SAM KABBEL, CPDT-KA, President
Sam is the President and owner of Pet Behavior Solutions. She began her career in animal welfare in 1996, working with pet owners as well as animal welfare organizations, rescues, and animal control agencies. She is the creator of the Core Behavior AssessmentTM which is the behavior evaluation program used by many animal shelters and animal control agencies in Arizona. She is also the co-creator of Edu-Care for DogsTM. Sam served as interim President and CEO of the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA from May of 2006 until October of 2007. Sam Kabbel is certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and has completed specialized education and training in psychology, learning theory, ethology, family counseling, behavior modification techniques, aggression, canine and feline behavior issues, and grief counseling. She is degreed as a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter and has an Associate in Risk Management and Fraud Claim Law. Sam is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She has also served as a pet grief counselor for the Companion Animal Association of Arizona. She is experienced in all areas of training and behavior for dogs and cats, though she specializes in temperament disorders and aggression. Sam continues to develop her professional skills on an on-going basis. She writes and frequently lectures at seminars, conferences, and workshops on animal behavior and animal welfare issues. She has authored many articles for magazines, newsletters, and other publications. She has appeared on local television and in print media and is certified as an expert witness in civil trials regarding animal behavior. She is a member of CiPAAS, a 501(c)(3) that raises funds for the Scottsdale Police Department. Sam shares her home with Cornish Rex cats, a Tabby cat, and greyhounds.
TERRI ASHER HARDISON, PhD, Vice President
Terri is Vice President of Pet Behavior Solutions. Terri has worked as a pet behavior counselor and trainer since 2000. Terri earned her PhD in psychology from Arizona State University. She has completed specialized training in learning theory, animal behavior, and behavior modification techniques. She has attended seminars, conferences, and workshops through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Terri continues to develop her professional skills on an on-going basis. Terri Hardison has authored articles and has been a regular contributor to local shelter and rescue newsletters and other online publications. She works in all areas of training and behavior modification and specializes in obedience and behavior training. She and her husband Josh share their home with their sons, Julian and Isaac, and three dogs: Rika, Sage, and Sashimi.
STEFANIE STRACKBEIN, Dean of Student Affairs
Stefanie began working in animal welfare in 1994 and is currently the owner of What Dogs Want providing shelter pet matching and evaluation services and services for Pet Behavior Solutions. She holds a B.A. in psychology and holds certifications in the Core Behavior AssessmentTM, Emergency Animal Management, and Pet First Aid/CPR. Stefanie Strackbein has worked with Maddie's Projects, helping to eliminate unnecessary euthanasia of shelter animals and has worked with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, The Arizona Humane Society, and the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA. She has also worked in humane education, developing and teaching dog safety and bite prevention classes for children in grades K - 8. She recently recieved a letter of recognition from the City of Phoenix acknowledging her Vocational Skills class which taught challenged students about dog care and training. She continues her education in dog behavior and has completed coursework in dog daycare operations, group dynamics, aggressive behavior in dogs, and enrichment for dogs. She has helped to develop two dog daycare facilities and worked as a consultant to improve boarding facilities. She is a member of the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals and Doggone SafeTM.
MONICA FONSECA, Trainer, Dog and Cat Activities Coach
Monica brings with her vast knowledge and expertise in animal care and animal welfare. She began by studying animal physiology in the pre-vet curriculum at ASU. She then worked on a large Greyhound farm and was trained by the veterinarian in charge. Her responsibilities included everything from breeding to racing. A continued interest in veterinary medicine took her to Long Medical Institute earning a veterinary assistant certificate and work at a general practice veterinary clinic. She moved to Seattle, passed her Washington State Veterinary Technician Board Exams and began working in the specialized field of internal medicine and oncology. Monica returned to Arizona and decided to start her own pet sitting business, Newfie Mom, LLC. In 2002 she began volunteering for AZ Rescue providing enrichment and working with behavior protocols. Recognizing a passion for animal behavior she volunteer for Pet Behavior Solutions a year later and was accepted into their apprenticeship program. She completed her certification in their animal handling and training program. She also holds certifications in conducting temperament evaluations for the Core Behavior Assessment, Dog and Cat Body Language, Dog and Cat Development and Behavior, as well as Dog Handling. She currently runs the Edu-Care to Go!TM program for Pet Behavior Solutions.
MELINDA HERTEL, Intern and Life Skills Trainer
Melinda began volunteering with Pet Behavior Solutions in 2012 during which time she has completed courses in learning theory, animal behavior, and basic training techniques. She earned her BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. However, her passion has always been to work with animals. She has volunteered with the Arizona Animal Welfare League in Phoenix, Wildhorse Ranch Rescue in Gilbert, and currently volunteers with Friends for Life Animal Rescue in Gilbert. In 2011, Melinda was certified by Sam Kabbel in the Core Behavior AssessmentTM for Dogs, after which she served on the Friends for Life Board of Directors as the Director of Canine Welfare until 2012. Melinda continues to volunteer in the kennel enrichment program and as a Certified Canine Behavior Assessment evaluator for Friends for Life.
Melinda has joined Pet Behavior Solutions as an intern, where she will continue her education in canine and feline behavior and training, with the goal of becoming a certified trainer. Melinda is certified in pet CPR/first aid, and is an Associate level member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She lives in Gilbert with her husband and Duncan a Lab mix, and Abbey, a Shepherd mix.