Beth L. Strickler, MS, DVM, DACVB

Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist

Dr. Strickler received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Westminster College in northwestern Pennsylvania and her Masters degree in Psychology from Penn State University. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine She practiced general veterinary medicine in Tennessee prior to completing her specialty training in veterinary behavior at Appalachian Veterinary Specialists in Knoxville, TN. During her residency, she conducted a research project funded by the Waltham Foundation evaluating enrichment techniques utilized by cat owners. Dr. Strickler is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (DACVB).

Dr. Strickler was an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for five years. She has also taught undergraduate psychology classes as an adjunct in Northeast Tennessee. She is an active lecturer to veterinarians and staff both nationally and regionally on veterinary behavior topics.

Because of her background of experience in both human psychology and animal behavior, Dr. Strickler brings a unique combination of knowledge, skill and compassion to her treatment of her patients. She also has a special interest in enhancing her patient’s lives through cognitive and physical enrichment.

Dr. Strickler enjoys hiking with her family, which includes two very active boys, two rescue dogs, two rescue cats, two rescue horses and a dozen very funny chickens.

Ayelet Berger, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP

Behavior Technician

Ayelet is a science-based, force-free, positive reinforcement dog trainer and owner of Sabra Dog Training in Nashville. She is a proud graduate of Karen Pryor Academy and a licensed presenter for Family Paws. She also holds a BFA from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. Some of Ayelet’s favorite work has been teaching group classes at Davidson County Male Correctional Facility, where inmates are paired with rescued Greyhounds to help prepare the dogs for adoption. Finally, Ayelet is a mentor for CATCH, helping shape the trainers of tomorrow.  Ayelet (pronounced i-yell-it) was born in Israel, raised in Louisville, and lived in New York City for a decade before returning to her Southern roots and settling down in Nashville with her husband, son and Beagle-mix, Chloe.

Ayelet believes training should be a positive experience for all involved.

Beth Kelley

Client Care Representative/Behavior Assistant

Beth is a graduate of Herkimer College in Upstate New York with a degree in Tourism and Events Management. She has worked in the travel industry, Kentucky State Government, and in the veterinary medical field. She joined our team as a Vetinary Behavior Assistant/Client Care Representative in the summer of 2016. She grew up in Western New York, lived in Colorado, Kentucky and Alabama before she and her husband planted roots in Johnson City, TN. They have adopted two beautiful children, 2 dogs, 2 cats and a horse. Beth also enjoys working out, hiking and riding her horse.

Terri Smith

Behavior Assistant

Nashville native Terri Smith’s career working with animals spans 20+ years, from an exotic cat rescue in East Tennessee to a boarding kennel in Colorado to managing a successful dog walking company in Manhattan.
While not always how she’s made a living—she also has 15 years of account management and customer service experience—her informed passion for animals began at the age of seven, when she rescued an abandoned, newborn kitten in her attic. Currently, in addition to working with us here at VBS, Terri is the adoption and foster care coordinator for Bonaparte’s Retreat Dog Rescue in Nashville.
She lives in East Nashville with rescue dogs Nola and Bleecker, enjoying time with family and friends, savoring great food and spinning vinyl from her vast collection.