We would like to welcome our newest members of the PAWS® Apprenticeship Program! The PAWS Apprenticeship program offers a comprehensive overview of various training methods through classroom study, observation and hands-on experience. At the completion of this three- year program the Apprentice trainers will receive a Department of Labor Journey Person Certificate in the occupation of Animal Trainer-Assistance Dogs.
Brad’s passion for PAWS began when he fostered his first puppy, KNIGHT. Brad was taking online classes for graphic design when he received KNIGHT. His black lab puppy quickly became a very studious dog as he would accompany Brad to the local coffee shop so he was able to get his homework done, while giving KNIGHT some training. Brad gives credit to KNIGHT for being able to land a job he had been wanting for years here in the Apprenticeship Program, “It all started with Knight and the hard work we put in!”
Maddison has a heart for animals. Growing up with dogs, cats, and even horses instilled a passion for animals from a young age. She raised her first Foster Puppy in 2016. Maddison wanted to work for PAWS because, “I love their mission and how much they can change someone’s life through a dog.” She is very excited for the opportunity to work at PAWS.
Grand Rapids local, Kristina, decided to listen to her life-long passion for dogs by transferring from a child centered career to dog training. She was first introduced to dog training by a fellow dog trainer that then directed her to the Apprenticeship Program. Kristina added, “I am so grateful and excited for this opportunity to be able to grow and develop my training skills and see all that this program has to offer.”
Catherine developed her dedication to dog training while living in Florida, where she is from. She was introduced to the dog training world through an organization in Florida. She quickly fell in love and strived to learn everything she could about service dog training. Catherine said, “I jumped at the chance to apply for the Apprenticeship Program here at PAWS, and I feel very honored to have been chosen.”