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Carrie Kessler, CPDT-KA

Carrie Kessler


Carrie Kessler attended her first dog training class at age 10 and has engaged in continuing education in the field ever since.

Carrie began volunteering at the Little Rock Animal Services shelter in 2004, working with the dogs to make them more adoptable. In 2006, she began training her own dogs in agility, studying under Lisa Mantle, and in 2009, she began training dogs professionally, specializing in basic obedience and “family manners.”

Carrie has attended several dog training workshops, seminars and courses,  studying under Dr. Patricia McConnell, Dana Crevling, Pia Silvanti, Sue Sternberg, Jane Kopelman, Brenda Aloff and Steve Wilson to name a few.

In 2010, she completed the Instructor Training Course in New York offered by Dogs of Course.

In 2011, she attended a week-long course in Georgia for K-9 Nose Work and also attended the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference in San Diego, Calif.

She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is currently studying for my Professional Dog Trainer certification.  

“My training methods focus on positive reinforcement and honor each dog as an individual,” Carrie said.

In addition to her dog training interests, Carrie trained horses professionally from 1979 to 1986.

Carrie can be reached at

Andrea Kirtley

Andrea Kirtley


Andrea is an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator (CGC), a professional dog trainer, and a certified assistance dog trainer.

Dog’s have been a vital part of her life, throughout her life. Andrea says,
“They have carried me through some very tough times. Through a series of life changing events, I was given an opportunity to learn to train dogs, specifically service/assistance dogs.

In 2008 Andrea started working with a non-profit organization- paws4people- as an apprentice trainer. In 2010, she earned her certification as an assistance dog trainer through the paws4people foundation in West Virginia.

After coming back to Arkansas in 2011, Andrea volunteered at Little Rock Animal Services which led her to her other job as a veterinary technician at Briarwood Animal Clinic, one of the primary clinics providing care for Arkansas Paws in Prison dogs.

Andreas training methods are positive reinforcement based. She believes in teaching dogs to learn how to learn which changes their brains thereby transforming them into thinking dogs.

Andrea is looking forward to bringing assistance dog certification authority to the Paws in Prison program through a course she will be attending in Wilmington North Carolina in April 2013. Our service dogs will be certified under the paws4people foundation umbrella. Additionally, Andrea will work as a consultant for a new program, A Veterans Best Friend- PTSD Service Dog Training, here in Arkansas.

Andrea can be reached at

 Vynn Stuart

 Vynn Stuart - Trainer

Vynn Stuart
Vynn Stuart has been involved in working with and training dogs for approximately 45 years. She started out as a Veterinarian Technician in the late 1960s. This is when she first began teaching obedience and showing dogs in some of the local Kennel Club Dog Shows. Vynn always had a dog or dogs as pets while growing up. In the mid seventies, her and her husband farmed and ranched & had the opportunity to train cattle dogs to help in the round ups. Vynn also broke and trained horses during this time to be used on the ranch and also for team roping, barrel racing, cutting and other rodeo events.
Vynn began teaching obedience and working dog classes in the mid 1980s for the 4-H clubs. She then had the opportunity to train to the public these obedience classes which led to working with a couple of Sheriff’s offices training dogs for Search and Rescue.

Vynn has been training these type dogs for over 20 years now and is still doing this. Her dogs are called out from many law enforcement agencies in many surrounding states to assist in trying to locate missing persons, drowned victims, murdered victims and lost persons.
Her dogs work a lot of drowning and cold cases in the surrounding area.

She & her dogs are Nationally Certified in Cadaver, Land and Water,  and Live Area Search.

Vynn currently teaches obedience classes to the public and has private classes to teach handlers and their dogs to train for search and rescue. She is a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator for the American Kennel Club  and an evaluator for the National Search Dog Alliance in the disciplines of Land and Water Cadaver.

Vynn believes in working in positive manner and always making training and working as much fun as possible for the dogs. Vynn says, “It is lot of hard work & takes a big commitment but this is my life and I love every minute of it.”  Vynn is proud to be part of the Paws in Prison program.

Vynn can be reached by phone: 1 (903) 826-5094 or by emailing

Paws in Prison is a non-profit program of the Arkansas Department of Correction, supported only by private donations. Make your tax-deductible donations today and save the lives of dogs. Thanks!

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