Meet the Staff...
Leah Russell has been a part of the ABC family since early 2014. Leah’s genuine love of animals, energetic work ethic and desire to keep the dogs happy and active makes her the perfect addition to our staff. Leah will play fetch with the dogs for hours and you will often see her cuddling the dogs or helping them build their confidence by teaching them to climb the play equipment. Leah also assists with grooming and training classes. When she is not at ABC, Leah works as the assistant Animal Control Officer of Old Lyme. She is certified in Pet CPR and Disaster Response, and has attended numerous conferences taught by esteemed trainers such as Pia Silvani, Sue Sternberg and Michael Shikashio. We are proud to have her as a part of the team at ABC, and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for her here!
Kevin joined our team in October of 2018. With his history and experience he has already proven himself to be a great addition here at ABC. Kevin started his career in dog training working with the Hearts of Gold service dog training program at West Virginia University. He is a dog trainer with 6+ years of professional dog training experience. He has worked at various dog daycares while hosting group obedience classes. In addition to group classes, Kevin has also offered in home and on location private training sessions. He is a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and looks forward to working towards becoming a CPDT certified trainer!
Jeremy started his adventure in the pet industry with us here at ABC in September of 2018. He came to us with knowledge and experience with rescues, pet sitting, and horses! We value how sweet he is with your dogs in the yard and how eager he is willing to learn with assisting obedience classes. Jeremy has two rescues, a 13 year old blood hound named Otis and a 6 year old cairn terrier mix named Pepsi. When he's not here at ABC you can catch him hitting the trails and hiking through the woods.. Jeremy continues to study dog behavior and language and even hopes to become a trainer himself!
Fred joined our team at the start of 2019. He came to us with over two years of experience with working with dogs in a dog daycare! He has a great love for animals, especially dogs ever since he was young. Fred is continuously challenging himself in his trade by studying dog behavior and language non-stop! On his time off, Fred enjoys painting, playing video games, and exercising!
Danielle attended Saint Joseph’s college in West Hartford majoring in business management. Danielle also has her dog training certification from CT K-9 in newington. Having four dogs of her own ranging from a Great Pyrenees to a chihuahua she loves all dogs big and small! Danielle has been working with dogs over the past ten years from in the pet store environment to private training classes. When not working with dogs you can find Danielle at the beach or in the woods with her own pack dogs!
Elizabeth has a long history of raising, training, and volunteering with dogs. With her family, she was a Fidelco foster, working with German Shepherd puppies on socialization and basic obedience until they were old enough to begin formal guide training. That experience introduced her to positive training and gave her a passion for creating healthy relationships with our dogs. She made a career change and began working at a training, boarding, and daycare facility while living in Texas, where she was also a volunteer trainer to help shelter dogs become ready for their forever families. Now back home in Connecticut, Elizabeth was thrilled to join the ABC family in February 2019. You will find her working (and snuggling!) with your dogs in the yard, taking more dog photos than her phone can handle, assisting with grooming, and teaching group classes. She and her dog Brady also love hiking and camping and, of course, watching Patriots football!
Steven has always had a passion for animals since he was a young boy growing up in a family who always had dogs or cats. The one dog who really impacted him the most was a lab/terrier mix named “Trixie”. She could swim, climb trees and even dribble a soccer ball like a champ!
When Steven joined our team in February of 2017, he already acquired over a year’s experience of animal care through another local boarding and day care facility. He is a retired science teacher who has worked in various systems in the state of CT over the past 28 years. He had the privilege of working with thousands of great students during his career. He is excited to now explore a second professional path with a new variety of “4-legged” students – the ones who were often blamed for missing homework assignments in his previous vocation.
In addition to earning a B.S in Environmental Science and Biology from Eastern CT State University and Master’s Degree in Teaching from Sacred Heart University, Steven also has obtained his Veterinary Nursing Assistant Certificate through his continuing education in the animal care industry. He attended both Manchester Community College, as well as, Three Rivers Community College where he received 56 hours of Feline, Canine and Equine Animal Behavior curriculum.
He has completed both Knowing Dogs 101 and 201 through the Dog Gurus video and workbook series. In addition, he has attended a seminar with Mike Shikashio on working with canine aggression cases.
When he is not at work, he likes to spend time with his family and their two black Lab mixes, Joy and Angelo. Steven is proud to be entrusted with the care of your beloved dogs and thoroughly enjoys maintaining a safe and friendly environment in which your family pets can socialize, frolic and play.