About the Founders
Little did Maria and Patrick know that choosing to board their dogs, Scout & Daisy, at Bayside Kennels would change the rest their lives. In February 2015, Maria was picking the pups up after a weekend at Bayside Kennels, when she saw a picture of a tabby cat on the counter who had been abandoned. Being much more of a dog person, Maria simply inquired what the cat’s story was, and had no interest in adopting her. Seeing a soft spot for animals in her, the front desk staff immediately brought her back to meet Prim (then Dash), and Maria fell in love, and decided to adopt her. In filling out the adoption paperwork, Maria asked about the owner of Bayside Kennels and mentioned she would like to chat with him about owning a kennel, since she and Patrick were considering starting one after Patrick got out of the Navy.
Maria ended up meeting with the owner to learn about the kennel. Being a recent graduate of UVA’s Darden School of Business, at the end of the meeting she offered her services if they needed anything. He immediately offered her a job, first as a consultant, then as the General Manager.
Maria has worked at Bayside Kennels since March 2015, and loved every second of it. Patrick got out of the Navy in June 2016, and together they are working to continue Bayside Kennels’ history of excellence, while updating the facility and technology to make things less stressful for both human and pet clients.
After several years of searching for the right property, in July 2019, Maria and Patrick expanded their business into Chesapeake with the opening of The Ruff House Stay & Play. The Ruff House builds on the exceptional animal care and services offered at Bayside Kennels with a larger focus on group play.
While launching the Ruff House, Maria and Patrick knew they wanted to give back to the community. Patrick came up with the name, K9 Angels and they decided to create a nonprofit with the resources they brought to the table. They operated a safe, reputable facility with well trained staff, and had great relationships with local vets, so they decided to open up their doors to owners who couldn't afford to board their "furbaby" while undergoing treatment.
Together, they bring considerable operational and management expertise in a variety of fields. Both are veterans of the United States Navy having served for seven years each as Surface Warfare Officers as well as experienced animal handlers and caretakers. They have 4 kids 5 and under! (Luke, Timothy, Diana, and Alice), 3 dogs (Scout, Daisy, & Fritz), and the cat that started it all (Prim).