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Trainers

Carrie Kessler, CPDT-KA

Carrie Kessler, CPDT-KACarrie Kessler attended her first dog training class at age 10 and has engaged in continuing education in the field ever since.

Carrie began volunteering at the Little Rock Animal Services shelter in 2004, working with the dogs to make them more adoptable. In 2006, she began training her own dogs in agility, studying under Lisa Mantle, and in 2009, she began training dogs professionally, specializing in basic obedience and “family manners.”

Carrie has attended several dog training workshops, seminars and courses,  studying under Dr. Patricia McConnell, Dana Crevling, Pia Silvanti, Sue Sternberg, Jane Kopelman, Brenda Aloff and Steve Wilson to name a few.

In 2010, she completed the Instructor Training Course in New York offered by Dogs of Course.

In 2011, she attended a week-long course in Georgia for K-9 Nose Work and also attended the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference in San Diego, California.

She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and has attained her Professional Dog Trainer certification.

“My training methods focus on positive reinforcement and honor each dog as an individual,” Carrie said.

In addition to her dog training interests, Carrie trained horses professionally from 1979 to 1986.

Carrie can be reached at cckessler@icloud.com.

Tracy Owen, CSDT-KA

Tracy Owen

Tracy Owen has been professionally training dogs since 2016. She was also one of the very first inmate trainers chosen for the Paws in Prison program in 2011-2014 while at the Hawkins Women's Unit.

From 2014-2016, Tracy began working with Sheridan Animal Control at the Sheriff’s Department through the ADC work release program. Upon Tracy's arrival she immediately started to turn the facility around. She found forever homes for over 360 dogs, and not a single dog was euthanized during her time there.

Tracy paroled out to Last Chance Arkansas in 2016 and has been rescuing dogs ever since. She has been certified through Paws 4 Hope as service and public access trainer and is an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator. She’s had two service dogs certified and is working on her third. Tracy now her own training business, Dogs-a-must.

Tracy has recently returned to prison, but in a completely different light. She has joined the team of professional trainers at Paws in Prison and is now giving back to the program that gave her the opportunity to find her calling in life.

Tracy is available for private training sessions and can be reached by phone at 501-804-3995 or by emailing dogsamust@icloud.com. 

Sandy Olivera

Sandy Olivera has over 20 years professional dog handling and training experience. She is currently the owner of Ozark Dog Training, LLC teaching private and small group classes in Mountain View, Arkansas and surrounding communities.

In the Chicago area she also owned her own dog training business doing mostly private in home classes for several years.

For 5 years Sandy worked full time as a Petsmart Area Trainer responsible for seeing that their positive methods were understood and followed by the dog trainers in 10 or more Chicago suburban Petsmart stores. And during that time she taught approximately 8-10 group dog training classes per week.

Sandy was certified CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer) from 2004 – 2013 choosing not to renew after 2013.

As a member of the APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) since 2000 she attended APDT conferences for continuing education. She also attended many seminars featuring the best dog trainers and behaviorists in the country/world.
She has experience in dog agility and flyball dog sports. One of her dogs was a registered therapy dog and involved in animal assisted therapy working with occupational therapists.

With BFA and MFA degrees in fine art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sandy's other passion is doing small and miniature paintings of animals.

She can be contacted at 870-214-9124 or ozarkdogtraining@yahoo.com.

Cecil Brannon

Cecil Brannon is the founding owner and head trainer of K9 Experience of Arkansas. He is a veteran of the US Navy in which he served for twenty years. He began his dog training twenty years ago under the tutelage of Anthony Smith at Little Rock K9 Academy. He specialized in civilian protection work, obedience, law enforcement patrol work, and eventually expanded on to narcotics detection.

Cecil is an incredible trainer that has a natural ability for imprinting young pups in preparation of work. He has worked dogs at Lackland Air Force Base and taken a training course with the world renowned trainer Koos Hassing of the Netherlands. His growth into service dogs for veterans has completed his transformation into an experienced and well-rounded trainer.

Dogs have always had a special place in Cecil's heart and it moves him to assist any dog owner to bring out a dogs natural working ability. He is always motivated by an eager dog and a willing handler. A world where dog owners are trained to increase the natural working ability of their dogs is a world worth striving for indeed.

For more information about K9 Experience of Arkansas, please visit www.k9experience.com. Cecil can be reached by phone at (501) 541-0201 or by emailing k9experienceofar@yahoo.com.

Paws in Prison is a non-profit program of the Arkansas Department of Correction. Make your tax-deductible donations today and save the lives of dogs. Thanks!
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Arkansas Department of Correction
6814 Princeton Pike
Pine Bluff, AR 71602
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