Our Trainers

Chelsea Rock, CPDT-KA

She earned her BS in Zoology from Oregon State University.  There, she studied a broad range of courses, from genetics to ethology.  Continuing her academic career at Willamette University College of Law, Chelsea graduated with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 2014. She is an avid learner, values continuing education to provide our animals and clients’ animals with the highest quality care and services she can, and plans to pursue another advanced degree in applied animal behavior.

Chelsea attributes her growth as a trainer, values, and interest in force free training to her heart dog, Champ.   With him, they explored the world of marker training and its applications to both fun stuff (like tricks) and to serious stuff (like fear-based aggression with handling and leash reactivity).  While in school, she honed her skills at the Willamette Humane Society, walking dogs and helping the Behavior and Training Team in her free time.

Chelsea loves making learning fun for both ends of the leash and is committed to using effective rewards-based methods, with a special interest in marker training.  She earned her CPDT-KA in 2016 and is a member of APDT.

In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys life with setters, family, and friends, and has a variety of pastimes, including hiking, horseback riding, trivia & game nights, gardening, cooking, baking, reading, wine tasting, and painting.

Marilyn Peterson, CPDT-KA

Marilyn spent most her childhood collecting and rehabbing animals, attempting to run a wildlife sanctuary from the garage of her family’s suburban home, and has always shared her life with dogs and horses. Her shelter experience spans animal care, intake, adoptions, foster care, playgroups, and behavior. After training dogs and teaching people positive, rewards-based techniques for several years, Marilyn acquired her CPDT-KA certification in 2017.  Marilyn values continuing education so that she can do her best for the animals she works with, attending classes and workshops with Reggie, her WHS alumnus, attending seminars, and more.

The many pets she meets at the shelter continue to teach and inspire her, and she studies all aspects of dog behavior and training. Marilyn values continuing education so that she can do her best for the animals she works with, attending classes and workshops with her senior mastiff, attending seminars, and more. Marilyn is incredibly compassionate, kind, and dedicated, and we are very grateful to have her skills, knowledge, and drive on our team.

Nichole Myers-Youngquist, CPDT-KA

Nichole’s career in dog training began in grade school when her dad wanted to train their Brittany Spaniel to hunt.  Even back then she and her dad used positive training methods without realizing it.  Nichole earned her CPDT-KA in 2018.

Dog training wasn’t her first vocation.  She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Southern Oregon University and started an exciting career in the broadcast media industry.  Working at Portland, Oregon radio stations and KOIN-TV honed her customer service and public speaking skills.

Attending many obedience classes and participating in agility with her English Pointer made her realize how much she enjoyed dog training.  She obtained her dog training certification from Animal Behavior College where she graduated with honors.  She worked as a training assistant at Wonder Dogs in Philomath, Oregon as well as volunteered as a dog walker and Canine Adoptions Specialist at the Willamette Humane Society.

Nichole has worn several hats at the shelter from Adoptions Specialist to Animal Welfare Specialist.  Getting the position a Public Training Instructor is a dream come true. She loves to share her passion for dogs and training with everyone!

Nichole lives in Salem, Oregon with her supportive husband and their dog family of three, which includes two Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mixes and an American Eskimo mix.  Hiking, traveling, and binge watching TV shows are their favorite activities.

Jessi Henry, CPDT-KA

Jessi has been serving people and pets through her varied career at Willamette Humane Society for over 13 years. She is dedicated to humane training methods and has a particular passion for shelter playgroups.

She earned the Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge-Assessed certificate in fall 2015. In 2018, she started working as a Professional Behavior Responder for the ASPCA’s Anti Cruelty Behavior Response Team. She is the proud mom of two little humans and three dogs.

We value the work she does with our shelter dogs! Jessi provides services to WHS pets only and is not an instructor for public services.