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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

Marsha Tonkinson, APDT, IAADP

Marsha Tonkinson

Marsha has been working in the field of professional dog training for over 6 years. Tonkinson is also an American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Puppy Star evaluator.

Tonkinson is also a Foundation For Service Dog Support & Public Access Evaluator and has completed training that now makes her an Evaluator for the Canada Canine Good Citizen.

Her training standards are very high, and she believes all dogs need and deserve the opportunity to become the best companion they can be for any person or family. One goal that Tonkinson has set for herself is to become a service dog and therapy dog evaluator in 2013, and become a member of the APDT (association of pet dog trainers).

Marsha said " her and her husband use Safe and Humane Training Methods, so you and your four-legged friend will learn to bond, trust and work with each other". This is proven to be the best method for training dogs .

Tonkinson is a member of the North Arkansas Kennel Club, where both her and her husband are active with there dog in agility classes and running courses and doing AKC Rally matches. Tonkinson has worked with and trained many different types of pure breed and mixed breed dogs, They both have been part of the paws in prison program for a year now working with different rescue groups to help save dogs lives. And helping teach the inmate handlers just not about dog training but health care, dog anatomy, ETC.

Before moving to Arkansas, Tonkinson worked with a veteran dog trainer and volunteered in the Kingman, Ariz., shelter, where she trained dogs and worked with students. Of all ages. She also participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life/Bark for Life event. For nine years, she taught hunter education courses for the Arizona Game & Fish Department. Marsha and her husband are the owners of K-9 Paws Behavior Dog Training.

To visit the website, go to

She can be reached by e-mail at
or by calling 928-530-4605.

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

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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