MEET THE DHARMA TEAM

The strength of the PACK is the WOLF and the strength of the WOLF is her PACK.  

-Rudyard Kipling

 

When I started my company I was a lone wolf, trying to do it all on my own, but over time realized that we can help more dogs and humans by working together, and are stronger as a pack. Over the years some pretty amazing ladies have come into my life and added so much value to our pack.  I would not be where I am today without them and I am so proud to have them as part of my Dharma Dog Pack! 

Kelley McAtee & Dharma Dog Pack

Owner & Master Trainer 

READ BIO HERE

 

Kelley's passion for animals was sparked in college, where she focused her studies on animals in society.  After graduation she found it hard to find jobs working with animals, so began volunteering with local animal rescue groups and started a non-profit and delved into the world of animal welfare.  During this time she also struggled with her own dogs serious behavior issues, contacting trainers, rescues, and behaviorists to help. But left feeling hopeless and frustrated by a failed by a system lacking the tools to help them. 

After 6 years of pet sitting and dog walking, she felt something was missing and wanted to help animals on a larger level.  She was determined to figure out how to deal with serious behavior issues that dogs were being euthanized every day for and became the first trainer to bring this style of training to the Omaha Metro are. She has helped thousands of dogs, dedicating her life to help others going through the same issues with their dogs.  This is not just a job for her...this is her Dharma.  

Gina Rotella & Vito

Head Trainer & Behavior Specialist

 

Gina has been an animal lover all her life and grew up with dogs. She used to play vet on her dogs growing up and adored spending time with them, especially her best friend Champ the boxer who ended up passing of cancer at the age of seven.  She began rescuing and saving animals from a young age from bunnies, frogs, ants, worms, and taking care of cats and dogs.   Gina has a heart for all living things and does everything she can to help them.  She began veterinary technician school but realized her passion was more about rescuing and helping homeless animals.  Gina volunteered her time walking dogs, taking them to rescue adoption events, also organized the fundraising efforts, coordinated the adoptions and handled the dog introductions and follow ups with new adopters to ensure the adoptions went smoothly. 

 

We are so lucky to have Gina as part of the Dharma Dog Training team who dedicates her time to ensure this will be your dog's forever home.  She uses her expertise in rescue and training to give you the tools you need to ensure you have the tools you need to communicate with your dogs in a way they understand.  She loves dogs and has a passion for helping her clients! Gina is our Head Trainer, conducting private sessions, group classes,  assists with board and trains, workshops and socialization sessions! 

 

Heidi Vana & Pack

Head Trainer & Behavior Specialist

Heidi has always had a great love for dogs and passion to help homeless pups.  She has volunteered with various local rescues in many capacities for more than 20 years and has been a foster failure numerous times.  Heidi's current pack of 6 dogs are all rescues that began as fosters but very quickly became her forever furbabies so she knows what you are going through. Her energy is infectious and she is an inspiration to those around her! 
 

Heidi has worked with hundreds of homeless dog throughout her many years of volunteering, and since she couldn't adopt them all, she began to search for a better way to help dogs and families stay together. The answer came when Heidi's personal pack began to have in-pack fighting and human aggression issues.   After personally learning and living the Dharma Dog Training process to help her pack get into a more balanced state of mind, Heidi knew that Dharma was the key to helping so many more dogs! We are so lucky to have her as part of our team and to help more families adjust to life with a rescue dog! 

Lucy Kaplan & Butter

Head Trainer & Behavior Specialist

Lucy has a profound love for animals that started at an early age and has led to a variety of jobs in the world of animal care. Her work experience includes caregiver at a local shelter and, most recently, owning a pet sitting business. While working at the shelter, Lucy became acutely aware of the pet retention problem in our country, and quickly determined behavioral issues are the leading cause of pet returns. 

Lucy adopted her dog, Butter, from a shelter in 2016, and his serious behavioral issues led her to seek out training. Butter's reactivity was so extreme that Lucy was terrified to leave the house with him. After completing a training program with Dharma, Lucy went on to be part of the Dharma Apprenticeship Program. The apprenticeship program led Lucy to realize this is her passion, and what she was meant to do! Lucy is now eager to show others that a new life with, and for, their dogs can be achieved, given the proper knowledge and tools. This training forever changed both Lucy and Butter’s lives.  Lucy is excited to help others enjoy a harmonious relationship with their animals, and we are so lucky to have her! 

Pack Leaders & Apprentices

Dharma Dog Training has become a local leader in our industry and we have unique programs to teach other people that are interested in helping more dogs and humans. Our Interns, Apprentices, and Pack Leaders are an integral part of what we do to reach as many people and dogs we can by working together.  Our Apprentices work along side our Dharma Dog Trainers on sessions studying, assisting and learning about the Dharma way. Our Pack Leaders help out at Dharma events and work with rescues and shelters to help others understand how to better help dogs in their care. We all work together to help more dogs and their humans. 

Clients & Dogs

Dharma Dog Training would not be where we are today without the most amazing and dedicated owners on the planet. Their dedication to their dogs inspires us to continue to do this work to help them achieve the best possible life they can have with their four legged friends and those dogs and humans becomes teachers for others. They are the example of what we want to see for dogs in our world. We have saved many dogs lives by working together as a team to ensure their dogs are advocated for and get the help they need physically and mentally. We would not be able to do this work if it was not for their support over the years, so we are incredibly grateful to them. 

The Heartland's Premier Dog Training & Behavior Specialists

"Our goal is to empower dog owners with the tools to help keep their dogs healthy,

happy and in their homes!"

 

LOCATED IN POTTAWAMIE COUNTY

SERVING SOUTHWEST IOWA & THE GREATER OMAHA, NE METRO AREA:

IOWA: Council Bluffs, Crescent, Honey Creek, Underwood, Neola, Oakland, Carson, Treynor, Macedonia, Henderson, Silver City, Mineola, Glenwood, Hastings, Malvern, Emerson, Pacific Junction, Red Oak

 

NEBRASKA: Omaha, Papillion, Bellevue, Elkhorn, Gretna, Plattsmouth, Yutan, Wahoo, Fremont, Ashland, Fort Calhoun, Blair, Ponca Hills, Valley, Mead, South Bend, Louisville, Manley, Weeping Water, Murdock, South Bend, Lincoln, Kearney, Grand Island

 

 

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