Meet our trainer!
Dana Lynn VanSickle
Certified Professional Dog Trainer; IAABC Shelter Behavior Affiliate; Graduate with Distinction VS Academy
Dana holds a B.S. in Organizational Leadership & Management and is also a Graduate with Distinction of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior. She continues her education in animal behavior through seminars across the country, and is currently enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior. Dana is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Shelter Behavior Affiliate (SBA) of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Pet Professional Guild member, a PPG Pet Dog Ambassador Instructor/Assessor, and Association of Professional Dog Trainers member.
Dana has been working with homeless animals and the humans that love them since 2004. Over the years she has provided hundreds of hours consulting on behavior and helping adopters get started on the right paw with their new dog or cat. Dana has also worked with a variety of exotics, including chimps, tigers, coyotes, bison, a kangaroo, and various farm animals. She is a former member of the University of Virginia riding team, handler at several PATH Accredited equine therapy organizations, and operations lead at the Doris Day Equine Center in Texas. She has fostered countless dogs, many with special needs; currently, she and husband Ryan share their home with Georgia SPCA alumni "Hope Rising."
Dana first came to CMACC in early 2016 as a Dogs on the Run volunteer. She participated in various programs here before being recruited as an Assistant Animal Trainer. The rest, as they say, is history! Her training methods focus on positive reinforcement and force-free guidance. Dana believes, "anybody can force or intimidate behaviors out of an animal, but it takes skill and deference to build a relationship with an animal and then inspire them to work with you." In all her efforts, she hopes to help people understand animals better. As animal behavior expert Temple Grandin wrote, "We owe them a decent life and a decent death, and their lives should be as low-stress as possible… I wish animals could have a good life, with something useful to do."