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OUR TEAM

Our Team
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Dr. Ariel Fagen, DVM, DACVB
Board-Certified Veterinary Behaviorist
Medical Director
(she/her/hers)
Dr. Fagen graduated from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013.  She went on to complete an intensive one-year rotating small animal internship at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital.  In 2017, she completed a 3-year residency in the American College of Veterinary Behavior at Behavior Vets of Colorado and Florida Veterinary Behavior Service.  In 2018, Dr. Fagen became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior, the highest level of veterinary behavior specialty degree possible.  This degree makes her one of 86 of the most highly trained veterinary behavior specialists on the continent and one of two veterinary behaviorists in the state of Colorado.  
 
Outside of the office, Dr. Fagen has lectured in the US and internationally.  She has conducted research studies in shelters, hospitals and wildlife breeding centers and has published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, AAHA Trends Magazine and NAVC Clinician’s Brief.  Dr. Fagen was awarded the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Student Excellence in Applied Animal Behavior Research Award and the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Best Field Research Award for her work training elephants to participate in their own medical care in Sauhara, Nepal.  She currently serves on the Fear Free Advisory Board. 

 

A Colorado gal to the core, Dr. Fagen plays in the mountains hiking, camping and downhill and cross-country skiing.  She loves to travel with her adventuresome husband, giggle with her young son and share meals with friends. The four-legged love of her life, Libby, was with her through her veterinary education and taught her a great deal about living with and loving a dog with aggression problems. 

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Dr. Stacey Jones, DVM
Veterinarian - Practice Limited to Behavior
Fear Free Certified
(she/her/hers)

Dr. Stacey Jones graduated from Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003.  After graduation, she completed a one year internship in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care at New England Animal Medical Center in Massachusetts. Returning to her native state of Colorado, Dr. Jones cultivated a special interest in Greyhound medicine, anesthesia, behavior and pain management.  She is proud to have participated in collaborative research into a life threatening elevation of blood potassium (hyperkalemia) that occurs in Greyhounds under anesthesia.

 

During her 16 years as a small animal veterinarian, Dr. Jones cultivated a practice focused on decreasing fear, listening to patient body language and including families in veterinary visits.  In this way, she could increase access to detailed care for all patients, especially those historically demonstrating anxiety or reacting aggressively.  Providing for medical needs through this behavioral lens led Dr. Jones on a journey to further understand and treat problem behaviors that were causing frustration and suffering for patients and their people, in and out of the hospital.  Dr. Jones furthered her education in the field of behavior and veterinary psychiatry through mentorship with field experts, attendance at the national Clinical Animal Behavior Conferences, and coursework on learning theory and applied behavior analysis, including Dr. Susan Friedman's course, Living and Learning with Animals.  Before coming to The Veterinary Behavior Center, Dr. Jones treated behavior cases within the scope of her general practice for 7 years.  She is currently a Fear Free certified professional and serves on the executive board of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior as a member-at-large.  

Dr. Jones, her husband, and their two children, share a home with numerous dogs, horses, chickens, and aquatic creatures.  

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Dr. Asher Feldman, DVM
Veterinarian - Behavior Resident
Fear Free Certified Elite
(he/him/his) 

Dr. Asher Feldman graduated from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2021.   It was in veterinary school that Dr. Feldman discovered his passion for veterinary behavior, taking every opportunity he could to spend time with the behavior department there.  After graduation, he completed an intensive one-year rotating small animal internship at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, DC. 

 

Through veterinary school and his internship, Dr. Feldman built on prior experience training horses and dogs to develop and refine a passion for veterinary behavior.  He loves research and is currently involved in multiple studies, including one on the behavioral effects of progressive vs. sudden blindness in dogs.  He has pursued additional education outside of his veterinary degree and internship in behavior including the completion of a Human-Animal Bond certification. 

 

In his spare time, Dr. Feldman enjoys sewing, board games, and science fiction. He shares his home with his partner and a perfect labrador mix named Padfoot, who has guided him through helping a dog with behavior problems adapt and flourish.

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Bridgette Chesne
Relationships and Programs Manager
Fear Free Certified
(she/her/hers)

Bridgette joined The Veterinary Behavior Center in 2022 after a long and loved career at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. For more than 25 years, Bridgette’s leadership at HSBV included the positions of Director of Animal Behavior and Sheltering, Community Resource Manager, and Volunteer Manager. Bridgette enjoys developing programs that advance a learner’s capacity to objectively assess animal behavior with a goal of low-stress handling and opportunities to reinforce desired outcomes. A self-proclaimed junkie for scientific literature, Bridgette enjoys her role of lifelong learner and hopes to engage others along the way. Curating and maintaining healthy relationships between pets and people are the cornerstones of Bridgette’s commitment to animal welfare. She joins The Veterinary Behavior Center with her Fear Free ™ certification and plans to achieve her Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner credentials this year. Bridgette and her husband, Greig, own the Barking Dog Café in Lyons, Colorado, and love spending time in the outdoors with their son, Landin, a University of Colorado Boulder graduate. Bridgette shares her home with two dogs, the most magnificent cat, and three box turtles.

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Sarah Swing, KPA-CTP
Lead Behavior Therapy Technician
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Fear Free Certified
(she/her/hers)

Since high school, Sarah has dipped her toes into a variety of opportunities to work closely with animals, ranging from a dog daycare, to zoo volunteer work, wildlife research, and more. After adopting her dog, Zuri, Sarah became interested in training and behavior as she navigated Zuri’s insecurity with dogs and body handling sensitivities. This experience was so rewarding that Sarah pivoted her career to focus on animal behavior professionally. She has since graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy and is a Fear-Free Certified Professional. 

 

Now with three years of experience working in the field of veterinary behavior and animal welfare, Sarah provides science-based behavior support for pets with anxious, fearful, or hyperactive behaviors. She finds improving the quality of life for both pets and their guardians extremely rewarding, and recognizes the importance of empowering guardians to support their pets during the behavior treatment process. The ins and outs of challenging behaviors continue to be Sarah’s favorite behavior “niche”, and she feels privileged to work where her skills and joy collide! 

Sarah shares her home with her husband, Brandon, and dog, Zuri. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, Disney movies and musicals, and time with friends. 

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Jessica Char, CDBC, CPDT-KA, CSAT
Behavior Therapy Technician
Certified Dog Behavior Consultant
C
ertified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer
Fear Free
Certified Trainer
(she/her/hers)

Jessica grew up in Littleton, Colorado and after a long time living elsewhere, returned to her home state in 2020. She has fond memories of training her childhood dog, but only started thinking about dog training as a career after volunteering as a dog walker at a shelter. Eight years later, she has worked as part of the behavior team in multiple large shelters and provided private behavior consulting to help keep pets in their homes. 

 

Happy to call herself a "behavior nerd", Jessica is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, and Fear Free Certified Trainer. She loves guiding and supporting pet guardians through tough challenges and helping both them and their pets live happily together. 

 

Jessica and her partner share their home with a chihuahua named Aspen and a very opinionated rabbit named Dewey.

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Ezra Tapia, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
Behavior Therapy Technician
Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
Certified Behavior Consultant Canine - Knowledge Assessed
Fear Free
Certified Trainer
(they/them)

Ezra's journey in animal training and behavior began in 2010 when they adopted Honeybear, a sweet pit bull with complex behavior challenges. Their passion for facilitating the human-animal bond through evidence-based methods was ignited as they learned to support Honeybear in living a peaceful life. They have since worked in a variety of animal welfare organizations over 13 years with a focus on cat and dog behavior.
 

Ezra finds joy in teaching animals and their guardians to navigate and overcome complex behavior and training issues. They are committed to continually expanding their education and training skills to provide expert support for hyperactive, fearful, and anxious animals. Over their career they have completed in-depth education programs diving into topics such as cat behavior, applied animal behavior, behavior analysis, aggressive behavior in dogs, across species training, and low stress veterinary handling. This continuing education includes courses by leading experts in the field such as Michael Shikashio, Sophia Yin DVM, CAAB, MS, the IAABC, Susan Friedman, Ph.D, and Executive Vice President and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training, Ken Ramirez.
 

Ezra and their spouse share their home with their affectionate Cane Corso, Fern, and three clever rats, Mochi, Boba, and Carob. In their free time, they enjoy video games, hiking, and cuddling with their wonderful pets.

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Sammi
Client Experience Rockstar
(they/them)

Sammi has held a lifelong passion for animals, both domestic and wildlife. Having cats their entire life, Sammi has always been interested in the medical and behavioral aspects of their furry companions. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology, Sammi was introduced to the world of behavior through classes such as Animal Behavior and Mammalogy. Having immediately fallen in love with the non-human animal world, Sammi made it their career goal to better the welfare of our four-legged friends.  

From fostering kittens to cleaning kennels, Sammi has volunteered at various shelters and previously worked at Denver Dumb Friends League. After dipping their toes in the medical world of animal welfare, Sammi refocused their interests on the behavioral side and is passionate about furthering their knowledge in this area of expertise. Providing support for clients and patients alike, Sammi strives to positively contribute to the world of animal welfare. 

Sammi shares their home with their two amazing cats, Midnight the Precious Princess and Onyx Rose. They spend their time hiking, swimming, video gaming, and playing pool.  

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Dawn 
Scheduling and Welcome Coordinator
(she/her)

Dawn, mom of 5, thrives on her small hobby farm where she shares space with her husband Daniel,  a rescue dog, two "barn" cats with a curious aversion to mice, a tortoise, 11 goats (including the spirited three-legged Kat), and an abundance of ducks and chickens.

 

With a diverse career spanning two decades, Dawn has lent her skills as a Legal Secretary in a Law Office, supported families as a Doula during the joyous arrival of new members, and served in an Optometrist office as a Medical Receptionist and Optometry Technician, deftly handling pre-testing procedures like everyone's favorite eye air puff.

 

Beyond her work, Dawn finds joy in knitting and maintains a daily yoga practice, occasionally venturing into the world of boxing for a different kind of workout. In 2020, she welcomed Finnie, an anxious rescue dog, into her family. Recognizing Finnie's struggles, Dawn sought help from The Veterinary Behavior Center and found solace in the expertise of the veterinarians and behavior therapy technicians who guided Finnie towards a calmer, happier state.

 

Grateful for the positive impact TVBC had on Finnie's life, Dawn decided to pay it forward. Now, as the scheduling and welcome coordinator at TVBC, she contributes her warmth and organizational skills to assist other pet parents on their journey to a harmonious relationship with their furry friends.

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Devin
Client Experience Rockstar
Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer (ABCDT)
(they/them)

Devin has been fascinated with animals for as long as they can remember. From snails to dogs and cats, they have always been in Devin's life. Shortly after becoming an adult, they started working in a dog care center where they knew that working with animals was where they needed to be. About 6 months in, they unknowingly adopted a dog with a plethora of behavioral struggles. 

 

Dev decided it was time to make their move and start working towards becoming a certified dog trainer through Animal Behavior College. During the years of education and guidance from skilled trainers, they were able to not only obtain their ABCDT certification, but also help and learn from their dog Moose along the way. 

 

Devin started working with a local pet supply chain in hopes that they could work their way up to being a trainer with the company, and it finally happened! They started teaching classes, private lessons, and working one-on-one with dogs with day training. 

 

Dev ended up taking a pause in the animal world while they got ready to move from Massachusetts to Colorado in 2019. Although new to working in a veterinary setting, they strive to use their many years of customer service and animal behavior knowledge to bring empathy, understanding, and excellent experiences to every patient and client. 

 

Devin enjoys spending time with their now senior, well-adjusted dog, and their *very* old, sweet, and lap-addicted cat, Margaret, who they've had since childhood. They enjoy couch time with their animals, playing videogames, going on walks, and the occasional hike. 

Adjunct Trainers
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Amelia Wieber
(she/her/hers)

Bio coming shortly!

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Danielle Winkelman, KPA-CTP, ACDBC

Fear Free™ Certified 

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner 

Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant 

(she/her/hers)

After serving in the military as an Army medic, Danielle Winkelman graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Carolina.  Her career with animals began in shelters and sanctuaries, including Asheville Humane Society, where she was a veterinary assistant. Reluctant to give up rescue work, when Danielle accepted a position in an animal hospital, she started a nonprofit dog rescue. This is where she gained an appreciation for working with behavior issues and helping shelter pets become family members. Now with over a decade of experience in veterinary medicine, she continues to volunteer with a variety of species, from pigs to parrots.  

Danielle racks up a list of top-level certifications in the dog training and veterinary handling world.  She is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, one of the most well-respected dog training certifications in the country.  She has also earned her credentials as an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, a certification process that assesses both science-based understanding of how pets learn as well as appropriate application of this knowledge.  She is a Fear Free™ Certified Professional which means she has additional training making the veterinary experience low stress and is a Puppy Start Right Certified Instructor, ready to help puppies get set up for a lifetime of good manners and success in our human world.  Danielle is a graduate of “Resolving Fear Issues in Horses” through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, has worked with the Allegiance Rescue and currently volunteers with the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary.  She seeks out every opportunity for continuing education on the science of animal behavior and learning and has attended multiple conferences including the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants conference, Clicker Expo, Advanced TAGteach workshop, Living and Learning with Animals Professional Course run by the renowned Susan Friedman, PhD, and the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference, and more. 

 

She shares her home with her boyfriend, two huskies, a mustang, poultry, alpacas, and a mixed-breed pup who gives her plenty of opportunities to practice behavior treatments. She enjoys exploring the outdoors and can also be found practicing martial arts. 

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