A lifelong passion for the humane care and love of animals started at the young age of 2 and continues today. My passion culminated collecting mice, birds, dogs, cats, horses, ponies, goats and living a dream come true in Kentucky on a horse ranch.
While in Kentucky I became immersed in all aspects of the amatueur and professional Thoroughbred, Saddlebred and Arabian Horse industry and involved in the local farming community and proud member of the FFA. I was fortunate to have worked at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky and held numerous assignments within the professional horse racing circuit.
My ultimate goal is to influence the advancement and professionalism of the pet grooming industry and founded the Whole Pet Grooming Academy in 2015. The Academy has graduated over 50 students of all ages from around the world and offers continuing business and grooming related education seminars and retreats which many of our graduates participate. We offer a diverse curriculum preparing individuals for a successful future inside the grooming industry.
The Academy works in partnership with local high schools and their Internship programs which allows juniors and seniors to intern in industries they may want explore in college or with vocational training.
Midway College Lexington, KY
Nash Grooming Academy – Lexington, KY
University of Louisville – Louisville, KY
Ottawa University -BA Small Business Management
Current -Founder/Owner – Whole Pet Grooming Academy – Portsmouth, NH
Current – Owner Operator/Partner – Whole Pet Grooming Spa/Retail/Bakery- Portsmouth, NH
Current – Barkleigh Productions- Professional Speaker and Seminar Leader
Owner/Operator – PETborough Boutique Retail/Grooming/Self Serve Wash & Bakery
Owner/Operator – Dara’s Paw Spa – Grooming/Retail Peterborough,
Owner/Operator – The Doggie Bag & Day Spa Grooming/Retail Milford NH. (2 locations)
Founder/Advisor- Professional Pet Groomers Association & New Hampshire Groomers Alliance
Leadership Council for the National Alliance of Grooming Associations
Advisory Board Member The Association of Holistic Pet Professionals
Host/Sponsor/Facilitator- Grooming and Business Seminars
Best of Souhegan Valley Award for Best Groomer in 2007, 2008 – 2012.
Business Educator of the year in 2015 and Emerging Business Leader in 2016
Love of animals has been a lifelong passion and my ambition to pursue that passion full-time professionally as a career would come later on in life. However, throughout my life I fostered pets, worked with show dogs, dog handling, obedience training and cart work and competed in agility, dog scenting and tracking. I engaged in charitable fundraising for the New York City ASPCA and one of the most rewarding aspects was working with therapy animals supporting sheltered woman and children with Tucker one of my fostered dogs. I have continued my education and career advancement at the Whole Pet Grooming Academy with the goal to enhance and advance the professionalism and promote opportunities within the grooming industry for the benefit of pets, existing and future groomers/stylists and grooming industry business owners.
Experience & Training
Whole Pet Grooming Academy – Groomer/Stylist/Instructor
Whole Pet Grooming Academy, Peterborough, NH – Graduate Advanced Stylist/Groomer
American Academy of Pet Grooming in Manhattan, New York City Graduate- Groomer
Animal Behavior Training
The Hairy Barker, Grooming Shop, Darien, Connecticut
Spot On Veterinary Clinic and Hotel, Stamford, Connecticut
Continued Education – Grooming Expos New Orleans, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts
Member American Professional Pet Groomers Association
Member International Society of Canine Cosmetologist
Member New Hampshire Groomers Alliance.
New York City ASPCA -Fundraising
Dog Handler with Tucker in an R Kelly video called “I Can’t Sleep”
Handled fostered dog Bailer for photo shoot and featured for the Martha Stewart Natural Shampoo, Conditioner and Detangling Spray Line
My passion for animals has always been a part of my family equine life and I rode and competed for 15 years. Grooming became natural to me and I competed in 4-H events grooming and shearing sheep. I became the caretaker of our family’s dogs grooming and feeding schedules and became interested in pursuing a grooming career.
I worked as a vet clinic assistant and with show handlers and breeders which led to a position in kennel grooming and preparing show quality collies for competition. I began my grooming career starting in a small shop in Marlborough, New Hampshire then pursued my education at The Whole Pet Grooming Academy with Dara Forleo. I’m proud to have graduated the first Advanced Professional Pet Stylist from The Whole Pet Training Academy and continue my education attending workshops and seminars.
Current- Groomer/Groomer Instructor – Whole Pet Grooming Academy Portsmouth NH
Groom Stylist/Shop Manager – 6 years Shop Manager/Groom Stylist – Sterling, Massachusetts
Member New Hampshire Groomers Alliance
Member American Professional Pet Groomers Association
Member International Society of Canine Cosmetology
Animals Psychic and Communicator, Latifa Meena will make you smile the first time you meet her. She is eloquent and quick, with an infectious giggle. She began her professional career as an animal psychic and communicator along with and “hands on” healing in 2006. She has clients all over the world along with conducting Basic and Advanced Animal Communication Workshops.
She has been featured on TV, Animal Planet…Call of the Wildman and MTV Kesha My Wild and Beautiful Life. She has also appeared on local TV for the past several years and hosted live theater events for the public to attend. No matter what she engages in, Latifa is fun, outgoing and a pleasure to be around.
Her passion is to engage with humanity be helping us all to understand their animals companions is encouraging and welcoming. She feels every time she engages and is called to be the translator is an honor and privilege to give the animals a voice in their time of need, daily routines or changes in their lives.
Latifa enjoys the seeing her students learn in each workshop. Her ability to teach us how to relax, be available and allow the seemingly impossible, possible, makes it comforting with nothing but encouragement and praise.
The greatest perk of her job is the wonderful love and kisses the animals share with her. They are truly appreciative and grateful.
April is the Owner of Healthy Pets NH, a canine wellness center based out of Concord, NH and a mobile classroom offering classes in pet wellness throughout New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. April has been a licensed massage therapist for humans since 1995 and just recently completed her level 2 certification in reiki.
In 2007, April, a lifelong pet parent and animal lover, decided that she wanted to be able to provide the same quality massage and wellness services for pets as she does for her human clients. She began an independent study program in small animal massage using information and educational materials from a variety of schools and pet professionals such as Integrated Touch Therapy in Ohio, Dr. Michael Fox, DVM, Jonathan Rudinger, Founder and Director of PetMassage in Ohio and Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, LMT and author of Canine Massage. She also took a course specializing in animal reiki.
In 2009, she furthered her training in pet wellness by becoming a certified Pet Tech instructor of CPR, first aid and wellness care for pets. In 2014, she opened a dog daycare within a grooming salon where she later became the Salon Manager. Then, in 2016, she completed a course through FitPaws USA and The University of Tennessee and became a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer. April uses her skills and talents to create treatment plans, exercise programs and classes that are designed to improve the overall quality of life of her animal clients and to deepen the bond between them and their human companions.
April has a true passion for working with animals and intends to continue to educate herself in topics that will allow her to create and to teach others how to create a lifestyle for their pets that is safe, healthy and happy.