APDT Awards and Scholarships

Winners for 2015

APDT Members of the Year 2015

APDT Scholarship Winners 2015
Congratulations to the winners of the APDT Scholarship program - shown below.

APDT Scholarship Winners 2015

Mary Arango

Mary ArangoWriter, photographer, editor, dog agility competitor, and therapy dog evaluator, Mary Fish Arango lives in southern Oregon after thirty-five years of teaching in independent schools. Three of her Border Collies are Disaster Stress Relief Dogs and certified therapy dogs, visiting hospitals, hospice, nursing homes, and schools. Mary evaluates approximately eighty potential therapy dogs a year, refers potential search dogs from local shelters and rescue organizations, and strives to match dogs needing rehoming with families seeking awesome dogs. Most of her dog training work focuses on educating families and introducing them to the delight of a well trained dog, positive reinforcement, and clear communication. Both her written work and her photographs have been honored with special awards from the Dog Writers Association of America. Mary has a BA in Psychology, a Masters in Sportsmedicine, and a Masters in Counseling Therapy, but, most of all, she loves encouraging people and their dogs.

Dawn Gardner

Dawn GardnerDawn Gardner is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) living in Rudy, Arkansas. Dawn holds a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts from Marlboro College in Marlboro Vermont. Dawn is the owner of Happy Hound Pet Services, and trains basic obedience and helps clients with behavioral problems. She is also a freelance writer for several dog related websites and publications. She has been a member of APDT since 2008.

Dawn is the behavioral consultant for Carolina Basset Hound Rescue, and has volunteered for several area rescues. She has consulted on behavioral cases and done training at Martinsville Humane Society, The SPCA of the Triad, Triangle Beagle Rescue, and Red Dog Farms. She is an emergency foster home for special needs dogs for Shana's Last Chance Dog Rescue.

Dawn lives in the Boston Mountains with her nine hound dogs and one very spoiled Papillion. Pictured is Killian, her paraplegic dachshund.

Samantha Schinder

Samantha SchinderSamantha Schinder, "Sammy," is the head trainer for Smart Start Puppies in Tampa, FL. Camp Sammy is her home boarding business. She started training dogs at around 8 years old, growing up in Ohio.  She is a veteran military officer and also served the Department of Defense as a senior cultural analyst, before returning to her true love of training dogs.

Currently she is working on her PhD, writing her dissertation on working canines in public safety and is always looking for new brains to pick and new people to interview. Applying her academic knowledge to her work, she supports a philosophy of education in her training. She employs a variety of methods including canine leadership and modified positive reinforcement theories. Her balanced dog paradigm and tailored training methods have proven success.

Dogwise Shelter Scholarship Winner

Kim Imel

Kim ImelKim began her career with animals in 1988 as a veterinary assistant and then a licensed veterinary technician. She began her professional training career in 1998 working for Diamonds in the Ruff, owned by Carol Byrnes, CPDT-KA, in Spokane, Washington. 

In 2012 she, along with Carol Byrnes, developed and implemented the Pawsitive Dog Training Prison Program. A partnership program between SpokAnimal CARE and Airway Heights Correction Center, Kim coordinates the program in which shelter dogs go and live with offenders learn basic obedience to help them become more adoptable. In addition to program coordinator, Kim is also one of the trainers conducting weekly class sessions with offenders and dogs. 

Kim has since retired from veterinary medicine and is focusing on training through the prison program, group classes, individual consults and lessons, and is looking forward to providing educational opportunities for veterinary staff members.

Annual Conference Scholarship Program for 2016

Information not yet available.

Past Award Winners

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001

Contact scholarships@apdt.com with any questions.