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Volunteer Committee Chairs

Laura Cassiday  – Feline Division

Michelle Martiya  – Equid Division

Don Hanson –  Advocacy Task Force

Judy Luther – Canine Division 

Debra Millikan –  Education Division 

Lorena Patti –  Inclusivity Division

Holden Svirsky –  Shelter & Rescue Division

Christina de Juan – Assistance Animal Division

 Dayle Pierce & Nathan Watson – British Isles Chapter 

Tersha Bateman – Republic of South Africa Chapter 

Guild Publications

Paula Garber – Editor BARKS from the Guild

Dr. Pam Shultz – Editor Pets & Their People


Niki Tudge – Executive Director

Rebekah King – Director of Operations

Kelly Fahey – Corporate Sales

Board of Directors Regional Operational Representatives

Debra Millikan – PPG Australia 

Louise Stapleton-Frappell – PPG British Isles

Don Hanson – PPG USA

The Guild Special Counsel

The following industry experts have made themselves available as special counsel to the Pet Professional Guild Steering Committee. We thank them for taking time out of their busy schedules to assist us in their areas of expertise. Their ongoing support is very much appreciated.

Jean Donaldson

Jean Donaldson holds degrees in Comparative Psychology and Music and competed in numerous dog sports before transitioning full-time to pet dog training in 1990.  Today, Donaldson is the principal instructor of The Academy for Dog Trainers, which she founded in 1999. She is the award-winning author of The Culture Clash, Mine! A Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs; Fight! A Guide to Dog-Dog Aggression; Dogs Are from Neptune; and Oh Behave! Dogs From Pavlov to Premack to Pinker. Her latest book, Train Like a Pro, is her first written for the lay audience and is about basic training for family dogs.

The Academy has over five hundred graduates practicing dog training and behavior counseling in most states in the US and 25 countries worldwide. Donaldson lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her dog, Buffy, adopted in 2002. When she is not working, she is an ardent baseball fan and student of evolutionary biology.

Dr. Karen L. Overall

Dr. Karen Overall received her BA, MA, and VMD degrees from Penn and her Ph.D. from UW-Madison. She completed her residency in behavioral medicine at Penn, is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior and is certified by the Animal Behavior Society as an Applied Animal Behaviorist. Dr. Overall has spent most of her teaching and research career at Penn, running the Behavior Clinic at Penn Vet for more than a dozen years, before moving to the Medical School to concentrate on research. Her ongoing research focuses on the neurobehavioral genetics of dogs and the development of normal and abnormal behaviors.

Dr. Overall has given hundreds of national and international presentations and short courses. She is the author of over 100 scholarly publications, dozens of textbook chapters, including Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals (1997) and Manual of Small Animal Clinical Behavioral Medicine (2012). She is the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research (Elsevier). In 2004, Dr. Overall was awarded the Cat Writer’s Association, Inc., Certificate of Excellence for “The Social Cat” column in Cat Fancy Magazine. In 2005, she was the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) Small Animal Speaker of the Year and in 2010 Dr. Overall was named one of “Bark’s 100 Best and Brightest” from Bark Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the dog world over the past 25 years.

In 2008, Dr. Overall was appointed by PA Governor Rendell to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Canine Health Board, and she serves on the US Department of Defense’s Blue Ribbon panel on canine post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). Dr. Overall shares her life and passions with her husband, Dr. Art Dunham, and their four rescue Aussies.

Victoria Stilwell

Victoria Stilwell is a dog trainer and behavior expert best known as the host of the international hit TV series It’s Me or the Dog through which she promotes the power, effectiveness, and safety of force-free, positive dog training. A best-selling author of three books, Train Your Dog PositivelyFat Dog Slim; and It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet, Stilwell is Editor-in-Chief of, President of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior, and the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training (VSPDT) – the premier network of world-class positive reinforcement dog trainers.

The recipient of multiple awards and a regular contributor to print, radio, digital and TV media as a dog behavior expert, Stilwell is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation and is heavily involved with organizations around the world to increase awareness of puppy mills, dogfighting, animal abuse, pet overpopulation, dog bite prevention and other animal-related causes. Stilwell is a National Ambassador for the American Humane Association and serves on the Advisory Boards of RedRover, DogTV, Dognition, The Grey Muzzle Organization, and Canine Assistants.

Dr. Lynn Honeckman

Dr.  Lynn R. Honeckman graduated from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1993, after undergraduate studies in biology, biochemistry, psychology, and animal sciences. Upon graduation, Dr. Honeckman moved to the Chicago area working in private practice with small animals, exotics, and wildlife rehabilitation.  After 4 years, she accepted a position as an associate veterinarian at New York’s North Shore Animal League America, the largest no-kill shelter in the United States. While there, Dr. Honeckman witnessed first-hand the huge number of pet relinquishments every day due to behavior problems. It is currently believed that behavior problems are the primary reason for dogs and cats to be taken to a shelter. While working at NSALA, Dr. Honeckman worked closely with the shelter’s Training Department along with New York area Veterinary Behavior Specialists to rehabilitate these pets. During this full-time position, Dr. Honeckman also worked in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey at a small animal/exotic practice, continuing her experience with birds, reptiles, and small mammals.

Dr. Lynn Honeckman relocated to Orlando, Florida in 1999 and has continued working as a general veterinarian in the Orlando area. For the past 15 years, she has worked as the facility veterinarian at the Southeast Regional Campus of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) located in Ocoee. She has continued to pursue her special interest in animal behavior by graduating from the Applied Clinical Behavior Medicine Course of the North American Veterinary Post Graduate Institute, both the general course offered in 2003, and the advanced courses in 2006 and 2011, taught by Dr. Karen Overall, BA, MA, VMD, PhD, DACVB.  Dr. Honeckman is a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the American Veterinary Medical Association. She remains fascinated with the power of the pet-owner relationship and looks forward to helping to prevent and treat any behavior issues which may interfere with this bond.  

James O’Heare

James O’Heare is a behaviorologist, having earned his Doctoral Certificate in Behaviorology from The International Behaviorology Institute, and is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. O’Heare has worked with people and their companion animals (dogs, cats, parrots, ferrets, rats, rabbits, etc.) for over 15 years, and has written over 15 books geared to professionals, which are published throughout the world and translated into several languages.

The Companion Animal Sciences Institute (CASI), which O’Heare founded, now provides a completely behaviorological set of courses and programs of study at the technologist level (i.e., basic professional proficiency, not full professional behaviorologist level). The courses have been approved for consideration toward certification and as continuing education units toward recertification requirements by the industry’s leading professional associations and certifying bodies.

O’Heare also founded the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP). This professional association for behaviorologically-oriented animal behavior technologists provides certification and other benefits such as the only peer–reviewed journal for animal behavior technologists, the Journal of Animal Behavior Technology (JABT). Both educational resources work to expand the influence of behaviorology within this field.  O’Heare currently teaches behaviorology through The Companion Animal Sciences Institute.

Dr. Robert King

Dr. Robert King received his B.B.A. in Marketing, an M.B.A. in marketing, and a M.S. in Finance & Economics from West Texas A&M University before earning a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Mississippi. Dr. King teaches principles of marketing and advertising to undergraduates as well as marketing strategy to graduate students.  He serves on several boards of directors as well as enjoying his own small business ventures and uses this knowledge to aid in the teaching of his class. Dr. King’s research includes a wide variety of topics, but most fall under the scope of marketing strategy, electronic word-of-mouth, technology use in business, and business ethics.  His work has appeared in the Journal of Interactive MarketingAMS ReviewJournal of Business EthicsVOLUNTASJournal of Global Business Management, Journal of Business & Economic Research, and Empirical Economic Letters. Dr. King enjoys spending time with his wife and their two dogs.  When not at work, he enjoys reading and cooking.

Helen Phillips

Helen Phillips is the owner of the ‘Clicker Gundog’ Training Center. She is a qualified teacher and an Instructor for The Gundog Club. Phillips has an extensive understanding of living with and working with hunting dogs as she has been shooting and working dogs in the field for over 30 years and has been breeding Hungarian Vizslas since 1998.

Phillips teaches a Canine Training & Behavior Course at Warwickshire College and is an active assessor for the Learning About Dogs Clicker Trainers Competency Assessment Program.  She trained with Kay Laurence for many years and taught Clicker Training workshops at Wagmore Barn in Gloucestershire. She teaches a variety of Clicker Training and Gundog courses around the world, as well as at her own training center in the UK, and is the author of the popular Clicker Gundog training book.

Gundogs have inherited specialized skills that have been honed over hundreds of generations. Phillips takes this natural skill, enhances it, and uses it to enrich a working partnership that is a joy to experience. With Clicker Gundog the focus is on learning how to develop a partnership using reinforcement strategies and how to use careful planning so that you build a high level of control that exceeds the stimuli of the hunt and shoot. Phillips has developed a range of workshops and seminars to help teach these skills to both the handler and the dog.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is a Certified Behavior Consultant, Canine Certified Professional Dog Trainer (KA), past president of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (US), and past board member of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Miller worked at the Marin Humane Society in Novato, California from 1976 to 1996, first as a volunteer, then in customer service, as a humane officer, Customer Service Supervisor, Field Supervisor, and for the final ten years as Director of Operations. During this time, she obtained an Associate Degree in Administration of Justice and a BS in Business Administration. In 1996, Miller left the Humane Society to launch Peaceable Paws in Monterey, California.

Miller now offers group good manners classes, private training and behavior modification services, dog training workshops and trainer academies at her Peaceable Paws 80-acre training facility in Fairplay, Maryland, where she and her husband, Paul, live with their three dogs, eight cats, four horses, five chickens, and a pot-bellied pig. In addition, Miller presents seminars and workshops around the world on a variety of training and behavior topics. She has authored seven books on dog behavior and training: The Power of Positive Dog TrainingPositive Perspectives; Positive Perspectives 2Play with Your DogDo-Over DogsHow to Foster Dogs; and Beware of the Dog. Miller is the Training Editor for The Whole Dog Journal and also writes for several other publications. She joined the PPG Special Counsel in March 2018.

In May of 2015, Miller was named by Dog Fancy Magazine as one of 45 people who have changed the dog world.

Robert Hewings

Author of the recently published Introduction to Canine Scent-Work and head of learning and development for the UK College of Scent Detection, Robert Hewings is a highly experienced Canine Trainer. He retired from the Metropolitan Police after 30 years of exemplary service, twenty-five of which was as a Police Dog Handler, and the final nine years as a full-time trainer with the Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment. He has enhanced this experience with a BSc (Canine Training and Behavior), MA (Professional Practice Police Dog Training), and a Doctorate of Professional Practice (PhD) Canine Scent Detection.

Robert Hewings has instructed all police canine-search disciplines, including explosive search and narcotics, supporting his instruction with practical experience gained in London, UK where he has supported many large events including the 2012 Olympics, Wimbledon Tennis, and protecting the Royal Family.  During his time at the prestigious Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment (2007-2016), Robert Hewings headed the training for SWAT dogs and was active in the instruction and development of all aspects of Police Dog and Handler Training. He played an active role in the instruction and development of the ‘Canine Training Instructor,’ authoring two training manuals, and designing coaching programs that have enhanced the effective performance of operational dog handlers.

After his retirement in 2016, Robert Hewings took on new challenges to complete his desire to learn, including lecturing at university (BSc Canine Behavior and Training) where he specialized in ‘Assistance Dog Training’ and practical assistance dog training using scent-work within epilepsy-alert, diabetes-alert, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder alert. Along with writing his recently published book, he also attended Bergin University of Canine Studies where he gained valuable insight into assistance dog training, particularly for PTSD sufferers.

Chirag Patel

Chirag Patel PG Cert (CAB), BSc (Hons), DipCABT is a training and behavior consultant that runs UK-based Domesticated Manners, which he started in 2004. He is passionate about applying behavior science to the training and care of animals living under human care. He consults with pet owners, organizations such as Guide Dogs for the Blind UK and the Kong company, as well as with zoos.

Patel gives seminars internationally and writes for popular dog magazines and blogs. He also works part time as an Assistant Head of Canine Training and Behavior at Dogs Trust and is the scientific advisor for the British & Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums Training Group. Previously Patel managed the Training and Behavior Centre at Dr. Roger Mugford’s Company of Animals.

Chirag Patel has a BSc (Hons) in veterinary sciences from the Royal Veterinary College in London as well as a post-graduate certificate at the University of Lincoln in Clinical Animal Behavior under veterinary behaviorists Professor Daniel Mills and Helen Zulch. He has also previously worked at the University as head trainer clicker training rats and degus for odor discrimination and indication. Currently Patel is doing his MSc in Applied Behavior Analysis at Queens University, Belfast.

Karen Wild

Karen Wild, Dip. App. Psych, CCAB, MBPsS has both a degree and a diploma in psychology from the University of Nottingham, England.

A certified clinical animal behaviorist and qualified dog training instructor, Wild is a strong advocate of positive reinforcement-based training methods for both pets and their people. She runs a full-time behavior practice, Pawprint, near Peterborough, England, where her mission is to improve the relationship between pets and their families.

Karen Wild also lectures on behavior practice, practical training and consultation, for Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England, and on the professional diploma for clinical animal behavior at Central College for Animal Studies, England. Most recently she has specialized in behavior and puppy work, but her career has ranged from class teaching, obedience, flyball, agility and working trials competition to running a popular dog display team.

Wild writes on dog behavior and training for Dogs TodayPet Product MarketingPETS InternationalDogs Monthly, and Pet Focus and is also a guest blog writer for Dr. Ian Dunbar’s website, Dog Star Daily. She has authored three books: What Your Dog Wants21 Days to the Perfect Dog, and Being a Dog.

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