About Us
Our History

Get to Know Us

Melissa and Marc, founders of Whiskers, share their home with a variety of pets, including dogs, cats, chickens, and horses.

Melissa Verplank has owned multiple pet-related businesses in the Grand Rapids community for over 30 years. Repeatedly asked by her clients, "Do you have a good recommendation for a local boarding kennel?," Melissa could never confidently recommend anything, but realized that Grand Rapids pet owners were looking for a better solution.


is an award-winning, world-class pet stylist, a leading educator in the field of professional pet grooming, an industry speaker, author, multi-pet business owner and general animal lover.


is a Certified Master Groomer, was a successful mobile pet stylist and an instructor at the Paragon School of Pet Grooming in Jenison, Michigan for years.

A Dream Realized

She and her husband had a vision, a dream of recreating a home-like environment for their four-legged clients. They imagined a facility that included overnight lodging for dogs and cats, doggie day care, outdoor canine play yards and full service grooming. In 2007, the first 90-room facility opened. Due to Whisker's overwhelming popularity, a large expansion was added in 2014 with 90 more rooms, indoor play yards, and a host of other amenities catering to furry guests. Melissa was determined to create a warm, inviting and appealing place for dogs and cats to come and carefully considered every single detail, from the specific mechanical systems so the dogs won't smell the cats and vice versa, to what type of material was used on the floors so dogs don't slip and slide. Safety and cleanliness were top priorities.

An Inside Look
An Inside Look

There Is One Place Like Home

For many of today's families, our pets play a large role in our lives – they are our family. Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa offers exclusive services to pet parents – luxury pet care with overnight boarding accommodations, canine daycare programs and premium grooming services for both dogs and cats. If your pet is the center of your family life, Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa is the place where we pamper and care for your pet as if they were our own. We are The Resort that’s the envy of all furry family members.

Meet Our Team

Rebecca Valiska-Mosele


Rebecca has been the operations manager at Whiskers since 2009 and became the President of the company in 2017. She is originally from Chicago and went to school at Grand Valley State University. She has a business and hospitality management degree. She has worked in the restaurant business most of her life managing all aspects of the restaurant including leading her own kitchen as an executive chef. She has always been an animal lover and enjoys volunteering at the local shelters and rescues. Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa has completed her life by allowing her to utilize her business degree and passion for pets all in one place! She enjoys taking breaks from her daily office work to cuddle with all of the adorable pets in the facility. She loves working with such a passionate group of people. Whiskers is truly a magical place where work doesn't feel like work. In her home life she is married to her wonderful husband Mike and they share their Caledonia home with their children Zachary, Stella, and dogs Charley, River & Cash. In her spare time you can find her doing anything outdoors. She loves the lake life and spends many weekends down at the family cottage or camping.

Kathi Rand

General Manager

Kathi started at Whiskers Resort and Pet Spa in the Spring of 2010. Her focus is working with the Whiskers team to develop new ideas and using all the resources that we have at Whiskers to do the best for every pet. When Kathi is not working, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling, volunteering, and spending time with her husband, Keith, and two sons – Nolan and Ethan. Their family also includes two dogs, two cats, and a fish!

Tracy Snedeker

Assistant General Manager

Tracy started working at Whiskers part time in 2015, while working full time as a Licensed Veterinary Technician. In 2018, she accepted a full time management position, and she’s found her perfect place to work! Tracy has been married to her husband, Jonathan, for over 35 years and they have 3 wonderful children. She is also a Dachshund lover, and has a 16 year old Daschund Beagle mix named Annie, a 7 year old Daschund chihuahua mix named Willa, and an orange tabby cat named Archie.

Abby Morris

Assistant General Manager

Abby has been at Whiskers since 2018. Abby has a deep passion for all things customer service, having worked the desk, as the front desk manager, and now as assistant general manager of Whiskers. When she’s not at work, Abby enjoys baking and spending time with her husband, Craig, and two daughters, Adelaide and Magdalena. She also has a Golden pup named Artemis.

Rene Davis

Finance & Compliance Manager

Rene has worked at Whiskers since 2019 and as a life-long dog lover, working here is the perfect way to blend her experience and professional skills in finance and human resources with that passion for dogs. She has spent over twenty years working in finance and human resources within several industries, mostly in southwest Michigan. Rene now lives in Wyoming with her husband, Bob, and two furry babies, Lili and Rudy. She is the proud mom of two human children as well, Samantha and Josh.

Lance Blurton

Facilities Manager

Lance has worked at Whiskers since 2008. He shares 3 dogs and 2 cats with his wife Jenn, who is also a Manager at Whiskers.  Lance has been building things since he was 5 years old, when he helped his dad build a deck at their home. He loves doing woodworking projects using hand tools, so maintenance is the best job he could ask for. Lance loves being able to fix and build things around the Whiskers grounds and building. Lance has recently taken on a new hobby of bee keeping. He currently has 3 hives and is hoping to expand from there.

Sara Nichols

Kennel Manager

Sara has been at Whiskers since 2014, where she started in the kennel playing outside with the pups. She has loved getting to know all of the dogs who come in to Whiskers and building those relationships. Sara has 2 dogs at home Rex, a crazy mutt and Paco, a Chihuahua.

Jenna Postman

Kennel Manager

Jenna has been at Whiskers since 2018. Jenna has a deep-rooted passion for dogs, and she’s always looking to further her knowledge in animal care. When she’s not at work, she spends time with her family which includes her husband, Judah, Dachshund mix, November, Icelandic Sheepdog, Koi, and two cats, Julian and Oddish. She also enjoys hiking, kayaking, and traveling, with her favorite destinations being in the mountains.

Travis Madere

Client Relations Manager

Travis joined Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa in 2021 bringing with him over 22 years of customer service and supervisory experience. Coupled his love for all animals, he’s excited to be a part of the Whiskers Family. Travis enjoys spending time with his family and Border Collie, Barney, as well as woodworking and mindfulness meditation.

Scott Musial

Daycare Manager

Scott has been a member of the Whiskers team since 2011! He has worked through many roles throughout Whisker's growth and is now the Daycare Manager. He has a BA in Psychology from MSU and enjoys nature walks, video games, books and movies (the scarier the better!) in his free time.

Jenn Blurton

Cascade Store Manager

Jenn has been with Whiskers since April 2008 (along with her husband Lance) and started her career here in customer service. She has worked her way into managing the Front Office, and has recently expanded her management experience into the grooming department.  Prior to coming to Whiskers, Jenn had started in the Veterinary profession as a technician, working at offices in Michigan and Georgia for 10 years. Jenn has 3 pups and 2 cats and enjoys painting in her downtime.

Five-Star Reviews

Read Our Testimonials

"Whiskers is the hands down the best boarding facility in Grand Rapids! The customer service is epic, I travel for a living and can't tell you how many times they've came through for me in the clutch. I know they love my dog Zoe and treat her like their own. I really appreciate their customer service and would highly recommend to anyone looking for boarding!"

Ezekiel F.

Tampa, FL

"We absolutely love sending our Old English Sheepdog, Hazy River, to Whiskers! She has been going every week for the last 6 months and we absolutely love it! She gets to socialize and play with other dogs and gets groomed by Megan each week! We have her get a bath and blowout each week and a haircut about once a month. We are always happy with how she looks each week and our dog is always happy when she comes home. We are so happy that we are able to send our dog to Whiskers!"

Kyle P.

Tampa, FL

"Whiskers is a great place that I have entrusted to take care of my puppy while I’m at work! I use their daycare system and have been very impressed! Their hours fit my schedule, they are very informative on how his day goes and they treat him like he was one of their own. I am greatly appreciative to have a place as nice as this to bring my dog to!"

Elli N.

Tampa, FL

"We used Whisker’s boarding services for the first time and will definitely back! They took great care of our dog while we were moving, answered all of our questions and were very friendly. We had complete confidence they’d take great care of our dog and they absolutely did!"

Isabella K.

Tampa, FL

"We LOVE taking our dogs to Whiskers! They are so well taken care of & the constant photo updates really make a dog mom feel good. Each time we pick them up they are so happy & most importantly, tired from a day full of play!"

McKayla E.

Tampa, FL

"Everyone was very friendly when I dropped Luna off the morning. I loved the pictures they sent me during her day! She was certainly happy when I picked her up. Her paws were wet from playing in the pool. I know she was having a great time because she loves the water play! The person handing her back to me took the time and sat down to give me a summary of her day and answered my questions."

Nancy T.

Tampa, FL

"Our dogs loved their vacation at Whiskers. The staff treated them with such love. We will definitely board our dogs there again!"

Susan B.

Tampa, FL

"Pet loving and friendly facility with great staff. Multiple fence layers, so even an escapee will still be safe behind fencing. All toys dishwasher cleansed for protection vs Covid-19. Evaluations for similar size and personality playgroups for daycare and boarding. Grooming, daycare, training and boarding available. Boarding and daycare include playtime twice daily in supervised and cleaned settings. Your pet will be well loved at Whiskers."

Shelley P.

Tampa, FL

"We’ve had nothing but great experiences here. Our dog Maverick has been boarded there 4 or 5 times now and has been treated like a king. He is anxious, reactive, and takes daily medication and the staff always says how much of a sweetheart he is and keeps up with his needs. They are great at responding, communicating, and treating your animals well. I would recommend Whiskers to anyone!"

Lauren P.

Tampa, FL

"The customer service is truly incredible. Staff were always kind, knowledgeable, and responsive. I never had to worry about Odin while we were away. He enjoyed his Penthouse Suite, (spoiled!) and all the extra group play time he received. We received daily updates with a picture attached, which we looked forward to every day. I highly recommend this place to anyone looking for daycare or boarding. We won't go anywhere else."

Kimberly V.

Tampa, FL

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