Co-founder of The Original Penelopads, has cared about animal welfare since childhood. She began her career in veterinary medicine working as a veterinary technician at Belinsky Animal Hospital in Cranston, RI, as well as the Northern Rhode Island Animal Hospital. Her experience also includes working as a veterinary nurse at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. During her time working in animal care, she was involved in the rearing, rehabilitation and re-release of injured wildlife, and she founded a group that rescued prairie dogs which had been sold by unscrupulous dealers to people who attempted to raise the wild animals as pets. After 16 years in the veterinary field, Avril shifted her career focus to pursue another passion - the reparation and restoration of glass art works. In this field, she held positions at New England Stained Glass, Lynn Hovey Studios, and Willet Hauser Architectural Glass, Inc. As Willet Hauser’s Restoration Foreman, she managed stained glass restoration projects that included work at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. In early 2017, Avril used her artistic flair and expert sewing skills to create a pad for her friend Stacie Fedan’s pet rabbit, Penelope, and – although they didn’t know it at the time – Avril’s generous act to her friend was the first step that led the pair to launch The Original Penelopads. Avril holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts Glass from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. When she’s not busy working at her sewing machine, Avril enjoys spending time with her beloved family and friends as well as her cherished pets.
Co-founder of The Original Penelopads, has been an avid pet lover since childhood and several years ago she became involved in rabbit rescue. She is, in her own words, “a proud four bun mum” who, over the years, has taken on a quartet of rescued rabbits that she and her family now own and love. Her most recently adopted rabbit, Penelope, provided the inspiration that led to the launch of The Original Penelopads. Stacie began her career fulfilling her passion for working with children as a coordinator for an after school kindergarten program in Marblehead, MA. She also worked as a special education assistant at Amesbury (MA) High School, and was an after school program coordinator for the Wellesley (MA) Community Children’s Center. Her past experience also includes working as a coordinator of multiple education programs for Title 1 schools throughout Massachusetts under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. Currently a stay-at-home mom, Stacie - along with co-founder Avril Dufresne - launched The Original Penelopads in early 2017. Stacie holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Western New England College. When she’s not working, Stacie enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve, and their son, Hunter, as well as the family’s adored pets.
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