Special Care for your special petsPaws and Whiskers has been designed with your pet in mind
Paws & Whiskers Staff
Manager: Ian Rasmussen
I grew up in a family that has always had a dog and a cat. My parents bought me a German Shepherd of my own when I was 13 years old and that was the beginning of my involvement in the world of showing, breeding and judging dogs.
At a young age I was also involved in sailing until I became more involved in dogs and they finally took over. When I left school I got a job with the Commonwealth Bank and progressed to the position of Relieving Manager, but after 17 years with them I decided to leave to become more involved in the dog and cat industry.
I then became the National Sales Manager for a company that manufactured Dog shampoos and grooming products. A lifetime dream was to work for an American Professional dog handler and I spent some time living in America working for the highly successful American handler Peter Green. This gave me a lot of experience working with and grooming a wide variety of breeds of dogs and from there I began working at Paws & Whiskers.
Breeding and Judging Facts about Ian:
- I have been involved in show dogs since 1975 and in that time the most successful breeds that I have owned and shown include Salukis, Whippets, Dobermans, Siberian Huskies, Norfolk Terriers and Papillons
- Over the years I have won in excess of 200 Best in Show awards with dogs from the above breeds
- My main breed is Saluki and I have owned and bred them since 1978 under the Ahmadi prefix.
- My Salukis have been amongst the top winning Salukis in Australia for many years, and I have owned or bred the number one Salukis in Australia many times, as well as the number one Saluki in Japan in 2006
- I have also bred or co-owned top winning Salukis in America and currently co-own the # 5 Saluki there
- I co-own and co-breed Papillons under the Birikino prefix and we have bred several top winning Papillons in a few short years in the breed
- Aust Supreme Ch Brikino Crown Diva was the Number 1 Papillon in Australia in 2011 and 2012 and is a multiple BIS winner. Her sister Ch Birikino Jewel in the Crown is a BIS and Royal Group winner and their mother Ch Birikino Disco Diva is a BIS winner
- I have been judging since 1991 and in 2007 was granted All Breeds status by the Australian National Kennel Control. Countries that I have judged in are Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, America, Thailand, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Portugal and Brazil
- I am a member of the Qld Judges Training board and am, Chairperson of the Junior Handler Committee
- I also give breed lectures on several breeds as well as lecturing on handling.
Senior Kennel Hand: Karen Barney
Karen is a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse who has worked in the industry for over 15 years. She does native bird rescue for the RSPCA and is a highly valued member of staff.
Cattery Hand: Maria Maturana
Hi, I am Maria and I was born in Chile, South America and I came to Australia with my family in 1988 in search of a better life. I grew up with animals – cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits – you name it!
I like all kinds of animals but I feel a special connection with cats. I have four cats of my own and I am very happy to work in the cattery at Paws & Whiskers in Brisbane. For me, my job goes far beyond feeding the cats and cleaning the cattery – it also involves patience and affection and lots of love.
Every day we have lots of guests in the cattery – kittens, adults, old ones and special needs cats. They all come with different needs but above all they need comfort and to feel safe when they are away from home.
I really love my job and during the 9 years I have worked at Paws & Whiskers I have made many, many, furry friends
Kennel and Cattery Hand: Henrietta Kikuchi
I grew up as a child on a 1,000 acre coconut and cocoa plantation on a tropical island in New Guinea called New Ireland. I come from a large family and we were allowed to own cats and dogs as pets at home plus we were also allowed to have pet pigs, as my father owned a piggery. So my connection with animals, be it in a natural environment or as pets has always been comforting, hence my love for animals.
Prior to working with Paws & Whiskers in Brisbane (I started here in 2012) I worked as a volunteer at the Logan City Council Animal Shelter on Queens Road. I suppose this really was the stepping stone in landing the job at Paws & Whiskers.
I have always had a weak spot for all creatures great and small but it never entered my mind that a career as a care taker for cats and dogs would turn out to be so enormously rewarding.
I am one of a lucky few who wakes up every day looking forward to work. The camaraderie here is very special, I feel like I’m part of a close knit family.
I am employed as a care taker for dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds that bring with them personality plus! As I am in the kennel for the whole day I am able to observe how the dogs are settling so I can make any necessary changes to ensure that they are comfortable and having fun. There is always plenty going on to watch and bark at occasionally.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of my career is handling dogs that come in timid, frightened and apprehensive. I think it is important, that with a little patience and a gentle approach that we can help them relax and start to enjoy themselves. When faced with this type of challenge, I tune in immediately as I have a sincere empathy for dogs that come in frightened. I find I can easily build a warm rapport with our anxious guests and they settle in very quickly.
Is it true that dogs speak and understand another language other than English? As many of our guests have owners whose first language is not English, I will try to find out what “Good Dog” is in that language. Dogs certainly response to familiar sounds so I find using a gentle approach and using sounds that they are familiar with helps them settle in very quickly.
Part Time Senior Kennel Hand. Cheryl has grown up in an animal house so is very comfortable with the dogs. She fills in when any staff are away. She is also happy to lend a hand with most tasks around the kennels including our repairs and maintenance.