Our certified expert staff is dedicated to ensuring that every client receives top-notch support tailored to their unique needs. With a wealth of experience and a commitment to excellence, our team stands ready to be your trusted ally in achieving success and reaching new heights.
Abby Hill – CPDT-KA
Founder / Executive Director / Director of Canine Program Development: Abby is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPD). She’s been passionately training dogs for twenty years. Abby has competed at a national level in multiple disciplines, including AKC Rally and Obedience, where she not only won multiple classes but earned the highest title possible, Magna Cum Laude 1. Abby is also the owner of The Exceptional Pet. She leads our team as an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a member of the National Association of Canine Scent Work.
Abby is a big believer in continuing education and professional development. Every year she attends workshops and seminars with some of the leading trainers in the field. She lives with her 3 dogs, 7 chickens, 1 tortoise, 1 hamster, a constant rotation of service dogs in training, and a very patient husband.
Sandy Lee – CPDT-KA / Regional Puppy Raising Coordinator: Sandy found her love of dog training while training her Bernedoodle Beau. She began her career as a volunteer trainer for The Exceptional Sidekick, helping to train service dogs. She continues her education through a rigorous program with CATCH and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) and an approved AKC evaluator. Sandy wholeheartedly believes in the science behind and practices positive reinforcement training. She is now our lead service dog trainer. She is also the coordinator for our College Puppy Raising Program at Sacred Heart University. Sandy enjoys teaching all levels of classes that build lasting bonds through adventure and fun with humans and dogs.
Abby Tanzer – CPDT-KA / Regional Puppy Raising Coordinator: While working on her CPDT, Abby completed and internship with The Exceptional Pet’s lead trainer. Abby has also volunteered with The Exceptional Sidekick for several years. Abby is currnetly pursuing a degree in canine training and management at SUNY Cobleskill. As Regional Puppy Raising Coordinator, she plays a key role in our College Puppy Raising Program on SUNY Cobleskill’s camput. With her patient, positive, and personalized approach, she is committed to helping dogs and their handlers thrive together, whether it’s improving behavior or strengthening their bond. We are excited to have Abby on our team to provice top-notch training and care for our dogs.
Jennifer Theriault, LCSW / Mental Health Consultant: As a clinical social worker, Jennifer has seen firsthand the isolation that can occur when mental health issues limit people’s lives. Her work allows her to understand the clinical implications for adolescents and young adults living with mental illness and to see the difference in the quality of their lives when they can be fully engages in the world with a trusted exceptional sidekick by their side! We are grateful for Jennifer’s time when it is helpful for us to consult with a therapist.
Board Members: Tara Tanzer, Christine Dangers, Andrea Maney, Pia Ledina, Mirelle Norma, Christina Linderman, Rachel Stansel and Amber Rideout. Learn more…
The Exceptional Sidekick is approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt organization, and all donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. The Exceptional Sidekick Federal Identification Number (EIN) is 81-1196868.