Meet our staff and trainers!
Roxanne has been working with SKDT since June 2015 and loves getting to work with the dogs! She has three dogs and two cats of her own. She has also fostered and volunteered for local rescues as well as working at a pet store. To quote Roxanne, her favorite part of the job is "getting to make friends with all the dogs! I love when a dog comes in for its first day of daycare a little nervous and then is smiling and wagging their tail in no time! I've learned a lot working at SKDT and learn more with every day and every dog. It's a job full of love and compassion and I couldn't imagine doing anything different!"
Klaire began working at SKDT in the spring of 2016, but has been assisting in training classes since August 2015. Both of Klaire's dogs work with her at SKDT and help newcomers and dogs who need play therapy feel right at home. Klaire says her favorite part of the job is getting the know the clients: "I love building relationships with the clients and their dogs. And getting to see many dogs stay with us from puppy class on up!" Klaire works every aspect of the SKDT program--including intake, training sessions, and teaching classes.
Piper Lee CPDT-KA, CGC Evaluator
I was born and raised here in Springfield and have been around dogs all my life. Throughout my family there have been Brussels Griffons and Shar Peis all the way up to Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds, so I definitely have had my fair share of different sizes and breeds! My first endeavour training my own dog was when my new Boxer puppy, Caesar, arrived at my house in the fall of 2012. At 10 weeks old, I enrolled Caesar in Puppy class at Galloway Vet and from then on I was hooked. I got to know our trainer well during our Puppy and Simply Self Control classes and then started helping in Puppy class at Galloway. From there I have expanded into almost all the classes as an instructor. Sometimes I show up just to help! I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) and the first to be "homegrown" through SKDT! Along with my CPDT, I am an AKC CGC Evaluator. Through SKDT, I have found myself wanting to help other people and their dogs be the perfect sidekicks for each other!
Debra Massey CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP
When I was in 3rd grade my parents gave me a Border Collie. He was my best friend and first training partner. Then when I was a Senior on high school my boyfriend gave me an Australian Shepherd. A new world of herding opened! We started competing in trials. At one point I trained 6 dogs simultaneously. College consumed my time and only allowing me to train part time for several years. I was introduced to obedience competition at a local training facility with my Rottweiler. Our first time in the ring we were tied for High In Trial but due to a lack of experience I did not participate in the run off. We finished his career by winning first place in all his classes except one where we placed 2nd. After a self-imposed break I learned about force free training and the APDT association, where I felt training was fun again! I started my teaching career and made my classes as fun and force free as possible. In 2014 I attended Karen Pryor training academy. I even had to train a fish. I graduated and became a certified Training Partner in 2015. That same year I become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. I also met the wonderful people at SKDT and started teaching classes. I felt I'd come home and found my place in the world of dog training. I now teach the beginning classes and my own advanced classes. I'm always learning from the dogs and people I interact with. Currently I'm studying at the University of Tennessee to become a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer.
Although I was born and raised in St. Louis, I say that I'm from a small town in the country. I knew I loved dogs when I had a giant Rottweiler that was just as afraid of the chickens as I was. Being an only child, my pets meant more to me than just owner and animal. The bond I have between each of my animals is important to me. I believe that our pets play an important role in family dynamics. With that being said, it's our job to encourage positive behavior and raise a beautiful family!