HUBBARD — Katie Costello’s passion for animals, especially dogs, was established as a young child and set her on a career path.
“I always had dogs and cats and other animals at home in Hubbard. At times, there were rabbits, birds and ferrets. My grandparents were farmers. All those animals were my friends,” Costello said.
She took an opportunity to work with animals while still in high school.
“When I was 16, I answered a blind ad in The Vindicator. It was for Animal Charity in Youngstown. At that time, Animal Charity was very different than it is today. There were seven veterinarians. There was a wildlife rehabilitation center. There was a grooming area and an education center. It was a humane society. I told my mom ‘I want that job and I will do anything to get it.’ There was something so absolutely right about that job,” she said.
This experience led to her first career choice.
“I loved that job. I worked as a receptionist, a wildlife rehabilitator and groomer. From that job, I decided to go to college as a licensed veterinary technician. I do remember in those early times at Animal Charity, I would come home crying almost every night over the atrocities that I saw there. I remember thinking that I had a decision to make that I was going to do more good than I was bad and that I would either have to find a way to deal with all the emotional stuff or stop the profession. And that thought of not doing it made me feel lost. I knew I was where I needed to be,” she said.
Costello received her veterinary education a little farther from home than she had anticipated.
“At the time, there weren’t any choices. I did my first year at Cuyahoga Community College and my second year at Columbus State College while using The Ohio State University of Veterinary Medicine as one of our externships,” she said.
Working at Animal Charity was where Costello met her husband, Dr. Sam Costello, a veterinarian at Town & Country Veterinary Hospital in Howland.
“It’s funny. We have followed each other throughout our careers. He actually spent a summer at Animal Charity shadowing the other veterinarians and I remember my mom saying, ‘You need to marry him.’ I thought she was insane. We then both started working at Town & Country. We became very good friends, ultimately started dating and got married. At our April 2005 wedding at St. Patrick Church in Hubbard, my standard poodle, Vickie, was our flower girl and Sam’s dog, Bear, was our ring bearer. It was so awesome to share that experience with our pets,” she said.
While working as a veterinary technician, she realized that her true calling was dogs and their behavior issues and training.
“To keep my technician license, I have to have so many continuing education hours. One conference I attended was a behavior track, and I fell in love. It resonated deeply within me as I would spend more time than many others at work helping dogs become okay with getting their toenails trimmed that other people wouldn’t touch because of just taking my time and honoring that they were experiencing something big. It kind of all went from there,” she said.
Costello realized that this was a new way for her to help animals. She it was time to switch to behavior work full time, and she decided to do it in her hometown of her.
“It was thrilling to teach out of other businesses at first, and then I started my own business nearly 13 years ago. I love my town. I was born and raised in Hubbard. It has always been my base except for my year of schooling in Columbus. I know the people and I felt that they would support me,” Costello said.
She first opened The Canine Campus Training and Wellness Center, which offers numerous classes from puppy socialization to obedience, and from therapy dog preparation to farm dog classes.
Earlier this year, The Bed & Biscuit Inn by The Canine Campus opened in Howland. Both facilities offer doggy daycare. The Bed & Biscuit has overnight stays with 24-hour webcam, activities every two hours, TV lounge with staff companions and grooming services. Her daughter, Anastiya, is involved with The Canine Campus as student council president.
Costello also displays her love of dogs at her own home where dogs have plenty of room to roam on a 10-acre hobby farm.
“Currently, all my dogs are purebred rescue. I have four standard poodles and two French bulldogs,” she said.
The difference she makes in the lives of the dogs and pet parents brings her gratitude and satisfaction.
“It is watching the human animal bond flourish. It is hearing from clients that their dogs were out of control and how much we helped,” she said.
In all her endeavors, her goal is to make dogs’ lives better.