Our Southeastern Pennsylvania branch serves the entire area including Chester, Delaware, Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in addition to Northern Delaware, Northern Maryland, New Jersey, Southeastern New York.
Kaitlyn Charney, CPDT-KA, Atlas-CTP
Kaitlyn Charney has had an overwhelming passion for animals for her entire life. Growing up, she always chose Discovery Channel and Animal Planet over Saturday morning cartoons. She also loved exploring the outdoors, catching frogs, and watching birds and other wildlife. She had dreams of becoming a veterinarian, but working for one in high school made her realize that it wasn't the right career choice.
While finishing her bachelor's degree in conservation and wildlife management, she found that her true passion is teaching. Learning new things and sharing them with others in order to spread enthusiasm and harmony is what makes her happiest in life.
She has an intimate understanding of animal behavior and a love of problem solving, so dog training came naturally to her while growing up with her own dogs. She decided to pursue ecological research jobs after college, but then a break between seasonal jobs led her to work as a trainer at a pet store. Over the next three and a half years she adapted the basics, and created her own various techniques to meet the exciting challenges she faced.
She is beyond thrilled to be able to go a step further and change people's lives through service dog training. She looks forward to every challenge with vast enthusiasm and a determined smile.
Alicia Gautille, CPDT-KA
Alicia Gautille has enjoyed training dogs starting from a young age. When she got her ﬁrst dog, a black Lab puppy, she taught him various different cues and tricks to show off to family members. Alicia’s love of animals led her to seek out a degree in Animal Science at Penn State in hopes of becoming a vet. During her time there, she raised a service dog puppy for an organization located near campus. Training a service dog using positive reinforcement sparked the desire in her to continue along the dog training path instead of the animal medical ﬁeld.
After college, Alicia landed a job as a bed bug detection dog handler for a pest control company in Maryland. She and her Golden Retriever, Terp, inspected houses, department stores, government buildings, and many other places in the DC metro area for bed bugs—and found plenty! After a few years of searching out bed bugs, Alicia started a new job as a diabetic alert dog trainer, traveling all over the country to aid clients in training their service dogs. Training diabetic alert dogs was very rewarding, but traveling three weeks out of every month quickly took a toll, so she moved back to Pennsylvania and took a job as an obedience and behavior trainer at a full service dog kennel.
During Alicia’s time training pet dogs at the kennel, she received her CPDT-KA certiﬁcation from the Certiﬁcation Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). The CPDT is an independent standardized test of dog training knowledge and abilities. Alicia enjoyed using her variety of training knowledge and experiences to help owners train their dogs in better behavior and obedience cues.
Alicia is excited to be back training service dogs with the Compass Key team. Her passion is helping those with disabilities gain independence through the aid of a well-trained service dog. Alicia currently lives in Montgomery County with her boyfriend and their two dogs — Terp the Golden Retriever, and Spartacus the Lab/Golden cross.