google-site-verification: googlee47098c13d29917c.html About Us | hdta

About Us

The Humane Dog Training Advocates is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing owner relinquishment and strengthening the human-animal bond through owner support and education on humane dog training methods.

DIRECTORS 

Mara Velez, MA, CPDT-KA
Executive Director 

Master of Arts, Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
 

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

Trish King’s Canine Behavior Academy, levels I and II (CBA)
Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior (KPA)
Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals (LLA)
International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) Principles and Practice

Aggression in Dogs Mentorship (IAABC)

Shelter Dog Behavior Mentorship (IAABC)

Summer Shelter Institute 

University of the Pacific Animal Shelter Management Program

Memberships and Certification
Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) - Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
Pet Professional Guild (PPG) - Full Member Dog Training Professional
Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) - Member
International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) – Supporting Member, Dog Division

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) – Affiliate Member, Shelter Division

Fear Free Certified Professional 

Mara is one of the co-founders of HDTA. She is a dog trainer and consults on animal behavior in the San Francisco, California area. Her love of dog training and behavior started with her own rescues, one of whom was semi-feral, and the other developed human-directed aggression as a result of vaccinosis. In addition to working as a dog trainer for private clients, Mara also has worked at open-admission and limited-admission shelters. She enjoys training not just dogs, but also other species. Mara believes that working with other species expands her training and observation skills. To date, she has worked with cats, bunnies, wolves, foxes, guinea pigs, coyotes, buffalo, donkeys, goats, alpacas, chickens, parrots, corvids, budgies, and a fish.

Mena Kamel, CPDT-KA
Board President 

Master of Fine Arts Candidate, Creative Writing 

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Studio Art

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

Trish King’s Canine Behavior Academy, levels I and II (CBA)

Memberships and Certification

Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) - Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) – Supporting Member, Dog Division

Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) - Professional Member

Mena is one of the co-founders of HDTA. He is a behavior consultant, content strategist, and instructor for several award-winning dog training organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. He established Dog Party Dog Training in 2013, which offers dog training services like private coaching, group classes, and dog-sitting, as well as content strategy and copywriting for training-related articles, videos, educational programs, curricula, and marketing materials. He is the lead copywriter for Choose Positive Design and Media, an organization that specializes in developing user-focused online content for dog trainers, veterinarians, therapists, and other service providers who support using positive reinforcement and humane science-based methods. Mena has a background in creative writing and visual communication, so he enjoys translating scientific concepts into user-friendly language to bridge the gap between scientific findings and the practical application of applied animal behavior science. He has volunteered with many local community-based organizations, including Berkeley Humane Society, East Bay SPCA, Native Bird Connections, Contra Costa County Animal Services, and PALS East Bay.

Kiem Sie, CPDT-KA
Director of Operations

Master of Fine Arts Candidate, Interdisciplinary Computer Science 
Master of Fine Arts Candidate, Instructional Technology
Bachelor of Arts, Urban Studies and Planning

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals (LLA)
Trish King’s Canine Behavior Academy

dog*Tec: Dog Walking Academy & First Aid Certification

Pet Partners/LAPS: Animal Assisted Therapy Course

Memberships and Certification
Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) - Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) – Supporting Member, Dog Division

dog*Tec: Dog Walking Academy & First Aid Certification

Kiem is a key original member of HDTA and has been working across two sectors over the past decade: animal welfare and higher education.  Her commitment to assisting open-admissions shelters started when she was an active volunteer at Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS).  While there she trained incoming volunteers, provided adoption counseling, performed home checks, and took dogs awaiting adoption to BACS-BADRAP.org’s Pit Ed training classes. These classes are aimed to strengthen the relationship between adopters and their pets while, learning basic obedience, leash handling skills, and training and support.  Kiem also served as a board member with Friends of Berkeley Animal Care Services, where she helped raise funds for educational and enrichment programs, adoptions, medical care, equipment, BACS-BADRAP.org’s Pit Ed training classes, and other necessities. She has also been a part of local rescues helping in various capacities, from vetting and coaching potential fosters, adoption counseling, fostering, training, and community support at pet health and wellness events around the Bay Area.  Three years ago, Kiem was asked to join the Behavior and Training unit at the Contra Costa Animal Services where she now conducts behavior evaluations, implements behavior modification plans, and trains dogs using positive reinforcement.

Connect with us

Humane Dog Training Advocates is a 501(c)3

EIN: 83-3737347

© Humane Dog Training Advocates. All Rights Reserved.

Banner photo by Choose Positive.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram