Timonium, MD

Jan 26-28, 2024


Maryland Expo

Speaker and Clinician Profiles – 

Check back as we update for 2024

The most important part of the World of Pets Expo is the educational aspect, we pride ourselves in giving back to the pet and animal community by creating a forum for experts in the pet field to speak and teach our attendees.

We hand select the best and most experienced pet and animal professionals in a variety of fields and specialties. From pet massage therapists, training and behavior specialists, animal lawyers, to veterinarians and animal surgeons, there is something to interest and educate everyone. We feel as though our speakers are a cornerstone to our event and that they bring to the tables years of combined expertise and knowledge that only enhances the Pet Expo Experience.

  Ashleigh Bryant, Best Friends Furever
Ashleigh Bryant has been working for Best Friends Fur Ever for 16 years. She has been the Director of the Dog Training Program for several years and has trained dogs of all ages from young puppies to mature dogs. She is a valuable member of the BFFE team and continues to grow and exceed expectations.Best Friends Fur Ever is a state-of-the-art doggie daycare and overnight resort with locations in Joppa and Cockeysville, MD.
The Best Friends Fur Ever family of dog care facilities provides resort-style daycare and vacations for dogs, by combining homelike amenities and loving attention with recreational activity. Our 20,000 square foot facility is custom-designed to meet and exceed all kennel industry standards. We care for special needs dogs that include puppies, post-surgical or medical care as well as geriatric dogs.
  Laura Cassiday, Pawsitive Vibes Cat Behavior and Training
Laura Cassiday, CCBC, ABCCT, FFCP, is a certified cat behavior consultant (CCBC) living in Baltimore, MD with her husband and eight cats (seven with hair and one without). Laura’s journey began with volunteering and fostering for cat rescues and led her to the Maryland SPCA in 2018, where she implemented enrichment programs and protocols for shy cats as the shelter’s cat behavior coordinator.

In 2021, Laura launched Pawsitive Vibes Cat Behavior and Training, focusing on resolving behavior issues in private homes through remote consultations and inperson sessions in Baltimore. She has successfully addressed aggression, destructive behavior and litter box concerns, all while empowering caregivers to better understand their feline companions. Laura is a published author and advocate, known for her contributions to the Maryland Anti-Declaw Bill and leadership roles in professional organizations like the Pet Professional Guild.

   City Ranch
Founded by two educators and eight other individuals who were interested in reintroducing the equine experience to Baltimore City. Accessible and affordable horsemanship should be a part of Baltimore City. The youth of the City deserve the opportunity to develop, learn and be wowed by beauty and power of horses. With that in mind, they formed City Ranch as a 501c3 non profit to focus on the outcome of building positive character. On February 1, 2020, they will begin their 13th year.Find them at www.thecityranch.org City Ranch will conduct educational interactive talks all weekend long in our Horse Edu area.
    Melanie Canatella
Melanie Canatella, the owner of Fluff and Feathers, has been professionally training since 2015. She has multiple degrees in behavioral science and psychology. She is a certified professional bird trainer through a knowledge assessed test (CPBT-KA) through IAATE.She is also a Fear Free Certified Trainer. Her specialties revolve around avian species and other exotics. She started her career with canines and parrots. She is passionate about animal welfare, rescue and rehabilitation work. She has experience in all fields, including but not limited to, individual clients, rescues, wildlife rehabilitators, zoos and private collectors.
  Rachel B. Lachow, Positively Obedient Dog Training

Rachel B. Lachow, CPDT-KA, Positively Obedient Dog Training, Oriole Dog Training Club Instructor – Rachel began her career as a biologist and pursued an advanced degree in zoology and ornithology. Training dogs was a hobby she enjoyed on the side until, 28 years ago, she decided to become a professional dog trainer and was in the first class of trainers to be certified through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT_KA). Since beginning Positively Obedient Dog Training, she has been recognized as a top trainer by Baltimore Magazine. She has enjoyed a long career serving the Baltimore area, now often helping clients with their second and third dogs and even providing training to their children’s families. She has been an instructor at Oriole Dog Club for over 25 years, where she trains puppies and beginner dogs. She enjoys competing with her own dogs in conformation, agility, nose work, tricks, and rally. She also enjoys singing and playing the mandolin, birding, gardening, hiking, reading, cooking and baking.

  Kate Luse
Kate Luse, M.A., CCBC, has been working with animals for more than 40 years. As a certified cat behavior consultant and cat foster, she works with cats and kittens who are unsocialized, shy or fearful, aggressive to humans or other animals, or have litterbox issues. By using positive reinforcement and environmental modification, Kate helps these animals learn to trust and live happily with humans. By educating clients and adopters, she helps cat guardians provide an environment where these deserving animals can express natural behaviors and be well-adjusted, loving feline family members.Kate also has a Master’s degree in English Literature from The Pennsylvania State University and spent 20 years teaching academic writing to undergraduates. She combines her skills as an educator with her knowledge of cat behavior to help her clients understand the environmental, biological and evolutionary influences on their cats’ behaviors and how to use environmental modification and positive reinforcement to meet their cats’ needs and resolve problematic behaviors. You can contact Kate at kate@kateluse.com and visit her website at www.healthycattitude.com.
   Natalie L. Keegan, Kids-4-K9s and My Creative K9

Natalie L. Keegan, BA CPDT-KA – Natalie is the Founder/Director of Operations and Lead Humane Educator at Kids-4-K9s, Inc., as well as the Owner/Lead Trainer at My Creative K9, LLC. She is an avid positive reinforcement advocate and has been a professional animal trainer and behavior consultant for almost two decades.  Her animal focused journey began when working as part of a multi-disciplinary team implementing evidence based behavior management/violence prevention in urban schools, while joining her late son in becoming a certified dog trainer. She recognized the parallel emotions and behaviors between humans and animals and the unique human-animal bonds that can inspire mutually beneficial shifts in how we think about and navigate the world. This thinking led to an Open Society Institute Baltimore Fellowship (2011) to further establish the belief that this human-animal bond could result in positive changes within a challenged urban school setting.

Drawing on many experts in the field, combined with her own experience working with both animals and young people, she officially launched Kids4K9s, Inc (2012). The children’s book, A Dog’s Fight (2023), is the latest development in printed educational materials. As a private animal trainer, she works to build the animal-human bond through meaningful learning using science-based strategies rooted in learning theory and animal cognition, with heavy emphasis on building trust and confidence. She specializes in rehabilitating shy/withdrawn dogs and combating fear-based reactivity/aggression. In addition to maintaining a training business and nonprofit, she works as a mentor at Animal Behavior College to help the next generation of dog trainers find their footing in science based practices. 

  Evan Smith
Evan Smith is the owner and head trainer of Scarlet K9 Dog Training in Perry Hall, Maryland. Evan has been training dogs for over 5 years. He has a particular interest in building strong, well-behaved and confident dogs. He also thoroughly enjoys the psychology and learning theory behind dog behavior and has a love for teaching the “why” behind what dogs do and how they learn.
 Michael J. Soler
Michael J Soler is the owner and Master Dog Trainer of Blue Line K-9 located in Harford County MD. In the past twelve years Michael has helped over three thousand dogs and their families develop better relationships through training and canine based activities. He focuses on dogs’ natural desires to please their people and uses proven methods across a wide variety of platforms to ensure a consistent and desired outcome based on each individual family’s unique needs.Michael developed his own unique training methods, based on proven psychology methods such as classical conditioning. He especially enjoys working with working dogs and was honored to share a portion of his Police officer career with a very special partner, Canine Sam.His own experiences and challenges as a Marine Corps Veteran, Police Officer, Police K9 Officer, Father and Husband has driven Michael to learn, apply and share his experiences with others. He has impacted the lives of thousands of individuals as well as their canine companions through both Blue Line K-9 and his police service to his community.
 Pat Miller, Peaceable Paws
Pat Miller, author of The Power of Positive Dog Training (2001), Beware of the Dog (2016) and six other books on dog training and behavior and training editor for The Whole Dog Journal, has been training animals for more than 40 years.

She worked for 20 years at the Marin Humane Society in Novato, California, then moved to Monterey/Santa Cruz in 1996, where she launched Peaceable Paws, LLC. In 2001, she was one of the first 136 trainers in the world to be awarded the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and has also received her behavior certification (CBCC-KA) through CCPDT. In 1999 the Millers relocated Peaceable Paws to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where Pat opened the Peaceable Paws Intern Academy.

She has served on the Board of the CCPDT and APDT. In March of 2015 she was named by Dog Fancy Magazine as one of “45 People Who Have Changed the Dog World” and in 2018 received APDT’s Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual conference.” Pat and her husband Paul now live on their 80-acre farm in Fairplay, MD with their three dogs, five cats, two horses and a pot-bellied pig, where they operate their dog/horse-friendly training center and horse boarding facility. Pat offers dog training classes, private behavior consults, seminars and workshops worldwide, expert witness services for animal-related legal cases, and is Director of the Peaceable Paws Trainer Academies. She holds an Associate Degree in Administration of Justice and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.


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