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. Contact us here. Or, check out Dogster’s online community.

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.

Cait Rohan Kelly — Digital Content Marketing Manager, Catster.com and Dogster.com

Cait Rohan Kelly is a digital writer, editor and marketer with over a decade of experience working with everything from sports stars to different types of cheese. She is currently the Digital Content Marketing Manager for Dogster and Catster. Cait is a 2018 Dog Writers Association of America nominee for Dogster.com. She is also a lifelong animal lover and grew up with a lovable blue tick Beagle named Blue.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.