Woof Pack Team

Melissa Helms - Founder and Trainer

My name is Melissa Helms, but feel free to call me Mel, most people do! I am the owner of Woof Pack Dog Hotel and Lucybelle’s Lodge. I am also the head trainer for Woof Pack. I am originally from Winston- Salem, North Carolina and I moved to the High Country several years ago. I graduated from Appalachian State University and loved Boone and the High Country so much I never left! I really love being around all types of animals and I currently have 16 dogs and a cat, each with a very unique personality. You can check them out on the Full Time Woof Packer’s Page!

Animal Behavior College – ABCTD Dog Trainer

Animal Behavior College – Mentor Trainer

AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

Therapy Pets Unlimited Evaluator

Therapy Pets Unlimited – Regional Director for North Carolina

Association of Pet Dog Trainers Professional Member

C.L.A.S.S Canine Life and Social Skills Instructor

C.L.A.S.S Canine Life and Social Skills Evaluator

The Family Dog Private Trainer

Gillian Bridges

My name is Gillian and I am originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina but I moved to Boone in 2015 to attend Appalachian State University. During my time at App I studied Exercise Science and Spanish. I  hope to one day combine my love for animals with my passion for helping people by working with therapy and or service animals. I found my passion for dog training when I enrolled my puppy, Bowie, in one of Melissa’s puppy kindergarten classes. I have been working with Melissa since 2018 and am excited to continue to learn from her.

Hannah Baker

Hi, my name is Hannah, I moved to Boone in 2016 from Waxhaw, NC to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Appalachian State University.  I am passionate about the care, training, husbandry, and enrichment for all animals; fur, feathers, or scales.  I have received training and earned certifications in reptile first aid and handling, with a focus on venomous and crocodilians. I am the proud parent of an adolescent Shiba-Inu mix named Daisy, who is filled with spunk and energy; and Goose, a talkative goof of a Siberian Husky. I am thrilled and honored to be a member of Woof Pack.

Marz Barberio

My name is Marz Barberio and I am currently a senior at Appalachian State University studying Communications in the Electronic Media/Broadcasting program with a minor in photography! I have had a passion for animals my entire life and plan on continuing to work hands on with them after college. I got my own rescued Australian Shepard “Beck” during the summer of 2019 and am working on training him to be a trick dog and an agility star!

Annette Waters


Hi! My name is Annette Waters and I am going into my senior year at Appalachian State University with a degree in History Education and a minor in Holocaust studies. I have a 14 year old kitty, Baby, who has shown me how intelligent and loving cats can be. I have also been fostering a sweet staffordshire terrier, Thor, who has shown me how to love animals on a completely new level than I did before. I plan to adopt Thor fully once I graduate. My love for animals expands to all creatures, and I hope to one day open a wildlife rehabilitation center from my home to help enter animals back into the wild after injuries or destructed habitats.