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 and two precious senior dogs.

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 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.

Elizabeth Gordon, LVT

Veterinary Nurse

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.

Leticia Lamberty, LVT

Veterinary Nurse

Leticia is a licensed veterinary technician, is Fear Free Certified, and also Human Animal Bond Certified. She has been working in the veterinary field for over 20 years. She has always had an interest in animal behavior and positive reinforcement training. She is thrilled to be part of the Veterinary Behavior Solutions Team.

She grew up in Alabama, lived in Colorado for about 15 years, then moved to Tennessee in 2015 with her husband and daughter. Leticia has 3 amazing dogs, 2 adorable rescue cats, and a ball python. Leticia enjoys hiking with her dogs, traveling, and reading.

Debbie Sykes

Behavior Technician

Debbie’s background is in wildlife behavior, from studying blue whale behavior in California to wildlife rehabilitation and training mammals, birds, and reptiles using force free techniques. She has presented for the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association all around the country, as well as for the newly re-surged Tennessee Wildlife Educators and Rehabilitation Association here in Tennessee.

Debbie graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Biology, and moved to Nashville after meeting her husband, Luke, during an internship here. She discovered her love for helping people and their companion animals at Veterinary Behavior Solutions, and is excited to be a part of the team.

In her spare time she likes to rock climb and hike with her husband and their three dogs, Huxley, Tuesday, and Knuckles Chugsley.

Kaley Shepherd

Behavior Assistant

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.

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.

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.