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Volunteer Trainers for VET SOS Clinics

Joining Paula at VET SOS Clinics!

Corinne Dowling

Corinne Dowling pioneered environ- mental enrichment for dogs in long term shelter care over 10 years ago. She created and founded Give a Dog a Bone (GADAB), a non-profit organization devoted to environmental enrichment, at San Francisco Animal Care & Control, focusing on how to develop quality of life for a group of dogs never seen by the public. Her emphasis has been on creating programs that are replicatible, inexpensive, and that range from simple to complicated interactions with the dogs in her care for both the dogs and the volunteers in Give a Dog a Bone. Her enrichment techniques include providing mental stimulation, physical exercises, emotive interactions, stress relief, positive rewards-based training, and canine-specific pleasurable activities. GADAB’s intent and purpose is to address shelter dogs’ needs individually as well as holistically.

Corinne’s belief that every shelter dog deserves a better day has led to fundamental changes throughout the shelter in which GADAB has had its start. With a stream of volunteers who have both taught and learned with GADAB, dogs at San Francisco Animal Care and Control no longer lead impoverished lives while in the shelter. The awareness and development that GADAB created about tending canine needs continues to grow, as each individual at the shelter learns in his or her way how to make a dog shine in an incredibly species-inappropriate environment. 

Corinne received her Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC) in May of 2009 at the prestigious SF/SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, after having attended the well-respected Canine Behavior Academies I and II at Marin Humane Society in 2003. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and continues to educate herself in the fields of canine behavior and sheltering. 

She has presented on GADAB at the Conference on Homeless Animal Management Policy, the California Animal Director’s Association, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and BadRap Pit Education Classes. Give a Dog a Bone has been featured in HSUS’s Animal Sheltering quarterly magazine, The Bark, The San Francisco Chronicle,, and People magazine, among others. Her awards include the 2002 Humanitarian Award from the S/F SPCA, recognition from the San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare, The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and The American Red Cross Animal Rescue Hero Award, San Francisco Chapter, 2008. 

She has informally shared GADAB with shelters from all over the country who have sought a better life for their own sheltered canines, and looks forward to the day when enrichment is not considered enrichment, but rather simply characteristic of how shelter dogs will live. She currently serves as Advisor to Give a Dog a Bone.

She shares her home with three former GADAB dogs, and in addition to dogs, enjoys baseball, gardening, a good book, and a good laugh.

Heather Burton

Heather Burton was a volunteer dog
walker and training class assistant at the SF/SPCA for more than a year when she adopted what she likes to call a "special needs" dog.  This canine addition to her family was a very shy, fearful girl that didn't have much experience in life or dog/dog interactions.  Both Heather and her special girl had much to learn about how to successfully make it in this crazy, mixed-up world together.  In order to be the best guardian she could be, Heather enrolled in the SF/SPCA's Academy for Dog Trainers and graduated with an Honors Certificate in Training & Counseling, and the rest is history.  Heather takes nearly all types of behavior cases, but she continues to have an affinity for working with the scaredy-cat dogs because she can't imagine anything more rewarding than helping frightened creatures gain confidence and to the ability to gently expand their horizons.

Heather has a strong belief in continuing education and in maintaining strong professional relationships in the animal services community.  She graduated with honors earning a Certificate in Training & Counseling from the San Francisco SPCA’s Academy for Dog Trainers.  She has also received a Certificate in Group Dog Walking & Pet First Aid from dogTEC Dog Walking Academy and is working towards becoming a Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Heather is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

A Hound About Town

Naomi Sims

goal is to give dog owners the 
tools needed to empower them to make a difference in their day-to-day interactions with their dogs as well as to set the stage for a rewarding long-term relationship with their dogs. She believes that the learning 

process should be engaging and fun for both the family and the dog!

Naomi apprenticed with SIRIUS® trainer Natalie Bayless in Pacifica and Redwood City, and she is currently the SIRIUS® Redwood City trainer.

In addition to teaching SIRIUS® classes Naomi worked in the Behavior and Training Department of San Francisco Animal Care and Control (SFACC) with Donna Duford, renowned dog behavior specialist and trainer, and director of the SFACC Department of Behavior and Training. Naomi’s responsibilities at SFACC included conducting behavior assessments of stray and owner surrendered dogs to determine their potential for adoption, providing training for SFACC volunteer dog walkers in dog handling skills, assisting in adoption counseling and working with shelter dog socialization. She also volunteers at the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) in the puppy socialization and manners class for shelter puppies, and she answers questions from the public on the dog behavior help line at PHS.

Naomi has a PhD in Psychology/Animal Behavior specializing in animal communication and animal/environmental inter-relationships. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed.

After a successful career in environmental consulting Naomi is pursuing a career in dog behavior and training which has been a life-long passion. She is committed to staying attuned to the latest advances in the field, and continuing to increase and refine her knowledge and skills with seminars, workshops and hands-on experience. Naomi also does private training and behavior consultations, in addition to her SIRIUS® classes. 

Sirius Puppy Training

Shelly Keel

Shelly graduated with honors from the prestigious San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, generally acknowledged as the Harvard of the dog training world, in August 2009.

She earned her Level 1 and 2 certifications from the Marin Humane Society Canine Behavior Academy and a Professional Dog Walking Certification from the acclaimed dogTEC Dog Walking Academy in 2008 and Shelly graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy for Clicker Trainers in December 2010. She became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2011.  Shelly has also worked in the renowned Sirius Puppy Training program, founded by Dr Ian Dunbar, one of the world’s foremost experts on positive reinforcement dog training. 

Shelly is a member of the Professional Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) #71960 and is a member of the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP) #364. She is continuously updating her education and dog training skills and she regularly attends workshops by leading instructors in the fields of dog training and behavior modification. She has studied under Dr. Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Karen Pryor, Pat Miller, Trish King, Terry Ryan, Kathy Sdao, Steve White, Veronica Boutelle, and Kim Moeller to mention a few.

Shelly uses only humane, positive reinforcement training methods based on the latest canine behavioral science. These techniques are not only extremely effective, they produce a happy, attentive, eager-to-learn dog. The tools of the trade are toys, treats, games, praise, and life rewards (doors opened, balls thrown, etc.), and the process is systematic, logical, and, best of all, fun.

Have A Good Dog Day

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