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Karen talking to three dogs who are sitting

Hello.
I'm Karen

Photo by client Sarah Levitin

I want to help you and your pet live your best life together.

As a certified, professional dog and cat behavior consultant, my goal is to help you and your pet have a healthy, happy relationship. 

I believe that clear, consistent, kind communication is the most effective (and fun!) way for you and your pet to learn together. I don’t use pain or unpleasant experiences to teach you or your pets. No one learns well when they are in pain or are being told that they are "doing a bad job" or "doing it wrong."  .

Raising and caring for my own pets and for countless foster animals originally sparked my interest in animal behavior, but my mission and approach are also informed by years of volunteer and professional experience. I've had the privilege of working with pets and their guardians in private consultations as well as in shelter, daycare, and clinic settings. I’ve studied animal behavior and learning theory, actively pursue continuing education, and seek out opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and other pet care professionals.

I specialize in cat behavior and dogs dealing with fear and anxiety.

Finding and raising an orphaned neonatal kitten in 2007 changed the course of my life. I set about learning as much I could about feline behavior which sparked my passion for helping people better understand their cats. I’ve been working with cats professionally since 2013 and am one of three IAABC Certified Cat Behavior Consultants in New England.

​Early in my feline behavior career, a fearful dog picked me as her person. As with the kitten years before, my need to understand this dog consumed me. I knew I needed to gain specialized knowledge and skills to help her feel comfortable in the world. And now, I am committed to helping dogs like her and their people who – like I did - may feel helpless and confused about their dog’s behavior.

My approach as a pet behavior consultant is:

  • Comprehensive - I consider your pet's health, background, environment, and behavior. No one-size-fits-all solutions. Everything is tailored to your and your pet's unique circumstances.

  • Compassionate I'm drawn to those seeking a compassionate bond with their animals; people who value empathy and kindness as opposed to expecting mindless obedience from their pets. I especially appreciate clients who proactively seek support when they first recognize their pet is struggling.

  • Collaborative - I’m committed to working as a team with you and your pet - and including your veterinarian, veterinary behavior experts and other colleagues when needed – to find those comprehensive, compassionate solutions.  

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​What you can expect when working with me:

 

  • Responsiveness - I prioritize responsiveness. Inquiries and client concerns are addressed within 48 hours because I know that when you’re struggling you need relief and guidance ASAP.

  • Practical Application - My goal is to discover the underlying causes of your pet's behavior and empower you with insights that lead to effective, lasting solutions.

  • Reasonable Expectations - I understand the emotional toll pet behavior challenges can take. I will help you create realistic expectations for yourself and your pet. My recommendations take into account the environment, your mental and emotional bandwidth as well as your pet's challenges and abilities.

 

I bring my expertise to your doorstep and remain flexible by focusing on your pet and your specific situation.​​​​​

Education & Certifications:

  • Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)

  • Assoc. Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers)

  • ​Aggression in Dogs Master Course (Aggressivedog.com)

  • L.E.G.S. Applied Ethology Family Dog Mediation Professional Course

  • Fear Free Certified Professional (membership lapsed)

  • Feline & Canine Behavior Technology Diplomas (Companion Animal Sciences Institute)

  • Animal Behavior Consulting: Principles & Practices course (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)​

  • Human-Animal Bond and Shelter Medicine courses (Humane Society University)

  • Bachelor of Science, Biology (Syracuse University)

  • Master of Science, Higher Education (Syracuse University)

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