Michelle Hess

Dog Kennel Manager, Breeder and Handler

Michelle Hess is a kennel manager for her family’s business, Pleasant Valley Kennels, in Kirkwood, MO. The kennel has been in her family for 50 years. She has worked for the kennel since she was 13 years old.

Q: Why do you feed Purina Pro Plan dog food?

A: I feed Purina Pro Plan because I believe my dogs deserve the best. While eating Pro Plan, they maintain their weight, have shiny coats and healthy appearances.

Q: Why do you recommend Purina Pro Plan to your clients?

A: I recommend Pro Plan to our clients because my dogs have maintained weight, never have gastric issues and like the food. They have never turned their nose up to any flavor I feed them.

Q: What is the most exciting part of being a dog breeder, trainer or handler?

A: The most exciting part to me is watching a dog grow and learn from training. To evaluate puppies and try to decide which one will represent the breed the best and watch them succeed in the ring or performance is always a proud breeder moment. Especially when it’s your own dog.

Q: What’s your number-one goal in your work?

A: My number-one goal in my work is to represent my breed the best we can.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about the time you spend with your dogs?

A: The most rewarding thing about the time spent with my dogs is the bond we build. Whether in the ring or at home, they are happy to be with me. It makes training fun.

Q: What’s the first thing on your mind when you walk into the show ring?

A: The first thing on my mind when I enter the ring is I have one of the best dogs there. I want to be confident, but also for my dog to be happy and have a good experience.

Q: What do you think it takes to make a champion dog?

A: To make a champion, you need to be a team with your dog. You both need to have fun and enjoy the ring. To me, it’s sad to see a dog who doesn’t want to be there. It’s not worth the dog’s happiness and health just to have that title. At the end of the day, you are taking home the best one!

Q: What draws you to your dog breed(s) of choice?

A: I grew up with English Setters, so they will always have a special place in my life. To see them doing what they were bred to do in the field is so cool. They love to run and play, but are also content laying on the couch with you. They are great family dogs. I got my Parson Russell from my mother. Her first Parson won our whole family over. At first, it was thought to be a mistake, because they have a reputation for being hyper, but she was the opposite. She would play and come in and be a lap dog. She was smart, earning an obedience title and Earth Dog title, along with her championship. My dog is following in her footsteps.

Awards & Accomplishments

  • Dog featured on a Purina Pro Plan dog food bag
  • Dogs featured in clips for Westminster and National Dog Shows
  • Setter won Best of Opposite Sex from the veteran class to the number one bitch at specialty held after National
  • Competed in performance events, earning titles along with their championships


Michelle Chooses Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Formula dog food.

To help ensure her dogs are reaching their full potential in the ring, Michelle trusts Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Formula dog food. Take a look at our full line of Pro Plan formulas to find the one that’s right for your dogs.

This individual serves as a Purina ambassador.