Training Center and Team
The Humane Society of Boulder Valley's 3,000-square-foot Training & Behavior Center was unveiled in 2007. Since then, it has served as the home of lots of tail wagging (and lots of learning!).
Our professional trainers help more than 5,000 clients every year build a foundation of positive behavior and strengthen their bond with their pets. When class isn't in session, you'll often find one of our professional trainers giving some personal attention to a dog who needs a little extra help polishing his or her skills before he or she can be adopted.
From learning to sit to how to address separation anxiety to how to help your dog become an agility athlete, our trainers are here for you and your pet. See you in class!
Psst... we haven't gone to the dogs! We also offer behavior consultations for your feline friends! Just give us a call at 303-442-4030. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Training & Behavior Center is located on the second floor of the shelter (take the stairs or the elevator then look to your left) at 2323 55th Street in Boulder.
Our Training and Behavior Team
Director of Animal Sheltering and Behavior
Bridgette joined the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in 1995 and since then has enjoyed a variety of roles. Since 2002, Bridgette has been the Director of Shelter Services with oversight of staff conducting animal assessments and transfer program coordination, as well as the team of adoption specialists who assist potential adopters in the selection of a next pet. In 2014, Bridgette assumed the additional responsibility of overseeing HSBV’s Training and Behavior department. Bridgette is responsible for the selection and appointment of animals benefitting from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s behavior modification programs and works closely with the Chief Shelter Veterinarian to provide clinical therapies to b-mod patients as needed. Bridgette enjoys contributing to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s public training class curriculum as an experienced strategist and client service enthusiast. Bridgette and her husband, Greig, own the Barking Dog Café in Lyons, Colorado and live in Longmont with their son, Landin, three dogs, and box turtles.
Allison Hartlage, CTC, CNWI, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA
Manager of Animal Training and Behavior
Originally from Kentucky, Allison graduated from the University of Georgia in 2003 and shortly after relocated to Oregon. She began volunteering with Oregon Humane Society and in 2008 attended the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, where she received her certification as a Canine Trainer and Behavior Counselor (CTC), graduating with honors. She then returned to Portland and spent three years working with companion animals at a private daycare and training business before relocating to Boulder in 2011.
Allison is passionate about force-free, science-based training and behavior modification and feels fortunate to live and work in such a supportive community.
Allison is a member of APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, a Certified Nose Work Instructor, a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy and holds her CPDT-KA (Certified Pet Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed).
She shares her home with her shelter dog Mollie and three rescued kitties – Maya, Marley and Lucky.
Anita Hurley, ABCDT, CPDT-KA
Supervisor of Animal Training and Behavior
Anita moved to Boulder in 2001 from Toronto, Canada and began volunteering with animals at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. She was a veterinary assistant with the organization’s clinic from 2001 to 2011. Anita received her pet dog training certification with honors from The Animal Behavior College and is currently enrolled in Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers pursuing the highest level of education in the dog training field. Anita is a CPDT-KA (Certified Pet Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed). She shares her home with two shelter alumni: Pinky, a comical Boston Terrier and Pau, a Canine Good Citizen Pitbull mix.
Helena Kokes, IAABC
Training and Behavior Senior Consultant, specializing in canines and felines
Helena comes to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley from the Dumb Friends League in Denver and has been conducting training and behavior counseling for both cats and dogs since 2003. Helena has a B.S. in both Biology and Zoology with an emphasis on behavior. In September of 2008, Helena was accepted as an associate member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Counselors. Helena brings extensive knowledge and experience with cat behavior, which has included implementing and running kitten training classes. Helena is thrilled to contribute her love and understanding of both cats and dogs and is excited to be a part of the positive trainers' team at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. Helena gladly shares her life with 3 dogs - Cami, Tucker, and Bu-her personal cat Nermal, and foster kittens and cats!
Jodee Cole, ABCDT
Training and Behavior Consultant
Jodee graduated from Animal Behavior College in 2012 as an ABCDT. In 2013 she accepted an internship at HSBV to immerse herself in animal learning and behavior. During this time, Jodee continued to volunteer at HSBV, assisting with animal care, adoptions, and helping in the training center. In May 2014 Jodee became an employee at HSBV and currently splits her time between the Training Center and working as an adoption specialist.
Jodee is so happy to work with such amazing animals and all of the people who love them! She is fortunate to share her home with an absolutely wonderful senior Rat Terrier named Casey, and two very special cats named Ashton (an HSBV alumnus) and Tonka. She also cares for a variety of other critters.
Kimberly Mcrae, CPDT-KA
Training and Behavior Consultant
Originally from Southern Indiana, Kimberly moved to Denver in 2015 to pursue her passion for animals and learning theory. She is committed to helping guardians understand how to communicate with their dogs. Kimberly is a former volunteer with the Kentucky Humane Society and has experience working with guardians and their pets one-on-one. She is a member of the Associate of Professional Dog Traingers and the Pet Professional Guild, and holds her CPDT-KA (Certified Pet Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed). Kimberly is committed to force-free training and believes that the power to control one's own outcomes is essential to behavioral health. Kimberly has a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Indiana University. She resides in Denver with her boyfriend and their two rescue dogs, Gixxer and Taco.
Tessa is a Boulder native and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2016. She completed Karen Pryor's Dog Trainer Foundations Course in 2015 and began volunteering at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley to get her fill of tail wags and slobbery kisses. Soon after, she began assisting with puppy socialization classes and with behavior modification for the shelter dogs, and quickly caught the "training bug." She is currently enrolled in the Dog Trainer Professional Program through Karen Pryor Academy and hopes to earn her certification in December of 2017. Tessa is passionate about the life-changing effect pets can have on their people, and is committed to using force-free and science-based training techniques to help promote that bond. She regularly volunteers with a local service dog organization and hopes to one day train service animals to help people with PTSD and other disabilities.
Originally from Louisiana, Jackie moved to Colorado in 2014 to pursue her passion for sharing her life and career with dogs. She began working at HSBV as an Adoption Specialist in 2015 and volunteered in the Training and Behavior Center during the summer of 2016, which further sparked her joy for training and behavior. Jackie is a Pet Professional Guild provisional member and is enrolled in Jean Donaldson's Academy for Dog Trainers where she is pursuing her Certificate in Training and Counseling. Jackie now splits her time working in the Training and Behavior Center and as an Animal Welfare Associate in the Animal Shelter. She shares her home with her husband and two dogs, Drake and Bacchus.
Contracted Professional Trainers:
Andy Merryman, CTC
Andy graduated from Rollins College with a BA in Education. Following graduation, she moved to Baltimore, MD where she completed an MS Degree at Johns Hopkins University in Administrative Science. While there, she also enjoyed volunteering at the National Aquarium.
In 1999 she and her family moved to Boulder. While raising her two girls, Andy began fostering animals and volunteering at HSBV. In her desire to help rescue animals in a larger capacity and attain increased knowledge, Andy volunteered and completed an internship in the Training and Behavior Center at HSBV. During this internship her affinity for positive reinforcement training grew and she enrolled in Jean Donaldson's Academy for Dog Trainers. In 2014, Andy graduated as a Certified Trainer and Counselor (CTC).
She lives in Boulder with her husband, Jim and four HSBV alumni, including two dogs - Addy and Bella- and two cats- Oreo and Henry. When not working at HSBV, Andy can be found hopping a plane to either coast to visit one of her daughters.
Lindsey Dreszer, CTC
Lindsey is originally from Massachusetts and graduated from New York University. She then spent several years in San Francisco, working in advertising and volunteering at animal rescue groups helping with everything from puppy socialization to foster to event planning. In order to pursue her dream of working with shelter dogs, Lindsey left San Francisco to spend a year studying dog behavior and animal learning while volunteering at shelters across the country. She then settled in Boulder in 2014 and completed the Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s Behavior Modification Immersion Program. Lindsey is now a consultant for our Training Center and is so excited to be living her dream of helping dogs and their families. She lives with two rescued dogs of her own, a beagle mix named Gracie and a pit bull named Kona.