I am an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed, a member of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a certified evaluator and instructor of APDT’s Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.) Program. I am also the President and Funder of Handsome Dan’s Rescue for Pit Bull Type Dogse (HDR).
At HDR, we focus our efforts on victims of abuse and/or neglect, including victims of dog fighting, as well as dogs who are not good candidates for adoption, due to medical or behavioral issues. We offer free spay/neuter vouchers to owned pit bull type dogs who we deem to be “at risk” of otherwise not being spayed or neutered. This program is offered through our partnership with the RI Community Spay Neuter Clinic and is funded by generous donations of people throughout the country. Outbound Hounds offers a weekly group class that are offered free-of-charge for shelter and foster dogs through a partnership with HDR. This class takes place on a weekly basis at Rhode Island College and is an amazing way for dogs, who otherwise would not have the opportunity for socialization, to have positive experiences with other dogs in a safe setting. We also take in dogs from major fighting busts, when the need arises.
I am also the proud companion to Handsome Dan, the second of the “Vicktory” Dogs to be fostered and then adopted from Best Friends Animal Society. Dan was rescued from the estate of NFL quarterback Michael Vick. Both Dan and our family/rescue group have been featured in many articles and television programs, including the front page of the Providence Journal, a cover story in American Dog Magazine, Trainer Profile in The Association of Pet Dog Trainer's (APDT) Chronicles of a Dog.
We always have at least one foster dog in my home, generally one with “issues”.
We have been touched so deeply by the dogs we have been fortunate enough to have as our temporary guests. We have been trusted with the care of animals who arrive too thin, or weak, or scared and we are given the opportunity to help them find their confidence and eventually their family. The days we say goodbye to our fosters as they leave us to start their new lives with their forever families are the toughest. I always cry, but the tears don’t last long because there is a constant supply of forgotten, abandoned and mistreated dogs to fill the empty spot in our home and hearts.
When we picked up our first foster dog, Gunther, we were a bit apprehensive. Over 50 foster dogs later, I know now that we are so blessed to be trusted with these precious souls and will do this for as long as we are able. We have found that rescued dogs are more resilient and forgiving of our species than we could ever be of theirs.
2010 - present
2010 - present