Our Pet Care Team

three team members with truckee river backdrop

Steve Sewell – Owner/Founder

Steve Sewell is a dedicated animal lover.  He’s a big fan of all breeds of dogs and cats but has a particular affinity for giant breed dogs.  He currently has an English Mastiff named Maggie and two awesome kitties, Molly and Samantha, who put up with Maggie (most of the time).  After a 26-year career selling industrial electronics in Silicon Valley and the Sacramento area, he’s very happy to be living in the Lake Tahoe area and working in a local business that provides such a great solution for both local and visiting pets and their owners.  “It’s great to see and get to know our regular lodging and daycare guests and their owners but I also love meeting new clients when they come to go for a tour or check in for the first time.  Many of them are understandably anxious having never left their dog or cat at a pet care facility.  It’s always very cool to see how relieved they are once they see the rooms and meet our outstanding staff and realize how seriously we take the responsibility of taking care of their pets.”

Cassidy Forsman – Operations Manager

Cassidy was born and raised an animal lover in northern Minnesota. Her family bred Newfoundlands and she grew up on a 10 acre “Newfie Farm”. Her love of dogs began at an early age with grooming the Newfies as well as the Poodles and German Shepherds also bred by her family. Besides grooming and the health and wellbeing of the dogs, her responsibilities grew to include the care of various other pets on their property including cats, ducks, and geese. That background served her well as she moved on from the family business to manage three different pet care facilities in Minnesota accumulating ten years of professional pet care experience. During those years, she also worked very closely with several rescue organizations and fostered many dogs. So, after moving to Truckee in 2013 and becoming familiar with the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe through her work with the Pet Lodge, she adopted her own forever friend, an Australian Cattle Dog mix she named Jethro. They live here happily with Madonna, a seven-year-old calico kitty that also made the journey from Minnesota to California. Cassidy has no regrets about her move from Minnesota (though she seems to be holding on to her accent)–she’s enjoying all the activities the beautiful Lake Tahoe area has to offer, especially hiking with Jethro.

Garnett Perea – Assistant Manager, Reservation Specialist

Garnett is a North Lake Tahoe native who has always had a special place in her heart for animals. Growing up with pets of different sizes and species, there is not much that surprises her about animal behavior.  She rejoined the Truckee-Tahoe Pet Lodge team in December 2013 and has enjoyed every kiss, wag, and smile from her furry friends as well as interacting with their owners.  She also enjoys spending time with her family and taking advantage of the many activities Tahoe has to offer. With her three furry sidekicks:  a rabbit named Clover, a Chihuahua named Chico, and the newest addition to her family, a Rat Terrier mixed named Paisley (who also loves to greet guests in the lobby) there isn’t anything else that Garnett could see herself doing.


Rai Heaps – Reservation Specialist

Rai is a Northern California native, who has always loved animals. She joined the Truckee Tahoe Pet Lodge team in December 2017 and quickly became the RS. She loves her job and meeting new furry friends. Rai has always had an animal companion in her family and can’t see herself without one.


Colleen NColleen Naylor – Reservation Specialist

Colleen has lived in Reno, Truckee and Sierra Valley most of her life. She has a beautiful daughter named Taylor who is the light of her life. She’s always loved animals of all shapes and species. Colleen and Tay share a tabby cat named Elsa and a wonderful rescue dog named Jacob Black (although they believe Jacob rescued them). She has worked in many industries but now, here at the Pet Lodge, she’s found a position in a field she loves working with animals giving them lots of extra love and cuddles. Colleen and Taylor love the area and enjoy exploring the forests, lakes and being outdoors. She believes our furry family members are just as important as the humans and enjoys providing excellent customer service making sure pet owners see and feel the love for our guests at the Pet Lodge. She likes getting to know our visitors and always enjoys hearing from and sharing funny stories with them about their pets.


Haley Coffin – Pet Care Supervisor

Haley is a local, born and raised here in Truckee. Her entire family being animal lovers, she’s always been surrounded by a variety of dogs. Among them, a Rottweiler mix, Boxers, and Golden Retrievers as well as the feral kittens she’s rescued to become part of the family. She currently has a 5-year-old cat named Skylit and a 2-and-a-half-year-old Cattle Dog mix (foster failure) named Tessa. Haley loves meeting new pets and is always excited to see the familiar faces of the regular visitors here at the Pet Lodge.


Tony Verhaest – Pet Care Lead

Tony was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Starting with his first pet, a Pug, bought for him by his parents when he was just a toddler he has always had a love for animals. In 2013, Tony moved from Minneapolis to Truckee and started at the Pet Lodge in the spring of 2015. He enjoys being here for the pets and is dedicated to his position as a lead lodging tech. When he’s not at the Pet Lodge, he enjoys hikes all around the beautiful Lake Tahoe area as well as traveling and photography.

Shelby Peterson – Pet Care Lead

Shelby is a North Lake Tahoe native that was raised around and had a love for animals all her life. It all started with a bunny named Fluffy received as a gift when she was 6.  Next came a Jack Russell Terrier named Bullseye and two cats which she still has today, Tabby and Snowflake!  In addition, she currently has another cat named Binx and a bearded dragon named Helix. Shelby’s been with the Pet Lodge since June of 2016 and is always so excited to see old and new visitors at this business she’s so proud to be a part of.