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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.


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.

Mara Velez, Ivy and Nala-3.jpg
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’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,’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.

Ali Sutch
Social Media Manager

Bachelor of Science, Environmental Studies

Ali was formerly the Volunteer Manager for Rocket Dog Rescue and was an Education Specialist for the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. She is now a Care Navigator for the Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) program at the Shanti Project. Ali is currently enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training.  Ali is the brains behind our social media strategy and is a crucial member of our team.


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.

Anna Wong, KPA-CTP
Board President 

Master of Public Administration, Criminal Justice and Education
Bachelor of Arts, East Asian Studies and Business

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional

Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals (LLA) (planned Summer 2020)

Dr. Chris Pachel’s The Great Big Dog Workshop

Lori Steven’s Four Legged, Fit & Confident

Memberships and Certification

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner


Anna’s love of dog training blossomed after she adopted her dog Kempie. She was introduced to positive reinforcement training through a puppy kindergarten class and was hooked. Anna earned her dog training certification through Karen Pryor Academy. She runs Mutts Have Fun: Training You and Your Dog, a dog training business in Oakland, CA, and teaches group classes at the East Bay SPCA. Outside of training dogs, Anna has worked for over a decade to make our criminal justice systems more humane and equitable. A dream is to bring together her passion for social justice with her love of dogs by supporting positive reinforcement-based dog training opportunities for people inside prison, as well as those returning home after incarceration. Anna is dedicated to continuously improving her knowledge of animal behavior and behavioral change through coursework, coaching, and hands on experience. She seeks to provide high quality service to her clients, exercise compassion with people and animals, and bring understanding and joy to our relationships with our pets.

Anne Baranski

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.

Lawrence Padua

Laurence has a background working in fund cultivation and capacity building for community-based organizations. He has experience in business and curriculum development, project management, and community organizing. He currently works in Public Health, focusing on professional development, advancing internal learning communities, growing communication channels, and quality improvement.


He is an editor and author, and will be published in the forthcoming California Dreaming from University of Hawai’i Press. As a Rockefeller Fellow, he conducted research on the creative contributions of Filipinos in Hawai’i from the first wave of plantation workers to their descendants. He has a special place in his heart for senior dogs and toy breeds.

Marieka Schrader
Board Member-at-Large

Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies


Animal behavior and training related programs completed
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.

Lynn Webb
Board Member-at-Large

Master of Arts, American History
Bachelor of Arts, History

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional

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)

Certified Canine Massage Therapist


Lynn Webb is a Certified Training Partner (KPA CPT), 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.