Creekside Critter Care is a family owned and operated business with years of experience in animal handling and care. Let your pet join our family!
The Creekside Mission
To support quality of life and well-being for animals and their human companions.
Maryellen Elcock, Ann Elcock Ota, and Joe Elcock have taken largely divergent paths in adulthood, but always shared a common bond of love for animals. The Elcock family household was always filled with dogs, cats, birds, turtles, mice, gerbils, rabbits, fish, and just about anything a kid could bring home. Summers were spent camping, hiking and canoeing in New Hampshire, gaining an intimate relationship with wildlife and nature.
During their teen years, Ann, Joe and Maryellen trained, groomed and showed Irish Setters throughout New England. All three successfully competed in Junior Showmanship competitions; Ann being invited to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
Recently, the three were brought back together through the illnesses of their parents, where they re-discovered the therapeutic value of animals, in their lives. Creekside Critter Care is a venture based on their love and respect for animals and acknowledgement of the role animals play in the health and healing of human beings.
New members of our pet sitting staff are Debby Reese-Stephens and Sandy Lassman. Debby has been working in the Renton area since February of 2007, and Sandy joined us in July of 2007, covering Maple Valley, Kent, Covington and the Fairwood area. Debby and Sandy are both trained in pet first-aid and have already proven themselves to be great assets to Creekside Critter Care with their attention to detail, business skills and wonderful connection with animals.
Maryellen Elcock, PhD, MPH
Maryellen began training her family dogs as a young girl. She progressed to competing in Junior Showmanship and breed conformation shows until she graduated from high school. Maryellen attended Mount Holyoke College in Western MA where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology. Subsequently, she studied Animal Behavior at Harvard University before completing a Masters in Public Health from Yale University. She also holds a doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis, Maryellen studied under Phil Kass, DVM, PhD, a noted companion animal epidemiologist. She also actively trained her mixed breed dogs with the Davis Dog Training Club and was a local representative for NorCal Poodle Rescue.
In 2001, Maryellen moved to the Seattle area to accept a position with the Delta Society, a national organization focusing on the human-animal bond (www.deltasociety.org), first as Director of Animal Assisted Therapy, and later as Vice President of Programs. At Delta she served as project leader for the publication "Animals in Residential Facilities Guidelines for Success" (www.amazon.com) and the most recent revision of the Animal Assisted Therapy Course for Healthcare Professionals.
Maryellen is now the co-owner/operator of Creekside Critter Care, which represents her commitment to quality of life for all beings and is a natural extension of her professional public health career. After working with groups of dogs for years in the dog daycare setting, Maryellen developed "DogBreath Yoga" (www.dogbreathyoga.com) a method of communicating with dogs using posture, breathing and intention.
Ann Ota - Skidmore College 1986, BA psychology
As an adolescent, Ann was one of the top dog handlers in her age group. Participating as a Junior Showmanship finalist at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Ann has always had an affinity for larger animals and spent many hours in the riding ring when not showing her dogs. The Ota family has lived in Renton, WA since 1990 where Ann and her husband Barry are raising three boys and tending to the various animals on their small farm including horses, goats and dogs. Ann was employed by the Kent and Tahoma School Districts for three years working with preschoolers and special education students. In 2004, Ann became co-owner and operator of Creekside Critter Care where she currently focuses on pet sitting and farm care as well as a growing dog walking program. Ann can also be spotted in her truck driving dogs to and from the daycare facility in Auburn.