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WE HAVE BEEN HELPING PETS LIVE LONGER AND STRONGER SINCE 2015!

Over the years we have expanded! We are blessed with a team of people that have a passion for pets and we are here to make a difference in the pet care industry. Our team is fully trained and held to the highest standards in the Animal Bodywork and Animal Wellness Industries. The skill and education we have obtained is complementary to our veterinarian community. We are proud to fill part of the missing link that completes your pets whole health and wellness.

Professionals

Our team is fully trained, insured and held to the highest standards in the Animal Bodywork Industry. We are recognized and affiliated with many Animal Associations and Boards Internationally. Our continued education is never ending. We want to provide the best for our pets.

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Stacy Gradel

STACY GRADEL, FOUNDER OF SOUTH PAW MASSAGE AND WELLNESS

B.S., CCMT, CCWT

My connection and passion with animals started as a young girl on my Uncles small animal farm. From goats, pigs to deer- Making friends and caring for the animals came naturally and was something I looked forward to doing. Fast forward to my college years, still with a strong passion to work with Animals. I studied Criminal Justice with specialty studies in Animal Cruelty. Unfortunately or fortunately, I was in a car accident that led me to a different path…. A journey of physical recovery. Along my own natural recovery journey, I came across similar Physical Bodywork, Massage and care for animals. At that moment, I knew this was the journey I was meant to pursue. By accident or not?

My initial education started at The Chicago School of Canine Massage (now called Canis Bodyworks). I indulged in 300-hours of training and interned at Integrative Pet Care – Veterinary Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine during off school hours. I completed The Advanced Canine Massage Certification Career Program in 2015. Since then, the South Paw Massage and Wellness journey started. I have connected with many Vets and other Professional Animal Therapists. I participate in many educational programs that are offered throughout the world and attend many Veterinarian Community Conferences that are offered throughout the Nation as often as possible. I read a galore of Veterinarian authored books to learn about more ways to help our pet clients.

Shortly after starting South Paw Massage and Wellness and seeing the improvements the pets were having from my services, I realized there was a huge need! I wanted to help as many pets as I could but couldn’t physically keep up. I needed more of me. I started brainstorming and studying the practice of growing a business. What's better than being able to help more pets AND provindg people with a dream job that allows them to help pets live longer and stronger.

With all my education and real-life experience for the last few years, I decided to start my own training program so I can come as close as possible to creating another me. After another journey of creating an accredited training program, I am now a Certified Educational Provider through the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork and The Association of Canine Water Therapy.

Today, our team consists of myself, 2 Bodywork Practitioners, 4 Pet sitters, and an assistant. We are all passionate about animals and here to help in any way we can. We all have special interests and will continue to learn, grow, work together and improve the lives of animals for many years to come. We are just getting started! 😊

So that is the summary of my pet wellness journey so far.  I have been happily married to my best friend since 2018. If it weren’t for him, none of this would have been possible. We have 2 dogs and a cat and we feel so blessed to live in a beautiful home. No human kids, but we occasionally talk about it. I enjoy walks on the beach, yoga, and an occasional ladies night out. Thanks for taking the time to get to know me and our journey!


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Resa Toeller

Pet sitter, At-home Swim Coach, Pet Safety and Enrichment Specialist

Resa will do anything to give the best care to her own pets and any pet in her care. Resa started as a South Paw client in 2016 as she was treating her elder dog to massage therapy. While living an early retirement, and a “never too late to find your passion” attitude, Resa joined the South Paw Team as a Swim Coach and Pet Safety Education Developer. Resa spent 2 years teaching dogs how to safely swim and people about pet safety. Resa has taught a vast number of private and group swim lessons and brings a wealth of experience having coached furry friends at all levels from beginners to more advanced. She has a strong desire to see animals gain their confidence in the water. Resa truly desires to have your pet become the best swimmer and the most comfortable they can become. As another opportunity presented, Resa took another position within the company and became South Paw’s first pet sitter and helped develop the company’s Pet Sitter Training Program. Her enthusiasm to share her pet safety knowledge speaks for itself. Today, Resa and her Shih Tzu, Cooper, are active Pet sitters and Pet Safety and Enrichment Specialists. Resa can care for pets in-your-home or in-her-home, she gives private at-your-home pet swimming lessons and is also willing to assist and help in any other areas you need. Her hobbies include dog play dates and dinner with clients that have become friends.

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Jill Smith

Canine Bodywork Practitioner, Certified Vet Tech

Jill has been working professionally with animals for over 20 years. She graduated from UCF with a B.S. in business and began working at East Orlando Animal Hospital, the clinic where she took her own pets. At that very first Animal Hospital job is where she discovered her passion for animal health and wellness. She continued her education and pursued a degree from SPJC where she earned her CVT License in Veterinary Technology. She has been a vet-tech at Vero Beach Vet for over 15 years and still currently practices. After seeing South Paw at many animal events around town and picking Stacy’s brain over the years, Jill became very interested in Canine Massage and Bodywork and wanted to get involved. Jill took the leap in 2020 to learn something new to further help animals. She completed The South Paw Career Mentorship Program in June 2021. Her favorite fur-patients are the elderly pets because she feels they have earned all the attention. She enjoys making a positive difference in the lives of not only the animals, but their owners. Jill lives in Vero Beach with her husband Joe, her daughter and yellow lab, Jingles. Jill is an avid yogi and practices daily. She enjoys being outside, going to the beach and anything that involves water. Crystals are another fascination of Jill’s and she is planning on getting certified in Reiki for pets in the near future.


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Sheila

Sheila Stewart

Pet Sitter

Sheila has been rescuing dogs her whole life, from Chihuahuas to Pitbulls, and each pet has given her a unique experience that she was able to learn from. She retired from a 20 year retail career in 2020 and very soon after that was looking for something to do that she enjoyed. Sheila was South Paw’s first non-referral hire and we feel extremely lucky to have found her. Her sweet and nurturing personality and dog attire down to the shoes sealed the deal. Sheila already had pet sitting experience and immediately wanted to participate in any continuing education she could to learn more. After a recent pet sitting meet and greet, Sheila was referred to as a “peach”: “sweet and you get a good fuzzy feel.” Her laugh is contagious and her passion for animals can speak for itself. One day she hopes that we can all live in a world free from animal cruelty. She lives in Vero Beach with her husband and two senior Chihuahuas, also known as her ‘furkids’, as her human kids are grown and out of the house. Sheila can care for pets in-your-home or in-her-home.

 


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Taylor McGirr

Canine Bodywork Practitioner and Swim Therapy Coach

Taylor has been a pet lover her whole life. She has a unique connection with animals. Healing and communication with dogs come natural from her. She landed upon her career that she is passionate about at an early age, she has always wanted to help dogs live pain free but never knew where to start. She first learned about this career opportunity in 2019 when she ran into South Paw’s Pop-up Tent at a non-profit fundraising event, and from that moment she knew this was her calling. She has not stopped learning and growing in this field since. Taylor became an intern and completed The South Paw Career Mentorship Program in 2019. Along with the completion of the mentorship program, she has completed many veterinarian taught education courses on Canine Bodywork, Common Conditions/Aliments, Nutrition, Aromatherapy, Wound Care, Hemp Therapy and other Holistic Therapies. Taylor is self-driven and motivated to make a positive difference in the lives of pets. Taylor was born in Noblesville, Indiana and raised in Marathon, Florida. She currently lives in Sebastian with her German Shepherd and Pitbull. Her hobbies include quality time with her dogs whether it be long walks, swimming, paddle boarding, going to the beach, or using them to practice something new she learned. Other than spending time with her dogs, Taylor also enjoys authentic Tacos, Art, crafts, hello kitty, searching for antiques, and new adventures!

 


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Professional Networks

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Our continued education is never ending because our best friends deserve the best care!