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Meet Faith Denney of Yappy Hour in Mar Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Faith Denney.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
You can ask anyone in my family, and they would tell you: from the time that I could talk, it was ALL ABOUT ANIMALS! Some of my earliest memories are of sneaking off with one of my dad’s medical bags and treating all of my stuffed animals. This would later translate to many attempts to help real animals (much to the aforementioned dad’s chagrin) that normally ended with some grown up having to wipe my eyes and explain that I couldn’t take care of every lost puppy. To this day, I still go out of my way to help animals in any way possible.

I have always felt that it was my purpose to work with animals, and I have been blessed to have been able to work with some of the most amazing doctors, technicians, assistants and CSRs. I have been able to develop skills in nearly every veterinary hospital position from grooming technician to anesthesia assistant to pug nail trim survivor (ask your vet friends, they’ll get a laugh). I have been gifted with some amazing experiences and irreplaceable industry knowledge since I took my first job as a kennel technician.

I happened into my current position almost three years ago after relocating from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Three days cross country in a U-Haul, 2 months in Airbnb, and one absolutely DREADFUL temp job in a plastic surgeon’s office started my tenure in Los Angeles in a rocky way. Shortly after arriving, I got a fortuitous call from an office manager at VCA Venice Boulevard named Sam, and my life changed for the better. We shared an enthusiasm for community outreach and soon started brainstorming outreach and event possibilities.

It was this environment of freedom and encouragement that really allowed me to blend my love of animals with my other passions: meeting people in a casual party setting, and a propensity for pun-named finger foods. With that, Yappy Hour was born.

Has it been a smooth road?
There have definitely have been some very unique bumps in the road to pulling off a successful event like Yappy Hour, mostly because I’ve not heard of anyone else who has combined a training class/socialization and desensitization opportunity/community building event that really allows for organic relationship building; not only in the obvious ways – with the puppies making adorable puppy friendships (and yes, it’s just as cute as you’re imaging in your head right now). Just as importantly, Yappy Hour is about the vet/owner/patient bond.

Ninety percent of all puppies’ initial interactions with hospital staff involve, as one of my favorite vets perfectly puts it, “all the needles and all the scareds”. Puppies can very quickly develop some pretty negative associations with the sights, sounds and even smells that accompany a visit to the vet, making every trip to the doggy doctor a nightmare for not only the scared pup but also the worried parent and the concerned veterinarian.

Yappy Hour has really helped our patients overcome these obstacles by creating positive associations with a visit to the “scrub people”. And once the pup is happy, us humans can breathe a sigh of relief.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Yappy Hour – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Yappy Hour is a puppy socialization event that is so much more than a play date: it’s an opportunity for owners to receive advice and education from Michael Chill, an absolutely marvelous trainer, and one of the many skilled veterinarians we have on staff at the hospital. I feel that the emphasis my team and I place on the healthy play and positive association really sets Yappy Hour apart from other more casual “puppy playdates”.

I think the proudest moments I have experienced in the three years of hosting this event would have to be the “little victories”. For instance, watching a nervous little pup go from hiding behind his mom’s legs one month to being the life of the party the next month.

These puppies, even after their last party at six months old, come in for visits practically DRAGGING their owners in!! They don’t see us as “The Scary Stabby Place”, we’re “The Fun Place Where My Friends And Good Cookies Live”. Seeing these little babies all confident and happy makes me so proud of what I do.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I like best: Tamales
What I like least: the fact that these tamales are not in my hands and stomach at all times.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 12108 Venice Boulevard
    Los Angeles, California 90066
  • Phone: 310-313-9118
  • Email: faith.denney@vca.com

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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