Kathy is the owner of Paws 'N Effect. Her experience as a pet dog trainer was preceded by a long history of training and showing horses and her own dogs, as well educating people in emergency medicine for almost thirty years.  A member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers since 1996, Kathy was in the first group of trainers nationwide to successfully complete the national certification exam for pet dog trainers in September of 2001. 

Her commitment to animal welfare and well-being is a constant theme in her life.  She served as a Humane Commissioner for the City of New Haven, a volunteer trainer at the New Haven Animal Shelter, and is a graduate of the Humane Society of the United States Pets for Life Foundation.  Kathy carries a Pet Tech certification in Pet CPR and First Aid, is a registered Pet Partner with her dear Standard Poodle friend, Harley, and is a licensed Pet Partner Instructor & Evaluator.  She shares her life with husband Gerry (an extraordinary dog dad) and her beloved earthdogs, Pearl & Tag.

Terri Cesarek

Classes taught at Paws include: Agility Handling.


Lil Clark shares her life with a group of extraordinary rescue dogs: Twinkie, a Pit Bull Terrier; Maia, a Rottweiler; Dazzle, a PBT; Peaches, a PBT; Mojo, a PBT, Frieda, a dachshund; and Tico, a Chihuahua mix.

Lil is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator who has been training dogs professionally since her 1972 graduation from the trainer program at Captain Haggerty’s School for Dogs. Her experience includes time as a veterinary assistant, a kennel worker, and an Animal Control Officer. Lil has competed in agility, competition obedience, rally obedience, K9 Nosework, Barnhunt, and K9 Watersports with her dogs, many of whom are titled in these sports. Several of Lil’s dogs are also active registered Therapy Dogs.

Lil enjoys regularly attending seminars and workshops on dog sports, canine behavior, and canine health because she believes learning is a lifelong pursuit.

Classes taught at Paws include: Puppy Kindergarten, classes in the Family Dog Basics series, Agility Foundations, and Nosework.

Soshana Dos

Classes taught at Paws include: Agility Foundation, Integrated Agility Skills, and Agility Handling.



Sandy has a Jack Russell Terrier named Riley Jack, an itty bitty all-American terrier mix named Millie, and a rat terrier named Toby. Her approach to training is guided by compassion for dogs and people, along with a commitment to constantly improving her knowledge of dog behavior and training. 

In addition to being a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Sandy is a Canine Good Citizen and STAR Puppy Instructor & Evaluator, an APDT Professional Member, a Pet Partners Therapy Animal instructor and a CLASS Instructor & Evaluator. She is also a graduate of Karen Pryor's "Puppy Start Right for Instructors" course. Sandy is a Canine Massage Therapist and an IAAMB professional member, specializing in senior and ailing dogs. She also carries a Pet Tech certification for Pet First Aid & CPR.

Classes taught at Paws include:  Puppy Kindergarten, Family Dog Training: BasicsPracticing the Basics, Training Games, Snarky Dog,  Therapy Dog, and Canine Good Citizen.

Sarah Janner

Classes taught at Paws include: Breed Handling.

Shari King

Shari King is a veteran agility competitor and teacher with over 14 years of experience, and her bond with animals began even before that, with extensive work in dance and showing horses. Her first agility dog, a Miniature Pinscher named Blues, was the first minpin ever to earn a C-ATCH, also earning a CT-ATCH and High in Standard 09 CPE Nationals 12” Enthusiast.

Shari has run minpins, Chihuahas, Shetland Sheepdogs, Portuguese Water Dogs, and Rottweilers, and she currently runs two shelties in AKC, CPE, and USDAA agility. Lyric, her partially retired sheltie, has earned her C-ATCh, CT-ATE, and MACH. Her six-year-old sheltie, Tempo, has his C-ATCH and MACH2, as well as numerous other titles, and he and Shari are currently working on his MACH3. They compete at many national events and have qualified for AKC Nationals for the last four years straight. Tempo finished in the top 10 for Team Jumpers and Steeplechase quarterfinals at Cynosport 2015. Shari’s youngest sheltie, Paisley, has numerous agility titles and is working on her MACH.  She and Shari also qualified for AKC Nationals this year.

Shari is an AKC ACT Evaluator and an OneMind Dogs Instructor, and each year, she attends multiple seminars with different world team members and OneMind Dogs coaches to stay up-to-date on the latest agility training.

Classes taught at Paws include: Agility Foundation, Integrated Agility Skills, Agility Handling, and Competition Agility.

Heather Rife, DVM

Classes taught at Paws include: Breed Handling.

Judy Reilly

Classes taught at Paws include: Handling Basics, Obstacle Skills, and Agility Handling.

Leigh Sylvester, CPDT

Leigh Sylvester’s love of animals goes back as far as she can remember. She studied both Agricultural Animal Science and Veterinary Science in college, and she is a graduate of the Animal Behavior Institute as well as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.

Her introduction into dog sports was in dog sledding with 10 years of experience. She now competes with her Shiloh Shepherd, Kingston, in Rally Obedience throughout the Northeast. She holds various titles in Obedience, Rally-O, K9 Parkour, Trick Dog Training, and Nosework. Her Alaskan Husky, Fuscia, enjoys her retirement at home on the couch after many years of dog sledding. Leigh is an active Fenzi Dog Sports Academy student, and has attended many of Denise Fenzi’s workshops and sports camps.

Leigh is a member of APDT, a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, a Certified Canine Conditioning Coach through Do More With Your Dog, and a Pet Tech Canine CPR & First Aid Instructor. She is also a judge for World Cynosport Rally League. Leigh enjoys being a part of her local community and is a member of the Community Emergency Response Team and The Emergency Animal Response Team here in CT.  As an instructor, Leigh focuses on the relationship building aspect of owning a dog, incorporating lots of play and fun games.

Classes taught at Paws include: Competition Fundamentals, Advanced Rally, and Rally Games.



Brian shares his life with three Golden Retrievers, Comet, Ajax, and Murphy. All three are registered Therapy Dogs with Pet Partners, and Brian makes weekly visits with them at The Connecticut Hospice, as well as visits to area schools and nursing homes.

Brian is an experienced teacher and avid student of dog behavior and learning theory. In addition to being a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and a licensed Pet Partners Therapy Team Evaluator, Brian carries a Pet Tech certification for Pet First Aid & CPR. He is also our resident photographer.

Classes taught at Paws include: Puppy KindergartenFamily Dog Training: BasicsPracticing the BasicsCanine Good Citizen, Recall Refresher, Loose Leash Walking, Hello There!, Snarky Dog, Bonding and Trust, and Get Real.


Stephanie is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, an APDT professional member, and a Canine Good Citizen evaluator.

Classes taught at Paws include: Puppy KindergartenFamily Dog Training: BasicsPracticing the Basics, and Canine Good Citizen.


Fran and her husband Mike share their home and lives with their two rescued Labrador Retrievers, Molly and Sarah, both of whom are Canine Good Citizens and registered Therapy Dogs with Pet Partners. Fran has entered Sarah in competition in Barn Hunt and trains with Molly in Nosework.

Fran is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, an APDT professional member, a Canine Good Citizen evaluator, and a Certified Canine Conditioning Coach through Do More With Your Dog. A lifelong learner, Fran regularly attends seminars and workshops on canine behavior, temperament, personality, and learning. She has also enrolled herself and her dogs at the Canine Cognition Center at Yale, where, as a team, they regularly participate in studies that explore the way dogs think, learn, and problem solve. Fran is also passionate about canine health and wellness, including energy work and body work such as TTouch.

Classes taught at Paws include: Puppy KindergartenFamily Dog Training: BasicsPracticing the Basics, Get Real, Connection, Cooperation & Control™, and Canine Good Citizen. She also works with puppies and their owners at Puppy Social.