This week I had the privilege of interviewing Kelly Arbogast! Kelly has dedicated her life to helping humans and their animals! She is a Certified Professional Dog Behavior Consultant, Trainer, Owner of Doggonit Training NH, and is the contracted behaviorist at the NH Humane Society (NHHS) located in Laconia.
Kelly is also an amazing role model for young professionals wanting to start a business. Kelly was recently honored at the statewide Future Business Leaders of America conference as their keynote speaker!
Kelly grew up in Bedford and graduated from the University of New Hampshire. After graduating from UNH, Kelly and her husband were drawn to the beautiful lakes and mountains so they moved to the Lakes Region, and purchased their first home! When Kelly isn’t working, you can find her volunteering with numerous agencies or attending charity events! Kelly has participated in such events as Lakes Region Dancing with the Stars to raise awareness about rescue animals and she was in the Faith Hope and Love Foundation’s Fall Fashion Show to raise funds for local youth suffering from poverty, hunger and homelessness. In her free time you can find her hiking the 52 with a view, boating on Lake Winnipeasaukee, enjoying family time with her husband, two dogs and pot belly pig, or traveling around the world!
Kelly said “I have always loved and felt a deep connection with animals. So I did what any animal lover would do and decided to enter college at UNH as a Pre-vet student. Luckily for me I also worked at a veterinary office during my college career and quickly realized that the medical field was not a good fit for me. It was just too difficult seeing the animals I love in pain or sick… so I decided to change my major and it was the best thing I ever did. I went on to receive an AS in Animal Science and a BA in Psychology with a focus in animal cognition.”
Kelly started volunteering with different organizations including Canine Companions for Independence, which raises and trains service dogs for people with mental and physical disabilities. During this time she was able to help train a few dogs and was even allowed to bring them to her lectures for training and socialization. Next she earned a highly competitive position at the NHSPCA as an intern in the behavior department and was then offered a full time position. After graduating and continuing her work at the NHSPCA she felt ready to venture on her own and begin her own business.
Kelly is now entering her 9th year of business with Doggonit NH! She also works at the NH Humane Society as the director of their behavior department. With her work at the shelter she was able to help create volunteer programs, behavioral modification plans, kennel enrichment protocols and continue helping dogs rehabilitate and find loving homes. She said that this is one of the most rewarding parts of her job!
If you are ever at an animal event more than likely Kelly will be there – from the BOW Wow Fest to college campus’ doggie therapy programs! Kelly does it all!
The mission of her business is “To help improve the relationship of human and canine through positive, realistic, and modern behavioral modification. Never using pain or intimidation. To educate owners on dog behavior and communication. Also to become a more active part of the NH community making safer more approachable dogs, as well as more educated owners.”
Here are five facts you should know!
- Kelly helps to evaluate and train over 400 dogs a year at the NHHS alone (not including her Doggonit NH clients).
- She teaches six classes/week all year round including puppy classes, advanced, agility, and even a tricks class!
- Kelly has had the opportunity to work with whales, sloths, dolphins, and wolves.
- Every year she continues her education by attending as many conferences and training events as possible!
- Kelly owns a potbelly pig named Mu that enjoys therapy work at local nursing homes, after school programs, and libraries.
Kelly said her advice to future leaders would be to “get involved doing something in a field you know you will love! I am so lucky to be able to wake up every day excited to go to work. It doesn’t feel like work when you are passionate and love what you do. And that is all because I started volunteering and working in the field at a young age. It helped me to gain experience and knowledge before getting my official college degrees.”
“ Properly trained, a man can become dog’s best friend”
There are so many wonderful people and agencies making a difference in our own back yards! If you would like us to feature your non profit agency or know of an amazing NH professional giving back like Kelly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time –Do Good NH!