My name is Jillian Varner, and I am the Resort Manager of PetSuites Dayton. After completing my degree in Integrated Language Arts at Ohio University, I began volunteering in the Education Department at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. While there, I worked as a Summer Camp Instructor and served as a member of AmeriCorps, helping kids in the nearby neighborhoods have a chance to come to the zoo when they otherwise couldn’t. In 2017 I took a job as a zookeeper/trainer/performer at the “Animals On Safari” show at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium (which later became the “Surfin’ Safari’” show), a show featuring many exotic animals, but also showcasing the talents of dogs and cats who were rescued from shelters. During my time there I trained dogs to do behaviors such as: running an agility course, jumping rope (3 dogs at once!), walking on their hind legs, and many kinds of retrieves. I also trained cats to weave between my legs and to climb a 12-foot platform from which they then jumped and landed on my shoulder. I took home one of these show stars, a cat named Barley who is living a comfortable retired life alongside my two other rescued cats, Mungojerrie and Ridley. I am passionate about animal welfare and rescue, and I enjoy spending my free time rollerblading on the bike trails in Yellow Springs.