Since its humble beginnings, Pawsitive Teams has been volunteer-inspired and volunteer-run. With the exception of two part-time staff members, that is still true today. We have an exceptional Board of Directors and over 100 talented and compassionate volunteers working in a myriad of roles to keep our service dog, therapy dog, and facility dog programs in full force.
Carol Davis, Co-Founder, Director of Training
Carol developed a passion for training service dogs to assist people with disabilities when she volunteered as a puppy raiser for another service dog organization more than 20 years ago. Her passion was fed by the inspiration she found with the many individuals partnered with service dogs who recognized the value of specially-trained canines to help them regain their independence. The icing on the cake was the creation of Pawsitive Teams that could accomplish this mission with volunteer trainers, many with full-time jobs, who could fulfill their passion through training and placing these special dogs. A win-win for everyone.
Charli King, Co-Founder, Director of Special Projects
Although Charli spent many years training her own personal dogs, it was a chance visit to a booth at the San Diego County Fair in the 1990s that sparked a new direction for her—a local service dog training organization was promoting their upcoming puppy raising orientation. Charli attended that orientation and thus became a Puppy Raiser. After being a Puppy Raiser with that first organization and then with one other, she sought to participate in what happens AFTER puppy raising. Thus, Charli and Co-Founder Carol Davis formed Pawsitive Teams in 1997.
The nature of Pawsitive Teams’ service dog training program is well suited for Charli. Her outgoing, people-oriented personality extends to how she trains our service dogs. During each pup’s first two years of training, she adds to their high-level service dog skills development by volunteering as a certified therapy team so the pup has rich social interactions and experiences to add to his or her resume. Charli always goes that extra mile.
Art Brauner, Executive Director
Art has been the part-time Executive Director of Pawsitive Teams since 2007. Art and his wife Brenda (a volunteer with Pawsitive Teams) first came to PT with their Golden Retriever “Rachel” who became certified as a therapy dog with us. Art and Brenda currently have an English Lab named “Beckett” who is also a PT-certified therapy dog.
Art received Bachelors and Masters degrees in Science from the University of Michigan and was subsequently a Research Associate and Assistant Professor at West Virginia University. He then served as CEO of the Forest Products Society, a large international nonprofit association headquartered in Wisconsin, for 30 years until his retirement in 2006. Art also has nonprofit experience with various ski patrol organizations and Freedom Dogs, Inc.
Eileen Heveron, Assistant Executive Director
After a career of over 40 years in higher education, Eileen retired in January 2018. She had worked for several colleges in administration, academics, student affairs, fundraising, and information technology. All along, Eileen had also been involved with dogs, including obedience, freestyle, and training and particularly loved her therapy dog volunteer work. She joined Pawsitive Teams almost a decade ago as an instructor in the Therapy Dog Prep School; her husband Hank joined in as a therapy dog program volunteer for several years as well with their standard poodles. In 2019, Eileen and her diabetic alert service dog, Dexter, literally jumped at the chance to take a more active role at Pawsitive Teams as Assistant Executive Director.
Margery Squier, Program Director
Margery first came across Pawsitive Teams in 2012 when a longtime dog trainer in San Diego said to her “You just HAVE to take your Collie to Therapy Dog Prep School at Pawsitive Teams!” —she signed up for the class, graduated with Misty, and became a huge fan of the organization. She took a second Collie, Austin, through the Prep School as well, and they’ve been an active, PT-certified team for four years. She very happily accepted the part-time position of Program Director in 2018.
Margery spent many years in pharmaceutical research, bioinformatics, web development, database design, and project management with Johnson & Johnson and in her own company, The Squier Group. But all along, the dog lover in her rose to the top!
Founded by Carol Davis and Charli King in 1997, Pawsitive Teams was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in California in May of 1999 (EIN 33-0851474). Our initial programs included training and placing service dogs for San Diegans with limited mobility and teaching a six-week Therapy Dog Prep Class for dog owners interested in volunteering in the community with their pet dog.
In 2006, we established the PAAT program (Pawsitive Animal Assisted Therapy) in which we partner with facilities in San Diego who serve a wide variety of populations that benefit from interactions with carefully selected therapy dogs.
Pawsitive Teams also graduated its first Facility Dog team in 2006. Facility dogs work with professionals in the work setting to accomplish client-related goals.
Our organization is volunteer-inspired and volunteer-run with a very limited part time paid staff. We will apply your donation to the fund you specify. Also, the Board of Directors will use the donations as directed to fulfill our mission.