Our Founder

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Therapy Pets Unlimited Pet Evaluator Badge
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Joni Bonilla

Joni became interested in dog training in 1999 when she adopted her first dog Buck after he was found abandoned on the highway near Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She immediately started working at the largest no-kill shelter in the state as a catch all employee. She was a part time kennel tech meets vet tech meets adoption counselor meets dog trainer. She later moved to Boston and received her her Associates Degree in Animal Care from North Shore community college while working at a local shelter and training dogs on the side. Joni landed in Albany after living a year in Fort Drum, NY and falling in love with upstate NY. After many years as the area trainer for a chain pet store she went out on her own and started Joni's Doggie Train. She specialized in rehabilitating dogs from shelters who had problems such as reactivity and shyness. Operation At Ease was started after a very frustrating search for a PTSD service dog for her friend Freddy. 

Joni is a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Pets Unlimited evaluator. She continues her education by attending seminars and workshops as often as possible. She also enjoys mentoring new and aspiring trainers as she believes everyone should have the pleasure of going to a job that doesn't feel like work.