Andrea Kilkenny has been an animal lover since she was a child. Over the last two decades, she has shared her home with cats and dogs. In addition, foster dogs and foster cats have come to live with Andrea and her own personal pets, gaining basic training, social skills, and/or physically healing from illness or injury.
She entered the animal welfare field as a shelter volunteer in 1996, eventually leaving a teaching career and becoming employed full time at a municipal Animal Control facility. Over the years, she has held several positions including Volunteer Coordinator, Kennel Assistant, Animal Care Technician, Shelter Manager, and Animal Control Officer at shelters in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and East Coast. She has helped build volunteer programs and established training and enrichment protocols for the shelters she has worked at, and has served as a consultant for other shelters, rescues, and doggie daycare facilities. Prior to working in animal welfare, she spent over a decade teaching youth and adults with disabilities in public school, group home, vocational, and clinical settings. She was a certified public school teacher and holds a Masters degree in Special Education. Applied Behavior Analysis was a focus of her graduate and post-graduate studies and research.
Andrea has taught basic obedience, puppy kindergarten, agility, flyball, pet therapy, and canine good citizen (CGC) classes across the country. She is a CPDT-KA certified trainer and also a Canine Good Citizen evaluator through the American Kennel Club. In addition to classes, she has provided in-home consultations and private lessons for clients. She has worked with numerous shelters and rescues, evaluating animals and helping place them for adoption as well as supporting owners after adoption matches are made. Through her classes, consultations, and shelter work, she has worked with literally thousands of dogs and cats over the years, of all breeds and mixed heritage. Andrea is also a responder with the ASPCA and has worked on several large cruelty cases; she deploys as part of the Behavior Team, working with animals in the temporary housing/shelters after the animals are confiscated.
She has been a member of several obedience and dog sport clubs, and she and her dogs and actively participated in Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility, Flyball, Disc Dog, Lure Coursing, and Tracking. She and her dogs have earned several titles in multiple dog sports. Andrea and her dog Rumble were also a pet therapy team registered with the Delta Society. Her dogs have participated in demonstrations at county fairs, college sporting events, prisons, schools and neighborhood centers, and were also featured weekly in a humane education program on Public Access TV. They have presented on topics such as dog bite prevention, pet adoption, basic pet training, managing multiple pet households, and shelter volunteering.