About Us

The well-respected, beloved and award-winning and all-around puptastic magazine Dog Fancy got its start way back in 1970, laying the foundation for pet care magazines. As the world’s most widely-read dog magazine, Dog Fancy celebrated the dogs and people who love them with expert information and entertainment. Constantly evolving along with its dog-loving readership,  in 2015 the Dog Fancy brand joined with the popular dog website Dogster. In 2003 Dogster began as an online community of dogs and the people who love them and then evolved into an award-winning source for all things canine-related. (The site was created by Ted Rheingold and his longtime friend Steven Reading.) The two brands Dog Fancy and Dogster combined to become even stronger, and today Dogster is the longest-running print publication for dog lovers, known for its love, care, humor and knowledge of all-things canine.

Today, Dogster is a dog magazine and dog website where dog lovers come together to get the latest expert advice about dog behavior, dog health, dog news and dog entertainment, plus a whole lot of adorable dog pics. Subscribe to our magazine at dogster.com/subscribe.

Meet Our Editorial Staff

Melissa L. Kauffman — Executive Editor, Catster and Dogster

Covering the pet world for more than 25 years, Melissa L. Kauffman has been an editor/writer for a wide variety of pet magazines and websites from the small critters to parrots to cats and dogs. Her advisory team of rescued pets — dogs Tampa Bay and Justice and parrots Deacon and Pi-Pi — help keep her on top of the latest and greatest pet health research, training and products, anything to give keep them in the high life they are accustomed to. Follow Tampa and his crew on Instagram @tampa.bay.pup.report while Melissa can always be found working on the next issue of Catster and Dogster magazines at caster.com and dogster.com.

Annie Butler Shirreffs — Senior Editor, Catster and Dogster

Annie Butler Shirreffs has worked in the pet industry for 20 years and is currently the senior editor of Catster and Dogster magazines. A cat lover since she was a little girl, she has always had feline friends in her life. She and her husband share their Southern California home with their four cats, Agatha, Alastair, Jack and Mathilda, and an ever-changing clowder of foster kittens, all of whom enjoy being testers for cool, new products.


Allan Reznik

Allan Reznik is a journalist, editor and broadcaster who specializes in dog-related subjects. He is the former editor-in-chief of Dogs in Review and former editor of Dog Fancy magazine. A city dweller all his life, on both coasts, he now enjoys the rural South with his Afghan Hounds, Tibetan Spaniels and assorted rescues.

Amber Carlton

Amber Carlton is owned by two cats and two dogs (all rescues), and is affectionately (?) known as the crazy pet lady amongst her friends and family. She and her husband (the crazy pet man) live in colorful Colorado where they enjoy hiking, biking and camping. Amber is a freelance copywriter and blogger for hire and also acts as the typist for her dog’s musings at Mayzie’s Dog Blog. She encourages other crazy pet people to connect with her at her business website, on Twitter or on Facebook.

Annie Phenix

Annie Phenix, CPDT-KA, is a professional dog trainer based in Utah. She is a force-free trainer specializing in working with troubled dogs. She is the author of The Midnight Dog Walkers: Positive Training and Practical Advice for Living With a Reactive or Aggressive Dog. For more information, visit phenixdogs.com.

Arden Moore

Arden Moore, the Pet Health and Safety Coach, is a pet behavior consultant, master certified pet first-aid instructor, author and host of the Oh, Behave Show on Pet Life Radio. Learn more at ardenmoore.com.

Catherine Ashe

Catherine Ashe is a veterinarian, mother and freelance writer residing in Asheville, North Carolina. For nine years, she practiced emergency medicine and is now a relief GP. When not working, she spends time with her family of six, reading, writing and enjoying the Blue Ridge mountains.

Chris Corrigan Mendez

Chris Corrigan Mendez, M.Ed., PLPC, NCC, is a professional counselor in private practice and the proud guardian of four rescue pooches. She leads a pet illness and loss support group and provides individual counseling to bereaved pet guardians. Chris practices under the supervision of Helen Conway-Jensen, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, NBCCH, LIC #2002021231. Follow the author at ccmcounseling.vpweb.com and facebook.com/ccmcounselingstl.

Dr. Arnold Plotnick

Dr. Arnold Plotnick is the founder of Manhattan Cat Specialists on Manhattan’s upper west side. He is also an author of The Original Cat Fancy Cat Bible. Dr. Plotnick is a frequent contributor to feline publications and websites, including his own blog, Cat Man Do. He lives in New York City with his cats, Mittens and Glitter.

Dr. Eric Barchas

Dr. Eric Barchas is a professional traveler who spends his spare time working as a full-time veterinarian; contributing to Dogster and Catster; walking, cooking, camping, and exploring the outdoors; skiing (when conditions permit); and reading Booker-shortlisted novels. In between trips Dr. Barchas lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Denise, and his canine pal, Buster. His main veterinary interests are emergency and critical care, wellness, pain management and promotion of the human-animal bond. Dr. Barchas has contributed to Dogster and Catster since May 2005.

Diana Laverdure-Dunetz, MS

Diana Laverdure-Dunetz, MS, is a canine nutritionist and co-author, with W. Jean Dodds, D.V.M., of two books, including Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health. Their online course, Complete Canine Nutrition, can be found at myhealthydog.dog.

Dr. Ernie Ward

Dr. Ernie Ward is an internationally recognized veterinarian known for his innovations in general small-animal practice, long-term medication monitoring, special needs of senior dogs and cats, and pet obesity. He has authored three books and has been a frequent guest on numerous TV programs.

Elizabeth Anderson Lopez

Elizabeth Anderson Lopez is an award-winning writer based in Lake Forest, California. She and her husband have many pets, including two English Bull Terrier rescues named Dexter and Maybelene. You can contact her at fromconcepttocontent.com.

Elizabeth Vecsi

Writer Elizabeth Vecsi lives in the Hudson Valley with her five cats. Over the past two decades, she has been an editor and writer for various pet publications, including Cornell’s Dogwatch.

Heather Marcoux

Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but the addition of a second cat, Specter, and the dog duo of GhostBuster and Marshmallow make her fur family complete. Sixteen paws is definitely enough. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter.

Jackie Brown

Pet expert Jackie Brown has spent 20 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet publishing industry. She is contributing writer for National Geographic’s Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness: The Veterinarian’s Approach to At-Home Animal Care (April 2019) and author of the book It’s Raining Cats and Dogs: Making Sense of Animal Phrases (Lumina Press, 2006). Jackie is a regular contributor to pet and veterinary industry media and is the former editor of numerous pet magazines, including Dog World, Natural Dog, Puppies 101, Kittens 101 and the Popular Cats Series. Prior to starting her career in publishing, Jackie spent eight years working in veterinary hospitals where she assisted veterinarians as they treated dogs, cats, rabbits, pocket pets, reptiles, birds and one memorable lion cub. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons and miniature poodle Jäger. Reach her at jackiebrownwriter.wordpress.com.

Jennifer Lesser

Jennifer Lesser is a New Jersey-based freelance writer. A marathoner, triathlete, and Taekwondo black belt, she specializes in health and wellness — for people and canines — and has written for magazines and websites including Whole Dog Journal, Health, The Spruce Pets, Weight Watchers and Animal Sheltering. She is the proud pet parent of a rescued Cocker Spaniel/Shih Tzu mix named Miles, who has become her favorite running partner. Visit her online at jenniferlesser.com.

Jessica Pineda

Jessica Pineda is a freelance writer who lives in Northern California with her two German Shepherds, Forest and River.

John Woods

John Woods has two degrees, is a graduate in Animal Behavior and Welfare is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and is an accredited author by the Dog Writers Association of America. He is the senior editor of All Things Dogs.

Lynn M. Hayner

Originally an attorney, Lynn Hayner has been writing for companion animal publications for two decades. Also a historian, Lynn studies dog breed development throughout the world, dabbles in animal law issues, and collects dog stories as she travels across the country with her husband and German Shepherd Dog, Anja. At home in Waco, Texas, Lynn kicks the dust up dancing with Anja, as well as teaching her obedience and tricks.

Martha M. Everett

St. Louis-based freelance writer Martha M. Everett has lived on both coasts covering everything from Washington to Westminster. She has written for Nestlé Purina PetCare publications and is a former managing editor of Dog Fancy magazine.

Melvin Peña

Melvin Peña is a writer, editor, and social media manager who spends most of his time in Durham, North Carolina. His interests include his dog, Baby (of course!), art, hiking, urban farming and karaoke.

Phillip Mlynar

Phillip Mlynar spends his days writing about cats, hip-hop and food, often while being pestered by his rescue, a mackerel tabby named Mimosa. His work appears in Vice, Pitchfork, Red Bull, Bandcamp, VinePair and Catster. He’s won various awards at the Cat Writers’ Association Communication Contests, some of which are proudly on display at his local dive bar in New York City.

Samantha Meyers

Sam is a dog lover, writer, baker, crafter and Instagrammer. When she’s not writing, she’s decorating cookies at her blog SugaredAndIced.com or Instagramming her dogs @FrenchHuggs_ and @Quinnstadoodle.

Sassafras Lowrey

Sassafras Lowrey is an award-winning author and Certified Trick Dog Instructor. Sassafras’ forthcoming books include: “TRICKS IN THE CITY: For Daring Dogs and the Humans That Love Them,” “Healing/Heeling,” and Bedtime Stories for Rescue Dogs: William To The Rescue. Learn more at SassafrasLowrey.com

Shannon Farrell

Shannon Farrell is a freelance beauty and fitness writer residing on the Upper East Side of New York City. When she isn’t testing the latest mascara or running through Central Park, she’s dog watching. There isn’t one in Manhattan she hasn’t commented on. #crazydoglady

Stephanie Osmanski

Stephanie Osmanski is a freelance writer and social media consultant who specializes in health and wellness content. Her words have appeared in Seventeen, Whole Dog Journal, Parents Magazine and more. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton and writing a memoir. She lives in New York with her Pomsky, Koda, who is an emotional support animal training to be a certified therapy dog.

Victoria Stilwell

Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer, TV personality, author and public speaker best known as the star of the international hit TV series It’s Me or the Dog, through which she reaches audiences in more than 100 countries. Appearing frequently in the worldwide media, she is widely recognized as a leader in the field of animal behavior, is the editor-in-chief of positively.com and the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training — the world’s premier global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers. Connect with her on Facebook at Victoria Stilwell and on Twitter at @VictoriaS.

Wendy Newell

Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned dog sitter, which keeps her busy being a dog chauffeur, picking up poop and sacrificing her bed. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area. Learn more about them on Facebook @The Active Pack and on Instagram @wnewell.