Innovators Labs, a business designed to help major brands institutionalize the core competency of partnering with disruptive startups to build competitive advantages and ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship within the corporate environment. Most recently, Ed was Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology at Mondel?z International (formerly Kraft Foods Inc.) where he led innovation through a multitude of partnerships and exploration with startups in both mobile and digital. He was the architect and creator of the Mobile Futures incubator program. Through this program, he drove new levels of consumer engagement across 13 blue chip brands and ignited cultural transformation in marketing throughout the US and Brazil. Many of the programs that Ed led, contributed to Mondelez International being named 2013 Mobile Marketer of the Year. While at Kraft Foods, he led the development of its award-winning iPhone application, the iFood Assistant—enabling the food marketer to deepen consumer relationships and implement new revenue streams. iFood Assistant won an Edison Award for Innovation in 2010. Ed has more than 26 years of integrated marketing communications experience spanning branding, new product development, advertising, CRM and strategy. He has driven innovation both digitally and in traditional arenas during his tenure at Cadbury/Dr Pepper, VNU, DoubleClick and Draft Worldwide. Ed also published NYC Pet Project while at Good Books Publishing, a company he founded. In 2009, Fast Company magazine named Ed as “1 of the 10 Most Creative People in Food.” He also participated on the Intel Capital Advisory Board for three years. In December 2012, Ed was recognized as one of “25 Trendsetters to Watch” by Chief Marketer magazine.

Daniel Gaughan

Dan is the co-owner of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center and runs the day to day operations. A native Chicagoan, Dan grew up in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood. He is the son of the late and great Marty and Kitty Gaughan and the youngest of 6 children. Dan had an incredible 21 year career working behind the scenes in local television news here in Chicago as well as in Arizona and California. During his long career in broadcasting, Dan was in management roles overseeing staff and operations at many successful television news organizations. He began his broadcasting career at WLS-TV in 1989 here in Chicago and went on to play a key management role in launching CLTV. He went on to work for WGN-TV and eventually WBBM-TV following his return to Chicago from California in 2002. Dan won an Emmy Award for continuous coverage of The Chicago Bulls 3rd Championship. For many years Dan had a strong desire for a career change and to do something completely different and more fulfilling. Then in July of 2007 he adopted Berwyn, an 8 week old Welsh Terrier puppy, from an Amish Farm in Central Illinois. Dan’s intense love for Berwyn and the experience of raising this pup helped him realize opening a doggie daycare facility was the new direction he wanted to take his career and life and that would most importantly make him incredibly happy. This began the long journey of accomplishing his dream of owning and operating Urban Pooch Canine Life Center on the North Side of Chicago. Dan is very much looking forward to getting to know you and your pooch and seeing all of you every day!

What Chicago Pet Parents Are Saying

We love all of our customers from Chicago local areas near us including Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, Uptown, Andersonville, West Ridge, Albany Park, Irving Park, North Center, Boystown, and more! 

Come visit us in Chicago, IL specializing in quality food, treats, fun toys, and supplies for cats and dogs.