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Zoograde Founder


Nelly Rivera

Nelly grew up as an animal lover and studied marine biology and animal behavior. She has spent her entire adult life building a career caring for exotic animals, which is where her love and knowledge for reptiles grew. For 14 years she ran her own department at an animal care facility in which her responsibilities included hiring & training staff, animal upkeep & records, diet coordinating & monitoring, behavior analysis & training, and habitat design & upkeep. Nelly started the training program with the alligators and crocodiles at Theater of the Sea in Islamorada, FL. She later presented this training module and was awarded the innovation award from the Animal Behavior Management Alliance. Nelly is an advocate for challenging and misunderstood animals. She still volunteers with exotics when she has the time.


Starting off slowly on the side, and quickly growing a client base, the demand for pet sitting became so high that Nelly transitioned to focusing on it full time. Later hiring sitters like herself, who are professionals in the animal care and training field, the incredible team of Zoograde Pet Care was formed. 

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