Meet The Team

Dianne Canafax


Dianne is a highly successful dog trainer with over 25 years of experience, which includes private and public classes, behavior modification consultations, service dog training, and therapy dog training. Dianne’s greatest passion is helping people to better understand their dogs in order to strengthen the relationship between dog and human. The focus in all her classes is on how dogs learn and the “why” behind their behaviors. Dianne uses positive, scientifically proven, non-forceful training methods to emphasize the relationship between dog and human.

Dianne has volunteered with local animal shelters for more than 15 years and has been involved in animal rescue for the past 12 years. She is the co-founder of Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE). Her professional certifications include Karen Pryor Academy Clicker Training Partner, Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and Certified Therapy Dog Evaluator for Pet Partners. She updates her credentials with frequent continuing education courses in animal behavior and training.

Cathy Hayes

Treasurer and Secretary / Lead Trainer

As the Secretary and Treasurer for KARE, Cathy Hayes has a Business Management Degree, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She and her husband own and run an oyster farming business on the Hood Canal. She also owns her own tax accounting business, as well as manages rental properties.

She was adopted by two rescue dogs, Penny, who recently passed away after sharing her love with the family for 13 years, and Skippy, a rescue dog who is a Certified Karen Pryor Academy Training Dog and a Certified Pet Partners Therapy Dog that specializes in hospice. She also has two cats and several grand dogs.

As a longtime volunteer at the local shelter, she became a Reiki Master and learned T-Touch so that she could provide these additional services to shelter animals. She also serves as the Adoption Coordinator, teaches classes and does behavior assessments on behalf of KARE.

She is a Certified Training Partner of Karen Pryor Academy and a graduate of the Canine Behavior Internship Program offered by KARE. Cathy has always loved and wanted to work with pets, so being a volunteer for KARE is wonderful and rewarding.

Vickie Josal

Board Member / Volunteer Coordinator / Lead Trainer

Vickie Josal is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She leads our Canine Good Citizen/Therapy Dog Preparation class. Vickie is also a long-time volunteer at the local shelter as a Lead Dog Walker, Enrichment Assistant, Transfer Greeter, and Animal Transporter. As a volunteer with KARE for several years, she assists with training classes, Dog Behavior Deep Dive, event booths, transition consults, and behavior modification.

Vickie is always on the lookout for educational opportunities on canine behavior and how she can make a difference in their lives. To date, Vickie has graduated from KARE’s first Canine Behavior Internship Program and completed weekend seminars by Sue Sternburg, Debbie Jacobs, Clicker Training Chicken Camp with Terry Ryan and Kelly Bollen, in addition to many other webinars and local classes. She adopted a shelter pup, Daphne, and went through extensive training to become a Pet Partners therapy team.

Positive reinforcement and reward-based training are her philosophy for both four- and two-legged students. Vickie lives with her husband, Todd, and Daphne, her shelter rescue, a lab/whippet/Australian Koolie mix.

When Vickie is not doing “dog stuff” she enjoys spending time with her kids and grandkids, traveling, and volunteering with the local charity haunted house as the volunteer coordinator.


Laura Horton

Training Coordinator / Lead Trainer

Laura is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She began volunteering at KARE as an assistant dog trainer and later was brought onto the KARE Team as the Training Coordinator and Lead Dog Trainer. She maintains current training classes, implements new programs, and manages scheduling. As a trainer, Laura also teaches group classes, assists with Therapy/CGC, and helps lead the Reactive Rover program.

In 2019 Laura earned her M.A. in New Media from Aalto University, Finland. After she returned to the U.S. she decided to pursue one of her great passions in life – training dogs and helping people. Laura is currently studying reinforcement-based training with an emphasis on service/therapy work. Besides working for KARE she also volunteers as a Team Facilitator for Atlas Assistance Dogs. She eventually wishes to work in the service industry to help train mobility assistance and/or psychiatric service dogs.

When she’s not working, she can be found drinking tea, reading, and exploring the great outdoors with her dog Samwise Gamgee.

Contact Laura if you have any questions about upcoming classes!


Carla Peterson

Lead Trainer / Marketing Coordinator / Admin

Carla has been volunteering for KARE since 2013 in a variety of areas, but you can usually find her working on KARE Training or behind the scenes with marketing and admin. Carla is accredited with the International Association of Behavior Consultants (IAABC) as an Accredited Dog Trainer (ADT) and a Shelter Behavior Affiliate (SBA). For KARE, she’s developed and taught the Rally FUN-damentals class, assists with Reactive Rover sessions, and helps with other class/workshop development.

Carla’s love for dog behavior began in the early 2000s after her misrepresented puppy, Amos, developed fearful aggression during handling and around certain high-value objects. The warning signs before a bite were almost entirely body language rather than audible. Carla began to seek out the least intrusive and minimally aversive training to help her and Amos. Ten years later, Carla started volunteering at the local shelter where her understanding of dog behavior began to grow, and in 2014, she graduated from KARE’s first Canine Behavior Internship Program. Sadly, her beloved Amos passed away in late 2015 due to lymphoma.

Carla just can’t seem to get enough of dog behavior. She’s attended multiple Clicker Expos by the Karen Pryor Academy, IAABC Conferences, Control Unleashed Conferences, and Aggression in Dogs Conferences. Her continuing education includes graduation from Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals (LLA) course and numerous workshops with Terry Ryan, Sue Sternberg, Debbie Jacobs, John Rogerson, Kelly Bollen, Suzzane Clothier, Behavior Vets, and Fenzi Dog Sports Academy (FDSA).

When Carla isn’t volunteering with KARE, she’s hanging with her partner Chris, and their two KARE forever fosters, Mamma Mia and Maisy Moose. Carla also loves art journaling, music, and reading. She funds all of this with a full-time job as an Engineer/Scientist! Did we say that Carla loves learning? She’s currently pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Washington with ties to animal behavior!


Heidi Wakefield

Former Ethics and Finance Officer

Heidi joined the KARE Board of Directors in 2013, bringing with her over 34 years of financial and auditing experience. She audited accounting and financial records for KARE, also serving as an ethics advisor. Heidi grew up in an animal-loving family and has been a longtime volunteer and patron at the local animal shelter. Although employed full-time as an inspector, her passions are animal welfare, adoption promotion, and continuing education about dog behavior.

On Aug. 9, 2017, Heidi passed at Harborview after an unexpected incident while enjoying time with her beloved husband, family and dogs. She is survived by her husband and their three dogs, Kona, Mariah, and Rylie, and will forever be loved and missed by our KARE family.