Melissa has been working with animals nearly all her life. Her love for animals was instilled in her by her father. “We always had dogs, as well as rabbits, ferrets, cats and untold numbers of other critters. My first love was an American Pit Bull Terrier named Penny. I still have an undying affinity for the breed. I believe that excellent training is key in keeping the harmony in the family and creating dogs that are loved and respected.”
Becoming a dog trainer was an easy decision for Melissa as she wanted a career that allowed her to work with animals and help people at the same time.
Melissa started volunteering for the Service Dog Program at SmartyPaws in November of 2014, a few months later she was hired as a Service Dog Trainer specializing in Hearing Alert Dogs. She is also the new lead trainer at SmartyPaws Day Care and Boot Camp on Mondays and Fridays at our North Rancho Rd. location.
As a Service Dog trainer Melissa works closely with PAL Humane Society, an organization that helps veterans and seniors by aiding with the expenses of food, grooming and training. And has plans to begin working with Pets for Vets as well.
Melissa is working on becoming an ADI (Assistance Dogs International) Hearing Alert Trainer for the Service Dog Program and in addition is also taking an ASL class to assist in the service dog program for the hearing impaired.