Lead Trainer/Manager: Tim Molina
Tim, a former member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, began working with dogs while in college He quickly became fascinated with the way dogs learn and what makes them "tick." As Tim was training, he realized that the dogs in his community were missing something: someone to work with aggressive dogs. He was quick to fill this gap and soon began working with dogs who had various issues. After graduation from college, Tim was asked to join the staff of the Humane Society of Central Texas, where he was able to place hands on 5,000 dogs a year.
Tim then joined the staff at Best Friends Animal Society, the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary. While at Best Friends, he developed a center for training and rehabilitation that focused on dogs who had behavioral issues and were frequently labeled dog-aggressive. Tim has conducted behavioral consultations with clients from all across North America and in the Philippines.
Tim comes to Happy Paws as the former Canine Behavior Specialist for the Virginia Beach SPCA. Tim holds professional memberships with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is an evaluator for both Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Pets Unlimited.
In his free time, Tim enjoys cycling and taking his dogs to the beach. Tim has two dogs, Daisy, a Labrador retriever, and Falcor, a Jack Russell terrier. He also enjoys training his three cats, Lincoln, McLovin, and Oboe.
Companion Pet Trainer: Lizze Davis
Lizzie grew up loving animals of all shapes and sizes. She began her career working at a horse barn that helped to rescue and rehabilitate ex-race horses and hoarding cases. While there she starting learning about animal behavior and the complexities of the animal mind. From there she worked at multiple veterinary hospitals and pet stores, but quickly found her love of animal behavior to be her true calling, and started training. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, she is currently working on her bachelors degree in psychology with a focus in the human/animal bond. In her free time she loves to take her dogs Neeko and Dexter on adventures. She also enjoys reading and tending to her multiple fish tanks.
Companion Pet Trainer: Vicki Keener
Vicki grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania where she cared for many animals including dogs and cats. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Masters in teaching. She worked as a teacher for many years.
While teaching she pursued her first love which is working with animals. She first worked as a Veterinarian Assistant but knew her interests where in behaviorism. She enrolled in the Animal Behavior College where she obtained her certification in dog training. In the process of getting certified, she volunteered at the VBSPCA and worked with trainers at the Merrimac Training facility. She then began holding classes at the VBSPCA and started working the Pets & Pals program where she showed troubled teens how to train dogs to make them more adoptable. In a couple of months, over 40 dogs where adopted out of this program.
Vicki then moved to New Mexico where she started her own dog training business. While in New Mexico she took some time off to attend a dog handling and behavior class and then worked at Best Friends Animal Society. Some of her responsibilities at Best Friends included assessing dog’s behavior, holding classes for the dogs/caretakers and working with a "project" dog to help her become more adoptable. Also, at that time, she obtained an additional dog training certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and became a Professional Member of APDT. In the past, she was an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a Pet First Aid Instructor.
Vicki enjoys playing beach volleyball and taking her two dogs Batman and Robin on long walks.
Feline Behavior Consultant: Shannon PhillipsShannon has been working in animal welfare for eight years, and exclusively with felines for four of those years. She recently completed the Cat Behavior and Retention Course offered by the Humane Society of the United States which focuses on correcting feline behavior issues while the cat is still in the home, before they are either put outside or surrendered to a shelter. In turn, she has worked with HSUS in implementing a Feline Behavior Hotline where the general public can call with feline behavior questions and receive advice for these issues.
Common behavior issues may include improper elimination or litter box aversion, destructive scratching or feline aggression. Her immediate goal is to help the public better understand and appreciate feline behavior and keep cats healthy and happy indoors with their human families. Shannon is also the Kennel Supervisor for the Norfolk Animal Care Center.