Meet the Team

MELISSA

MELISSA "MJ" VIERA, ISCP. DIP. CANINE.PRAC.

PROPRIETOR, TRAINER & GROOMER

Melissa Viera, or MJ for short, opened MJ's Pet Training Academy in the spring of 2013 with the mission of providing people and animals with a place where they could learn and have fun in a positive environment. From puppy raising to grooming rehab and behavior help, MJ's has become "a second home" to dogs from Acushnet, New Bedford, Dartmouth and surrounding areas. Some even travel from Cape Cod, Providence and other surrounding areas!

Melissa has been involved in the dog training community dating back to early childhood, growing up raising Labradors and competing and showcasing her training with her English Cocker Spaniel. She is a Canine Behavior Practitioner through ISCP, American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Temperament Test Evaluator, Certified Trick Dog Instructor, member of the Association for Pet Dog Trainers, graduate of Small Animal Science at Bristol County Agricultural High School, and the developer of Positive Groomer. She also holds a diploma in Dog Obedience Instruction, an AKC Certificate in Poodle Grooming, certificate of completion in Aggression in Dogs Master Course, certificate in Concept Training, and she dedicates time to additional studies.

Melissa specializes in problem-solving for pet dog owners with a special interest in cooperative and positive grooming, obedience, tricks and enrichment. Her personal dog family includes her two standard poodles named Mint and Nelle, and an English Cocker Spaniel named Yuri.

KRYSTAL PACHECO

KRYSTAL PACHECO

GROOMER

Krystal Pacheco joined the MJ's team at the start of 2018 and has since become friend to many dogs and cats at MJ's. Animals appreciate Krystal's kind approach grooming as well as ability to help pets feel at ease during the grooming process. From spaniels to collies, Krystal enjoys working with all coat types. Although Krystal grew up with cats, she has been a life long animal lover and felt at home when she became involved in the dog world in 2012, after adopting her dog Chief. Krystal began working with dogs professionally in 2015 caring for dogs at a boarding kennel as well as meeting bath requests for guests. Since joining the MJ's team, Krystal continues to study the art of grooming and work on her skills. She enjoys grooming all coat types but especially loves thick, shedding coats.

*Book under "pet groomer," for your pet's grooming with Krystal and the MJ's team.

JOANNE JESSE

JOANNE JESSE

INSTRUCTOR

Joanne joined the MJ's team in September of 2021 as a skills level classes instructor.

Joanne Jesse, MJ's instructor, competitor, and trainer, brings years of experience and a commitment to her students to the classes she teaches. It was the 1970s when Joanne started her dog training journey and by 1979 she already had earned competitive obedience titles on several dogs. Soon, she was also helping students accomplish goals in classes she both led and assisted with at various training venues. Currently, Joanne competes in agility, rally, and conformation with her dogs. Joanne enjoys helping pet dog owners reach their goals whether they are working towards a Canine Good Citizen or navigating puppy raising.

MICHELLE RANDALL

MICHELLE RANDALL

GROOMING ASSISTANT, ENRICHMENT AND PET CARE, TRAINING TEAM MEMBER

Michelle Randall joined the MJ's team in July of 2021. Michelle is a Bristol Aggie graduate where she majored in Animal Science. She then went on to continue her studies at the State University of New York at Cobleskill and currently has a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science. She is experienced in handling and showmanship of many species of animals. Michelle is pictured with her heart dog, DJ, a German Shepherd Australian Cattle Dog mix.

ASHLEY HANCOCK

ASHLEY HANCOCK

GROOMER

Ashley joined the MJ's team in 2021, bringing her talent and grooming experience to the MJ's salon. Ashley has been grooming dogs for over eight years and enjoys grooming all breeds. She especially enjoys styling dogs with curly coats. One thing Ashley emphasizes as a groomer is the importance of short nails and she always strives to trim, shape, and file every pet's nails to a smooth and short finish for the well-being of the animals, but also so clients can enjoy not getting scratched! Currently, Ashley works at the MJ's salon on Thursdays.