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

Team of Experts

SAM KABBEL, CPDT-KA, Owner, Pet Behavior Trainer


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. 

DJ Jenkins, Client Relations Manager


DJ retired in 2006 from Discover Card where she was Vice-President of Sales. After 21 years in the corporate world, she felt it was time to do something else and begin to pay it forward!

She moved back to Arizona from Chicago and immediately joined and volunteered with a local Golden Retriever Rescue. DJ has been a Rescue a Golden of Arizona (RAGofAZ) volunteer doing home visits, placement, follow-up, PetSmart Meet and Greets, Barnes and Noble Gift wrapping, and many other educational events throughout the Valley. DJ also represents RAGofAZ as a member of The Coalition of All Breed Rescue of Arizona (CABRA.) She volunteers at their low-cost microchip and vaccination clinics.

DJ has worked with Pet Behavior Solutions in her role with RAGofAZ for 8 years coordinating assessments as well as behavior and training help for their adopters. She joined Pet Behavior Solutions' team as their Client Relations Manager in 2014.​

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 volunteered 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.