Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers has an amazing team put together to make everything possible.
Dan Warren Founder and President of Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. Dan Warren is a native Virginian and has a tremendous passion for dogs. He decided to find a way to give back a quality of life for people with invisible disabilities.
He created our non-profit organization, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. He believes that individuals, who struggle with invisible disabilities often will benefit from having a canine companion in their lives to enhance quality of life, provide hope, independence and peace of mind. It is Dan’s personal goal to bring hope and peace until a cure is found for these disabilities and does believe until there is a cure – there is a dog.
National Director of Outreach: Cheryl Trefzger
Training Director Facilities: Cheri Campbell
My career in dog training began by working at Va Dept of Corrections as a Narcotic K-9 Handler about 8 years ago. While there, I was promoted to an instructor. I learned about SDWR 4 years ago and came on board. I have been with our organization for almost 4 years and have seen so much growth over that time. I have a passion working with dogs but mostly service dogs. Helping our families is a dream job come true. I have been the Training Director for the trainers on the road for the last 3 years. In 2014, I will become the Training Director at the our facilities to further refine the training and execute new techniques when it comes to the develop of our service dogs.
Trainer Director: Phil Farris
Phil has been a trainer for over eight years. Phil’s father, grandfather and grandmother were diabetics, so he is familiar with invisible disabilities.
He was the District Trainer in Tidewater for PetSmart for 6 years. Phil trained and evaluated other trainers.
Phil was introduced to Warren Retrievers through one of our families. Little did he know Riley-Anne was only the first Warren Retriever he would meet.
“I love making life easier for those with Diabetes through training D.A.D.s and their families. All of the staff is very knowledgeable. Trainers make visits to further training of dogs every 90 days and are not relegated to distance. There is no age limit to receive one of our dogs as with most other organizations. Constant contact is kept with our dog owners to ensure they have the assistance they need. Our dogs are guaranteed for 10 years. Great care is taken to make sure our clients receive a healthy dog. There isn’t an organization that cares more about our clients than we do.”
Trainer: Erin Coulter
Originally from a small town, Punxsutawney, PA… Yep home of the groundhog. J Started Training my own dogs at age 16. I attended the University of Pittsburgh in PA and graduated in 2006 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology. I worked as a social worker, counselor and career counselor after graduating college. During that time I trained my two dogs, a Rottweiler and a Bullmastiff. Both dogs have obtained their Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) and Therapy Dog International (TDI) Certifications. Also, I performed private obedience training with friends, family and acquaintances. My husband and I moved to Norfolk, VA in summer 2011 for the warmer weather and the beach, of course. J Once we moved, I started working at Petsmart as a Pet Trainer for over a year. There I assisted families with basic obedience training as well as assisting several people with training their service dogs. After learning of the opportunity at Warren Retrievers in 2012, I welcomed the opportunity to train dogs and help families at the same time. J I have been working for the organization since November 2012.
Trainer: Kim Mekeal
About 7 years ago I rescued 2 pit bulls. Due to their bad reputation I wanted to get them their CGC titles from the AKC so I enrolled them in a beginner obedience class. After we graduated I joined the clarion canine obedience club to further their training. I got them their CGC titles & also got them their therapy dog titles. I then started to show the one in obedience & rally. That’s when I decided to take the dog training course through Animal Behavior College. While I was studying I was also teaching basic obedience classes for the club. I graduated about 2 years ago & broke off from the club & started to teach my own classes. I teach basic obedience & rally obedience.
Trainer: Brenda Clemments
Brenda Clements has owned & trained dogs most of her life. She works at our facilities training our young puppies teaching basic obedience & commands. As a former nurse, research coordinator and journalist, Brenda thinks working with puppies is the best job she has ever had. She brings a level of passion and desire to see our organization continue to grow and wants to play a huge part in that growth.
Trainer: Stu Henderson
Stu comes to SDWR with 25 years of experience training dogs for hunting and companionship. He comes to us after two years training the dogs and their soldier handlers to find IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) in Afghanistan, Iraq and closer to home. In this capacity he gained experience working with labradors and more traditional patrol dogs such as German Shepards and Malinois. The most intresting and rewarding part of the work was training the young soldiers, many who had no canine experience, how to recognize the changes the dog would display before alerting – experience Stu is excited to share working with SDWR’s clients. Seeing the difference dogs can make in peoples’ lives has become a passion for Stu.
In addition Stu continues to train, handle, hunt and judge working retrievers for upland and waterfowl work. He has judged over 100 events for The Hunting Retriever Club, the AKC, the Golden Retriever Club of America and the Boykin Spaniel Society.
Stu and his wife maintain a home in Wisconsin. He has two daughters and 4 resident “swampcollies”.
Trainer: Alicia Gautille
Alicia studied Animal Science at Penn State. While there, she began raising and training service dogs from puppy to adulthood. After college, she started a pet obedience training program at the kennel where she had been working. There she worked with a variety of breeds from German Shepherd to Boston Terrier. In 2011, she moved to the DC area to work for a pest control company as a handler for a bed bug detection dog. Her and her Golden Retriever searched hotels and many other places for bed bugs…and found more than you want to know!
Additional Team Members & Volunteers that help us grow:
Shipping Manager – Jake
Administrator – Lorrie
IT Administrator – Percella