Petra Ford, P.T., C.C.R.T. (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist)

Petra graduated from UMDNJ School of Health Related Professions 20 years ago with a degree in physical therapy and has experience working with an extremely varied caseload including pediatric through geriatric clients with a vast range of diagnoses. Her areas of expertise include in-patient rehabilitation, orthopedics and neurology. Petra attended the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in 2007 and is a certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. Petra is fully certifies in Canine Acupressure and is a Reiki Level 2 Practitioner. Petra raced bicycles at the professional level and participated in international events.  She is now an avid runner, competing in half marathons and she practices yoga.

Petra has trained and trialed her Labrador Retrievers in obedience, agility, field and nosework.  Her black Labrador Retriever, Tyler, has the distinction of being the 2008 and 2009 National Obedience Champion and First Runner Up in 2010. In 2012, Petra and Tyler became the first American team to win the Obedience World Cup (they placed second in 2010).  Petra’s dogs have earned field titles (MH, QAA). Currently she is competing at the Master’s Level in agility with Zaidan. Zeal has earned his OTCH (Obedience Trial Champion) in Obedience and was Second Runner Up at the 2017 National Obedience Championship. Petra has written several articles on canine conditioning, canine injury prevention, competing with your dog and more.  She has been published in a number of magazines including Clean Run, Front and Finish, and Whole Dog Journal.

Kristine A. Conway, D.V.M. C.C.R.T. (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist)

Kristine graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1989.  She worked in St.Croix USVI and New Jersey practices before settling at Hodes Veterinary Group in 1994.  In 2006, while swimming her dogs, her interest in canine rehabilitation was piqued. Kristine’s clients, looking for alternatives to drugs to improve their pets’ quality of life, further motivated her to seek an education in canine rehabilitation.  She attended the University of Tennessee’s “fast track” program for canine rehabilitation in July 2007.  Shortly thereafter, she opened Aqua Dog Rehabilitation, LLC with Petra Ford. In 2011, Kristine attended the Canine Rehabilitation Institute to complete her certification in canine rehabilitation. Whenever Kris has a moment , she is tweaking her dogs skills in AKC obedience and Internationale Prufungs-Ordnung (formerly known as Schutzhund). To date Nuku UD IPO II is semi retired at 10 working on her FH. Tonga is a double ccl boy, who at 7 has achieved his IPO III and is actively working on his UDX,FH and continuing competitions in IPO III. Yaga CDX, IPO II is 3 and is working on his UD and IPO III. In her spare time, Kris likes to work in her perennial gardens and take her dogs hiking or swimming.


Anita Zack, C.C.M.T. (Certified Canine Massage Therapist)

Anita has been working with dogs for over 20 years.  She used to run a sled dog team, competing in local and out-of-state races.  She is an obedience instructor, a professional groomer, boards dogs in her home and is a canine massage therapist.  She has been working side by side with Petra and Dr. Kris since Aqua Dog opened more than seven years ago. Her extensive experience with dogs combined with a thirst for knowledge has made Anita an invaluable asset to the Aqua Dog team. Anita has a special, soothing touch with all dogs and is patient and knowledgeable with the owners. Anita truly loves dogs and her work at Aqua Dog. She continues her education attending a variety of seminars and workshops in the related fields. In addition to on-the-job training, Anita completed comprehensive training and received her certification as Canine Massage Therapist from the Brandenburg Massage Therapy school. 

 In her free time, Anita volunteers by singing to residents at a local nursing home.  She also enjoys walking, training and playing with her dogs.   Anita shares her life with Tassi, a Border Collie; Hannah, a Samoyed, and a cat named Dobi.

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Laurie Shepherd

For as long as Laurie can remember, animals have been her number one priority in life going back to when she was a child. She worked as a veterinary technician for over 23 years in several different animal hospitals. In her time as a vet tech she has learned the importance of acute care for animals whether you’re dealing with disease, surgery or just routine care. After seeing so many different cases over the years she has decided to take a different turn in the
field. The importance of aftercare and rehabilitation has become a big interest for her. Aqua therapy, laser therapy and massage therapy are so important in an animal’s continued life quality whether it is post-surgical, arthritis or even disc disease due to age. So, with much excitement, she has decided to join the Aqua Dog team and learn as much as she can in this part of the field. Outside of work she is kept very busy with her two children Cameron 13 and Collin 11. She also has 5 dogs and 3 cats who keep her on her toes daily. When she finally has some time of her own she loves to go to the barn and spend time with her horse Rio. Now that is the best therapy around!


Sara Giovenco

Ever since I was a child I have always loved animals.  I have had different varieties including a cat, a few dogs, always at least one bird to a hedgehog, bearded dragons, chameleons, frogs and many colorful and exotic fish.  I have always wanted a job involving animals. Finally, I took a veterinary assistant college course. After doing an internship in a vet’s office, I decided it might not be the path I wanted to take after all. We had, however, also learned about animal therapy during the college course and when I was given the opportunity to work at Aqua Dog Rehab, I knew it was definitely what I wanted to try! Being able to rehabilitate and help dogs in this way has been a very fun and rewarding job so far and I look forward to the challenges it will bring, and hope that I can learn from my coworkers and hopefully become certified in canine massage therapy and perhaps even become a certified canine rehabilitation therapist myself!

In my free time I enjoy video games, reading, swimming and playing with my Yorkie, Gabby and my bird, Luna.