Kelly Cottrell, CTC
Kelly Cottrell is the Supervisor of Training and Behavior for the Louisiana SPCA. She is an Honors level graduate of the renowned Academy for Dog Trainers, known as the “Harvard for Dog Trainers," and shares her life with three rescued pit bull dogs: Villere, Kiana and Rosa. Kelly specializes in leash reactivity and works with private clients on modifying fear and aggression. She is committed to improving quality of life for dogs and their people through positive, reward-based training, and doing so in a way that is accessible for all learners involved.
Hollie Gomila is a Behavior and Training Consultant at the Louisiana SPCA. She currently studies at the renowned Academy for Dog Trainers, known as the “Harvard for Dog Trainers," and shares her life with her Cocker Spaniels, Coco and Roger, and Basset Hound, Josie. Hollie also holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and brings her astute critical thinking skills and thirst for knowledge to the department. Her approach toward training and behavior is rooted in the sciences of animal learning and dog behavior, which supports force-free methods that are fun and rewarding for dogs and their people!
Roger Bergez, CPDT-KA
Roger is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CCPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). In 2002, Roger crossed over from obsolete training methods to those based on science and love after reading The Culture Clash (Jean Donaldson) & Don’t Shoot the Dog (Karen Pryor). In 2007, Roger began his understudy with well-known local trainer & behavior consultant Gallivan Burwell, whom he still studies and teaches with. Roger’s primary interests are the ethology and behavioral ecology of the domestic dog, and anthrozoology. Roger’s influences include behaviorists Ian Dunbar & Patricia McConnell, biologists Ray Coppinger, L. David Mech, & Adam Miklosi, and anthrozoologist John Bradshaw.
Courtney Bayer began working with dogs as a teenager at a board and train facility in Bothell, Washington, and volunteering as a dog walker for Seattle’s Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). As a student at Loyola New Orleans she acquired the first dog of her own, a puppy named Gracie from Boxer Rescue, who turned out to be a loveable mess of behavioral issues. Thirteen years of training with Gracie, and now four years with her pit bull Bishop, have given Courtney a world of experience with various methods all leading to the belief that positive reinforcement is the best way to communicate with our dogs. Courtney has been active in rescue and shelter volunteering in New Orleans since 2007, and she and Bishop share their home with a boxer-pit mix named Fiona who came from foster care in Baton Rouge and two “Katrina Kitties,” Cosmo and Newman.
Michelle has had an interest in dog behavior since she was a child. She was formally introduced to the world of training four years ago with her rescue Pit mix, Dante, who proved to be a challenge and full energy. She began volunteering at Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) as a dog walker in 2011, and is now a shelter lead and assists in meet and greets and counseling individuals. She realizes the value of training lies more so with the person, than the animal, and is a firm believer of positive reinforcement. She believes in motivating dogs to help them learn how we want them to behave. Her mission is to help and educate individuals in the hopes of promoting pet retention through training. She currently shares her life with 2 dogs, a cat, and frequently fosters for animal shelters. Having a full house, she understands the need for constant training and positive reinforcement.
Sabrina Jacks shares her life with 3 dogs: Ignatius, Evangeline, and Molly. She has been working with dogs for 5 years, and became interested in training and agility when she adopted her deaf dog, Evangeline. "Evie" doesn't let her disability slow her down one bit; she loves to play and work. And Sabrina loves to channel that drive by making things that Evie loves contingent on good behavior.