As part of our year-long construction project, we are pleased to debut our brand new classrooms for Humane Education and Canine Training. We welcome you to stop by any time to check them out and learn more about our programming. Both Humane Ed and Canine Training are rapidly growing to meet our community's needs with fresh new programming and exciting new classes.
Our Humane Educators creatively and interactively share the importance of spaying and neutering, long-term commitment to a pet, kind animal treatment, proper pet care and a variety of other relevant subjects. We take great pride in our engaging curriculums and fun programs, with something for children of all ages. Programs include vacation day camps , after-school clubs , half-day sessions , story hours , classroom visits , birthday parties and more .
Humane Educator

Megan has been AWS' Humane Educator for more than three years. In that time, she has reached thousands of students with her engaging, interactive and sometimes theatrical programs, teaching empathy and best practices in animal care. Her love of animals shines through in the presentations she makes at schools, sessions she puts on at AWS and care she gives all shelter pets. "Humane Education is part of my soul. I get to teach and promote humane actions and consciousness towards people, animals and the environment."
Assistant Humane Educator

Brie is a recent graduate of USM where she studied in the Social Studies Education pathway. Humane Education is a great fit for her. She loves how much the students get to teach and learn from each other in Humane Education. From the eleven year old "Hamster Expert," to the eight year old "Kitty Cat Super Hero," Brie learns something new every day! "When we teach how to be kind and compassionate to animals, we teach how to be kind and compassionate to people, setting our students - and our community - up for success."
Our progressive classes take place year round both in our brand new canine training classroom and outdoors in our agility fields. Sessions are fun and social with something for dogs all ages, breeds and abilities! Core classes include basic obedience, puppy gym class (aka puppy kindergarten) and confidence for shy dogs. The beyond the basics series includes agility and rally and we also regularly offer AKC title classes.
AWS training classes are led by trainers who are tops in their field and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classes.
  • Certification: The trainers at AWS have the Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) designation. Each CPDT-KA trainer has amassed 300+ hours of experience, professional references and has passed a comprehensive examination that tests the trainer’s knowledge of learning theory, canine ethology, animal husbandry, classroom management, teaching techniques and more.
  • Experience with Rescue Dogs: Our trainers work with rescue dogs on a daily basis, learning their unique traits and understanding their individual needs. They share what they’ve learned over the years in classes and during private consultation.
  • Familiarity with AWS Dogs: Our trainers teach shelter dog training class weekly. Nearly every dog at AWS attends. If you’ve recently adopted an AWS pet, why not continue building that foundation with the trainers who know and understand your dog?
  • Private Consultations & On-Call Assistance: Our trainers can provide one-on-one time with you and your dog. Private consultations (either at your home, during office hours at AWS or via telephone) can help you identify the causes of your dog’s negative behaviors and learn new skills to keep you and your pup living happily together!
Kim VanSickle, CPDT-KA
Kim has been a Professional Dog Trainer for more than 25 years and is AWS' Lead Obedience Trainer. "It is such a pleasure to see a dog be understood and become confident and happy. By teaching at AWS, I work with a lot of shelter dogs and then continue the training after they have been adopted in our classes. It's wonderful to see what a success they have become."
Maryjane Grant, CPDT-KA
Maryjane has been with AWS since 1999, where she first started as a volunteer dog walker. Since she started teaching training classes at AWS, she has shifted her focus from teaching skills to teaching a mindset. "My objective is to teach dog owners to build a strong positive relationship with their dogs. Once that is established, then training your dog becomes fun and the rest will follow."
Lisa Walker, CPDT-KA
Lisa has been involved in relationship-based dog training and behavior problem solving for more than two decades. At AWS, she teaches many classes including Confidence for Shy Dogs, specializing in fearful, shy or reactive dogs. "When I see a dog come through the door the first week on their hind legs with their person hanging on for dear life then on graduation night, they are heeling like a show dog, it makes my heart sing!"
Karen Casey, CPDT-KA
Karen has been helping dogs learn and grow, in a positive way since 2006, after a career in horse training. She teaches a variety of classes and facilitates puppy social hour on Sundays. "Seeing the change folks make with their dogs from the first night to graduation night is always wonderful. They are happier, more knowledgable and ambitious to go on to the advanced level classes. It's great to be a part of it!"
Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 43, 46 Holland Road ~ West Kennebunk, ME 04094