Our Careteam

Julie Savard

Owner, Administrator

Julie never does anything without jumping in all the way and becoming the best—it’s simply in her nature. When she began breeding Standard Poodles, she couldn’t stop until she was a notch above what everyone else was doing! When she discovered that she didn’t feel entirely comfortable leaving her own pets at a kennel, she had a thought: why not open her own resort?

Julie grew up in Wisconsin with two older brothers and a silver toy poodle named Sherrie, which she suspects triggered her love of poodles and animal care. She had been working as a groomer at Raintree Pet Resort when the opportunity arose to purchase the business. In 1990, Julie and her husband Homer jumped at the chance to start a family business based around their love of pets.

Julie is especially proud of the fact that her family’s resort has become somewhat of a trendsetter at the national level. Raintree Pet Resort was Arizona’s first dual-accredited pet resort, receiving accolades from both the American Boarding Kennel Association and the American Grooming Shop Association. Within four months of opening, Raintree was fully accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. For Julie, creating a state-of-the-art, progressive, safe, and fun-filled cross between pet resort and medical center is the crowning achievement of her life.

Julie and Homer have eight grandchildren, which now keep them busier than ever. Although they don’t keep any dogs at home, Julie thoroughly enjoys her grandchildren’s cats. Needless to say, she and her husband Homer enjoy passing on their love of animals to the next generation!

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Homer Savard

Owner

Homer and his wife were married in 1981, and their first Christmas gift was a silver toy poodle. Ever since then, Homer says their lives were overrun by poodles! It led to an intense passion for training and showing silver standard poodles, and Homer’s life hasn’t been the same. Since 1990, he’s owned Raintree Pet Resort alongside his wife, Julie.

Homer is mainly involved with the development side of the business, working on the layout, design, and financial models. When Homer and Julie decided to add a medical center to their existing facility, Homer spent over half of his working time for a whole year getting everything prepared. Of course, it was quite a challenge managing the remodeling while still running the resort, but Homer emerged victorious. In fact, he was so successful that he’s even led a few consulting projects to help others create pet resorts!

Homer’s success has inspired him to get his Real Estate License and earn his CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) designation. There are only about 9,000 other CCIMs worldwide!
At home, Homer and his wife have two adopted desert tortoises, Curly and Larry. They hibernate from November to April, so Homer affectionately calls them his “part-time” pets. The family also cares for Max, a female umbrella Cockatoo who has been entertaining the Savard’s clientele since 1996.

Homer’s always been interested in playing music; in fact, he’s been a semi-professional bluegrass musician for 35 years! He plays the banjo and mandolin, and his band even opened the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2001, opening the show in front of 10,000 people. He also likes fly fishing with his grandchildren and jumps at every opportunity to do so!

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Sharon Peterson

Director of Operations

Thanks to her father’s corporate career in the fast-food industry, Sharon lived all around the country before her family settled in Natchez, Mississippi. There, she started working on the family cattle farm when she was very young, developing an innate work ethic as well as a strong passion for animals. She didn’t know it at the time, but that combination would serve her well later in life––Sharon now serves as Director of Operations here at Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center!

Sharon was only 16 years old when she first began volunteering at a veterinary hospital in her hometown of Natchez. She attended business school––earning her Master’s degree in finance as well as a Bachelor’s degree in accounting––to launch her professional career, and it wasn’t long before she would again cross paths with the veterinary world. Sharon signed on as the CEO of Animal Dermatology Group in Southern California, and fell in love with the world of animal medicine all over again! After relocating to Scottsdale from Orange County, she was thrilled to join the Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center team and has been helping the area’s pets and animal parents here ever since.

Sharon is a proud mother to two sons, Dustin and Christian, as well as a recent grandmother to a beautiful baby girl. When she isn’t spending quality time with her family, Sharon enjoys traveling and experiencing new adventures abroad. In just the last six years, she’s been to Costa Rica, Iceland, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong. She’s also visited Australia at least 10 times, and New Zealand at least six!

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Ashley Hood

Resort Manager

When she moved to Phoenix in the early months of 2012, Ashley set a goal for herself: she was going to find a job working with animals, even if it meant picking up after the elephants at the zoo! Ashley was delighted when she was offered a position here at Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center. She’s worked her way up from her initial post as a dog walker, and now serves as one of the Resort Managers.

In high school, Ashley joined a program in which she took veterinary assistant classes and completed an externship at a local vet’s office. Although she adored her time there, Ashley moved away from the veterinary field for a while. It wasn’t long, though, before she realized that nothing made her feel as fulfilled as she had while working with animals! As soon as she started here at the resort, she knew she’d made the right call.

The busy holiday seasons at Raintree Pet Resort + Medical Center are Ashley’s favorite time of year here. There’s never a dull moment at the front desk, and Ashley can’t get enough of it!

At home, Ashley has three dogs: Bentley, a purebred Boxer; lab/pit bull mix Sophie; and Micah, a pit bull mix that Ashley found behind a Circle K. She also has two cats named Nigerian and Dinah.

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Christina Shen

Marketing Manager

Christina grew up in the Savard family business—she’s the daughter of owners Homer and Julie! The bond between pets and owners has always fascinated her, and now she gets to be a firsthand witness to that as the Marketing Manager of Raintree Pet Resort.

Christina grew up in Cave Creek, Arizona with her parents, older brother, and many poodles. Currently, she and her husband Mark reside in Phoenix with their four children: John Gabriel, 9; Evagrace, 6; Amelia, 3 and 3 month old Simon. The family has a 2 cats named George and Trey.

Christina is also a licensed associate mental health counselor with a Master’s Degree in counseling. When she’s not working, she enjoys gardening in her aeroponic gardens, which use no dirt and far less water than traditional gardens! She has a passion for both nutrition and preventative health for the two legged and four legged members of her family!

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Karen

Veterinary Technician

Karen has always had pets of her own, and knew that she wanted to do everything in her power to keep them happy and healthy. She quickly realized that the best way to accomplish that goal was to become educated in the field of animal care! Now, Karen gets to pass her knowledge on; she’s been caring for pets as a Veterinary Technician for over 10 years.

An Arizona native, Karen attended school to study veterinary technology and then secured her first job as a Veterinary Assistant in 2006. She worked her way up the ranks, eventually becoming a Veterinary Technician, supervisor, and manager! Karen then went back to school to continue her education and become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She joined the Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center team in the summer of 2016, and particularly enjoys taking the time to educate others on proper pet care in order to make a lasting impact on the community’s families.

Karen has four pets of her own at home. She shares her life with a domestic shorthair cat named Haylee and three Labrador retrievers. Karen’s dogs are particularly fond of swimming, and love trying to outdo each other when diving for toys.

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