Beth Groetzinger Strickler, MS, DVM, DACVB, CABC
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 is also certified as a behavior consultant through the IAABC (International Association of Behavior Consultants).
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.
Julie Farris, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA
Director of Behavior and Training
Julie is certified in both dog training and behavior consulting through the Certified Council for Professional Dog Training (CCPDT) and is the owner of Rescue Me! Dog Training in Nashville. She has over 20 years of experience training dogs and has worked with Dr. Strickler for approximately 8 years. She is also a graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications.
In addition to training dogs and counseling owners, Julie has worked with wolves, foxes and coyotes at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, Florida. She has also mentored student trainers and developed the Second Chances inmate dog training program in conjunction with Davidson County Sheriff’s Department. Julie also serves as a board member and behavior consultant for Bonaparte’s Retreat, a Nashville dog rescue owned by country music legend Emmylou Harris.
Julie and her husband Mike, share a farm with 10 dogs, 3 cats, 3 horses and an endless collection of goats, chickens, guinea hens and ducks.
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 Veterinary 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.
Ashley Wheeler, KPA CTP
Ashley is a board-certified behavior analyst and a graduate of Karen Pryor Academy. She received her undergraduate degree in recreation therapy from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and earned her master’s degree in behavioral analysis from Northeastern University. She has spent the past seven years working with individuals of all ages with a diverse range of disabilities and would now like to apply her science to the field of animal behavior.
Ashley was born and raised in Tennessee and now resides in Nashville with her two sisters and their six animals. Her goal is to help animals struggling with behavioral challenges and their owners communicate more effectively and manage their lives with positive behavior supports.
When Ashley is not at work, you can find her outside with her lab mix, Murphy. They enjoy watching sports, going to dog friendly events around Nashville, hiking, and visiting her parents at the lake.
Elizabeth is a licensed veterinary technician, certified as a Fear Free professional. She received her undergraduate degrees in psychology from Belmont University and veterinary technology from Volunteer State Community College. Her previous animal care experience includes general practice medicine and surgery, and she is excited to apply her knowledge of both psychology and veterinary medicine to the field of veterinary behavior.
Elizabeth was born in Florida, raised in Minnesota, and now resides in Nashville with her two dogs and seven cats. When Elizabeth is not at work, you can find her outdoors on her kayak or paddle board. Elizabeth also loves to volunteer at the local humane society.
Kaley is a certified psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner, and has been working with individuals experiencing severe mental illness and co-occurring disorders for the last 4 years. After obtaining her B.S. in Anthropology from MTSU, she became deeply interested in psychology and human behavior. Upon recently adopting her second dog who experiences fear-related aggression, she became intrigued with behavior modification for dogs, and dived into the world of evidenced-based positive reinforcement training. Kaley is currently working towards obtaining her CPDT-KA certification, and hopes to use this knowledge to teach people how to have the happiest and healthiest relationships with their animal companions.
Kaley is a Florida native, but moved to rural Tennessee in 2000 where she began riding horses and competing in barrel racing competitions for 10 years. In her spare time, she likes to volunteer at local animal rescues, practice hot yoga, and take her two dogs on long hikes around the middle-TN area.
Ayelet Berger, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP
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.