Meet Our Team

  • Cindy Otto, DVM, PhD, DACVECC, DACVSMR, CCRT

    Executive Director

    Posted On: May 1st, 2013

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    cmotto@vet.upenn.edu

    Dr. Otto, a member of the Pennsylvania Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1 from 1994 to 2010, began monitoring the health and behavior of Urban Search and Rescue canines in October of 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. This work inspired her to establish the Penn Vet Working Dog Center.

    She has published over 60 articles in peer reviewed journals, authored over 10 book chapters and lectured nationally and internationally on Emergency Medicine, Disaster Medicine and Working Dogs.

    Her research program has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery, Morris Animal Foundation and other foundations.

    She has also been involved in disaster medicine as a member of the Veterinary Medical Assistance Team – 2 since 1999.

    Dr. Otto is board-certified in both veterinary emergency and critical care and veterinary sports medicine. She is a tenured associate professor of Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine and was named Pennsylvania’s 2002 “Veterinarian of the Year” and received an Alumni Recognition Award in 2006 and the OSU Distinguished Alumus Award in 2008 from the Ohio State University.
    She is involved in dog sports (flyball, agility, and tricks), and also provides pet therapy in the Philadelphia area, with her rescued Bichon mix, Dolce.

     

    Advisory Positions

    USAR Veterinary Group – 2007 – present
    Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team Board 2010-present
    US Special Operations Command Committee on Canine Tactical-Combat Casualty Care 2010 – 2012
    Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthoganol Detector Guidelines 2011-2014
    NIST Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Dogs and Sensors Subgroup 2014-present
    Advisory Committee for The Center for Animal and Human Relationships (CENTAUR) VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine 2012-present
    Search Dog Foundation Canine Veterinary Working Group 2012-present
    Hand2Paw – Board member 2012-present

  • Vicki Berkowitz

    Associate Director

    Posted On: May 2nd, 2013

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    vickibe@vet.upenn.edu

    Vicki is a graduate of The George Washington University with a BA in Communications.  After graduation, she began her career in the brokerage industry earning her Series 7 & Series 8 licenses and a position working with branch offices across the Midwest to enhance their operations efficiency and overall industry compliance.  After 6 years in the industry, Vicki pursued an opportunity experience life in another culture and spent a year teaching English to college professors in Ecuador, South America.

    After returning to the United States, Vicki joined a retained search firm in Albany, NY specializing in building executive and leadership teams for high-tech start up companies.

    Vicki has spent the last 11 years in roles with increasing responsibility at Muscular Dystrophy Association.  Over the past 7 years as a leader on Regional, Divisional and National teams, Vicki not only managed relationships with National sponsors and events, but guided District teams through management of budgets, strategic business plans, and staff development.

    Vicki enjoys hiking with her 4 yr old Leonberger, Eloise, who is not only a registered therapy dog but also a decorated “Dock Dog” competitor.

  • Kathleen Kelsey, MS, MBA

    Research Coordinator

    Posted On: May 3rd, 2013

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    kkelsey@vet.upenn.edu

    Kathleen graduated from the University of Missouri with an MS in Animal Science and her MBA from Columbia College. Before joining the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, she worked with Purina Mills providing nutritional programs for dog owners across the Midwest and as a Veterinary Technician at a large practice in Kansas City.

    She has been involved with Urban Search and Rescue since 2003 as a Canine Search Specialist with Missouri Task Force One. Her experience as a trainer, combined with her interest in research, drew her to the mission of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center.

    Kathleen continues to deploy with Missouri Task Force One with current partner, an American Bull Dog Mix, ChicoDog. Kathleen is also a member of McClean County EMA with her Human Remains Detection dog, a German Shepherd Dog, Zach. She is also enjoying training Nosework with her retired USAR partner, a Dutch Shepherd named Calvary.

  • Annemarie DeAngelo, MAS

    Training Director

    Posted On: May 4th, 2013

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    adeang@vet.upenn.edu

    Major Annemarie DeAngelo retired from the New Jersey State Police in January of 2012, concluding a distinguished thirty-one year career. She was assigned to patrol, canine, investigation and administration before rising to the command staff positions of Executive Officer in the Homeland Security Branch and Field Operations “Troop C” Commanding Officer.

    Annemarie was the founder and architect of the New Jersey State Police Canine Unit. She began training dogs for obedience and personal protection under the guidance of a military canine trainer in 1980. That experience steered her law enforcement career and she became the first NJSP narcotic dog (Buddy) handler. For the next 13 years she served in the Canine Unit as a handler, trainer, and ultimately unit leader. She earned trainer certifications from both the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and the United States Police Canine Association. She is an active canine trial judge and advocate for law enforcement and civilian canine organizations.

    Annemarie and her canine partner “Buster” were awarded the National Detector Dog “Case of the Year” for an investigation and scent detection that led to the seizure of 1,200 kilograms of cocaine concealed in a tractor trailer. She was also the recipient of the prestigious “Gene Catre Memorial Award” presented by The College of New Jersey Criminal Justice Department for career contributions to the law enforcement community.

    Annemarie earned her Masters of Administrative Science degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University where she also earned a graduate certification in School Security and Safety Administration.

  • Pat Kaynaroglu

    Training Manager

    Posted On: May 5th, 2013

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    pkay@vet.upenn.edu

    Pat graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in Special Education. She began training search and rescue dogs after discovering them with one of her special needs students. She has partnered with working dogs in her special education classrooms ever since and received the Teacher of the Year award from the Kids in Need Foundation in 2010 for the Cody Project, which teaches middle and high school students the skills necessary to train search and rescue canines.

    Pat has been a search and rescue handler since 1992. She has participated in over 400 search and rescue missions as a handler, as an Incident Commander, and as Planning & Operations Coordinator with a specialty in managing K9 operations. She has certified three Disaster Search Canines, three Human Remains Detection & Water Search canines, and four Wilderness Search Canines. Pat is currently a Canine Search Specialist with Pennsylvania Task Force 1 and is a national Instructor and Evaluator with FEMA for live-find and HRD.  She served with Lake County Search and Rescue in Colorado from 2002- 2012 and currently serves with the Lambertville-New Hope Ambulance & Rescue Squad K9 Unit with her live find canine Rip and HRD canine Pacy.

    Pat and her husband Hakan, who is also a FEMA Canine Search Specialist, founded Emergency Response K9 in 2000 and helped establish the Disaster Search Dog Program in Turkey. They conduct search dog trainings, evaluations, and seminars as well as raise funds to support the purchase of working dogs.

    Pat and Hakan love the outdoors, skiing in Colorado, and spending time with their family.

     

  • Judi Berke

    Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

    Posted On: February 12th, 2014

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    berkej@vet.upenn.edu

    Judi Berke is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and graduate of Sherman Chiropratic College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, specializing in the NUCCA technique. Judi had 25 years of experience running a successful chiropractic practice in Glenside, PA. She has had training in animal adjusting and served as Clinic Doctor at the Pennsylvania Chiropractic College. For the past eight years, her experience has been in higher education as a Continuing Education Director.

    A dog owner for most of her life, Judi has enjoyed the company of a German Shepherd, two Great Danes, and a Yorkshire Terrier. She currently resides in Elkins Park, PA with her rescue dog, Patrick, a long-haired Dachshund mix. During the 2013 holiday season, Judi and Patrick served as a temporary foster family for the Work Dog Center, welcoming Bretagne as their special guest.

     

  • Donna Magness

    Trainer

    Posted On: July 23rd, 2014

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    dmagness@vet.upenn.edu

    Donna has been an avid horse person since the age of 5. Her love of horses led her to own and operate an equestrian tack shop, Gentry Tack & Apparel, Inc. for 15 years and to volunteer at Thorncroft Equestrian Center. Donna’s interests broadened to include dog training when she began taking Maddie, her Bouvier des Flandres, to agility classes after Maddie showed interest in agility equipment during an obedience class. Maddie and Donna now compete in AKC agility at the Masters Level.

    Donna began volunteering at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center as soon as it opened. Her contributions as a volunteer prompted the Center to hire her as a part-time trainer 6 months after she began volunteering. Donna grew up with horses, basset hounds, and ducks, which encouraged her love of animals. She rescued two greyhounds, who have since passed on, before she got Maddie and now, in addition to Maddie, owns seventeen chickens; two English Bulldogs, named Bonnie and Clyde; and fosters the Center’s very own yellow Labrador retriever, Jake!

  • Danielle Berger

    Trainer

    Posted On: September 3rd, 2015

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    Danielle has been involved in the animal sciences and animal rescue world since she was a child. She worked part time as a domestic animal and wildlife veterinary technician while raising her two sons in South Jersey. Her dog training career began when her brother, a medic with US Army, and his unit rescued a puppy from the streets of Iraq in late 2007. She has since graduated with honors from the Animal Behavior College Dog Training Program, completed an intern/externship with the behavior team at Pennsylvania SPCA, trained in and taught advanced off leash obedience in group classes, assisted in training service dogs for veterans with PTSD, and owned and operated her own dog training business.

    Danielle began as a WDC volunteer in the Spring of 2014 and quickly realized that she was extremely interested in the practices, research, and scent detection training here at Working Dog Center. She became involved in all aspects of training, behavior, and research and participated in a 5 day Wilderness Search and Rescue seminar with WDC K9 Logan (donated by Watcher Engle Kennels) and worked part-time as a research technician during the summer of 2014. She joined our training team as a full time trainer in May 2015 and enjoys being a back- up foster for our WDC dogs.

    When not at the WDC, Danielle can be found enjoying activities involving the great outdoors with her family, her own pet dogs as well as our WDC pups.

  • Bridget Stewart

    Trainer

    Posted On: September 3rd, 2015

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    Bridget’s interest in canine behavior started at a young age. She began working dogs in 4H with her Rhodesian Ridgeback and as a puppy raiser for The Seeing Eye. Through these experiences she learned about puppy development and learning curves.

    Throughout college she worked at a local animal shelter as a trainer and behavior evaluator. She worked with the shelter dogs teaching obedience, loose leash walking, and kennel manners. She also worked with staff and volunteers teaching positive training methods and canine behavior and body language. This helped the shelter team facilitate better matches with potential owners which led to more successful adoptions.

    Bridget attended Delaware Vally University and graduated with a Small Animal Science degree with a focus in animal behavior. The school provided a hands on learning program and she was able to successfully train a variety of animals from chickens to horses.

    After graduating, she began interning at the Working Dog Center where she learned about drive, scent work, and the training of working dogs. Now as one of our full time trainers Bridget says she is continues to learn and improve her skills every day and that she “absolutely loves her job!”

Meet our Post Doc