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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.

Leadership

Mara Velez, MA, CPDT-KA
Executive Director 

Doctorate of Education, International and Multicultural Education (ABD)

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.

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Kiem Sie, MA, CPDT-KA, SA Pro Trainer
Director of Operations

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

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

  • Separation Anxiety Pro Trainer Program with Julie Naismith (SA Pro)

  • Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals (LLA)

  • dog*Biz: 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)

  • SA Pro Trainer (SA Pro)  

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

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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 skills, leash handling skills, as well as education 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.  In 2016, Kiem was asked to join the Behavior and Training unit at the Contra Costa Animal Services where she conducted behavior evaluations, implemented behavior modification plans, and trained dogs using positive reinforcement.

Yona Rappaport, BA, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP
Social Media Manager

Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology and Sociology 

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

  • Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Program

  • Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals (LLA)

  • Shelter Playgroup Alliance Educational Workshop Series

  • Shelter Foster Dog Apprenticeship Program

Memberships and Certification

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

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP)

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Yona got her start working with dogs at Metro Dog Daycare and Boarding. She excelled as a playgroup handler, off-leash group walker, trainer-in-training, staff trainer, client liaison, and ultimately became the facilities manager before transitioning to contract work as a behavior professional at Contra Costa Animal Services. There, she discovered her love of working in a shelter setting. Having the chance to focus on improving her ability to read body language and mechanical skills through various programs and attaining two certifications, she has had the pleasure of handling and working with thousands of dogs over the past ten years. One of her favorite activities is teaching volunteer classes and now volunteers with Shelter Playgroup Alliance to continue coaching volunteers and shelter staff while still focusing on furthering her education.

 

Yona is the owner and operator of Science at Play Dog Training, Behavior and Gear. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge of effective, ethical training with clients and their dogs. Along with selling typical dog leashes, she designs and tests specialty equipment for use in a number of settings such as shelter specific leashes designed to reduce stress on dogs and increase safety for handlers in a kennel setting.

Board of Directors

The Humane Dog Training Advocates Board of Directors set the strategic direction for the organization and represent several stakeholder groups including animal trainers, rescue partners, and general dog owners.
 

Lynn Webb, MA, KPA-CTP, CSAT
Board President

Master of Arts, American History
Bachelor of Arts, History

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

  • Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Program

  • Separation Anxiety Training Certificate Program

  • Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Canine Massage

  • Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals (LLA)

Memberships and Certification

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP)

  • Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT)

  • Certified Canine Massage Therapist

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Lynn Webb is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CPT) and Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT), who is skilled in positive dog training techniques and educated about using science and behavior-based methods to make training more fun for humans and dogs, alike. Lynn is also trained in Pet First Aid and CPR and a certified canine massage therapist.  Lynn is one of the few trainers in the United States who specializes in using positive reinforcement to teach dogs to avoid rattlesnakes. 

 

Lynn formerly worked in a zoo where she learned that that every animal within a species is an individual with different needs. Lynn currently teaches group classes, in-person and virtual, as well as providing private consults with individual dog owners.

Anne Baranski, BA
Secretary

Bachelor of Arts, English Literature and History

Memberships and Certifications

Licensed Professional Realtor

Anne is the owner of Forever Home Real Estate in Madison, WI.  As a broker and Realtor, Anne specializes in residential real estate and helping clients achieve their home ownership goals.  She functions as a mentor for new Realtors, passing her knowledge along to those who want to learn.  Anne is the recipient of the Realtor of the Year award in 2014, her rookie year, which is presented to the outstanding realtor for the previous year.  She is consistently ranked in the top 5% of the South Central Wisconsin MLS realtors in volume.

Anne’s love of business and real estate is only outstripped by her passion for “unadoptable” rescue dogs: those who are elderly, the chronically ill, those who are deaf, blind, or missing legs, the behaviorally challenged.  She and her husband currently have nine such amazing rescue dogs in their forever home, after which her real estate company is named.

Anne also serves on the Tellurian Celebrity Golf Outing board, the board for Sunshine Place’s Sunshine Ball, is a director of the Realtors Association of South Central Wisconsin, the RASCAW Budget Committee, the responsible director for the South Central Wisconsin Affordable Housing Committee, and sits on the Wisconsin Realtors Association Annual Convention Board.  Anne is also the Lifeguard Captain for Ironman Wisconsin and serves as a judge for National History Day in Wisconsin.

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Marieka Schrader, BA, KPA-CTP
Board Member-at-Large

Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies

 

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

  • Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Program

  • Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals (LLA)

Marieka is currently an environmental planner and biologist in the Sacramento, California area. She has always loved animals and has lived with many animals over the years, but her real journey with behavior and training began about five years ago when she rescued two puppies, Maile and Koa. Since then she has been working with her girls, attending as many workshops and conferences as she can, and has become passionate about the science and theory behind animal behavior, as well as applied training methods. She is currently completing the Karen Pryor Academy dog training certification program. Marieka is passionate about helping educate people about animal behavior and positive training methods in order to help to improve their lives as well as those of animals under their care. She also has been taking classes and competing in canine nose work for the past three years, and is interested in doing more in that arena, such as wildlife detection and search and rescue.

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