Our Team & Facility


Our Facility

Canal Bark is an upscale yet affordable one-stop pet facility. We strive to provide hotel and spa-like services for your pet in a safe and clean environment. We select effective cleaning products that have lowered impact on the environment and that minimize exposure to harsh chemicals.

Air quality is of utmost importance for facilities that provide pet care. We have a state-of-the-art heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation system that provides an air exchange rate of 0.9 cubic feet per minute per pet. This significantly reduces the potential for the spread of disease, reduces humidity, and reduces the potential for odor.

Our Management Team


Emily Spurgeon, General Manager


Emily has worked at Canal Bark since October 2022. She stepped into the General Manager role after 6 years in leadership at our local Animal Shelter focusing on increasing adoptions, fosters and managing intake. Prior to Animal Welfare, Emily worked as a social worker with adults returning from incarceration. Emily has dedicated her career to helping both the pets and people of our local community to give them the best life possible. At Canal Bark she leads with passion and treats every animal as if they are her own.

At home, Emily is surrounded by pets. She often fosters for the local shelter, but her permanent residents are a one-eyed hound mix named Fargo, Jolene a muted tortie cat, Lucy her school aged daughter and occasionally a 3 legged German Shorthair Pointer named Stormy.

Emily’s favorite thing about Canal Bark is playing with the puppies (obviously) but also getting to know her coworkers and the owners. Connecting people and their pets to needed services and fun play times is the most rewarding work.


Kaitlyn Owens, Social Media Coordinator


She started working at Canal Bark as a Pet Care Technician in April of 2021 and her love for interacting with the pets in our care and documenting their fun through pictures landed her the role of Social Media Coordinator in November 2023.

Kaitlyn's passions in life include a love of animals-most especially dogs- a love for being active, and a propensity for compassion and happiness, so she says that working at Canal Bark has been a dream come true as it checks all of those boxes!

At home Kaitlyn has an elementary school aged son named Leo, a Basset Hound mix named Maebelline, a Forest Cat named Tucker Baconstrip, 2 Guinea Pigs called Peperoni & Cheese and a large fish tank full of colorful fish.

Kaitlyn loves watching the pets at Canal Bark play and feels very fortunate that she gets to document all of the cute things they do and share these things with the public. Her favorite part about her position is when the pet owners interact with the media or comment on how much they love seeing the updates or silly narratives Kaitlyn comes up with for their pet. She feels really lucky to get to care for and bond with so many wonderful animals for a living!


Olivia Moris, Lead ACT


Olivia is our afternoon team lead at Canal Bark. Growing up she helped raise and train her black lab Duke from a puppy. She’s also “puppy-sat” her friend’s canines and in October, she rescued a puppy of her own – Jango, who is a lab/mix. She enjoys hiking, rollerblading, and spending time with family. Olivia, a life-long Duluth resident, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Environment, Sustainability, and Environment from the University of MN-Duluth. She brings her education, leadership, and compassionate care for pets to our team.


Sharon Hansen, Puppy socialization coordinator


Sharon has been with Canal Bark since March 2018. Before joining the Canal Bark team, she was a Graphic Designer. Sharon found her happy place, forming close relationships and taking care of beloved pets at Canal Bark.

Her favorite part about working at CB is getting to know all the pets and their personalities, especially the puppies. Sharon enjoys helping puppies learn and grow during their time in the Puppy Socialization program.

At the end of the day, Sharon goes home to her two fur children, Jack, a Golden Retriever, and Zak, a Golden Retriever/Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Mix. Outside of work, Sharon enjoys spending time outdoors (walking/hiking, camping, kayaking, snowshoeing, and sitting around a fire) with her husband and pups. She also loves hanging out with family and friends.


Sophi Irvine, Lead ACT


Sophi has been with Canal Bark for a little over a year now and she considers it her second home. Sophi loves being able to care for our client’s furry best friends and ensuring they have the safest and most satisfying stay. Her favorite part is definitely bathing and pampering the pups and she is really looking forward to doing this and so much more after finishing training to become a fully certified groomer!