Tag Archive for: WCC service dog training instructors

New Faces at WCC: Alexandra Kozell and Ketcher Taylor

Warrior Canine Connection is growing! We are pleased to share we’ve welcomed a couple of new members to our team—Alexandra Kozell and Ketcher Taylor—learn more about them below.

New Faces at WCCAlexandra “Allie” Kozell, Service Dog Training Instructor

Alexandra “Allie” Kozell joined WCC in Boyds, Maryland, where she is our newest service dog training instructor. Allie joined WCC in January 2023, and in her new role, will be working closely with our service dogs in training and our amazing Puppy Parents through classes and hands-on support.

Allie says she always knew she wanted to work with animals. She attended Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she studied psychology. While in school, she also worked with dogs at a day care and training facility. After college, she went on to become a dog trainer and learned hands on from multiple certified and experienced trainers gaining knowledge of many different training styles. After getting her CCPDT-KA certification she spent her time working with pet dogs through day training, private lessons, and classes. Her prior experience is a welcome addition to the WCC team.

“I really love the work, and I am so honored and proud to be part of a program that helps veterans on their rehabilitation journey through their connection with a dog,” says Allie. “Dogs are happy all the time, they’re happy to see you and eager to please. They’re just really supportive and help break through barriers.”

When not working, Allie can be found hiking with Mac, her one-year-old yellow Labrador.

Ketcher Taylor, Service Dog Training InstructorNew Faces at WCC

Ketcher Taylor, a service dog training instructor at WCC’s California program located at the Palo Alto VA, also joined WCC in January 2023.

As a trainer, Ketcher’s area of focus will be working with WCC’s service dogs in training and Puppy Parents through classes and hands-on support, and he will also assist with delivering WCC’s Mission Based Trauma Recovery (MBTR) training to Veterans in the Menlo Park Program.

“I’m enjoying it a lot,” said Ketcher. “I enjoy the team I work with here in California and getting to know everyone back at headquarters, and the work has been extremely enjoyable with the dogs we have here.”

Ketcher is a graduate from the Bergin University of Canine Studies, where he received a bachelor’s degree in cynology. After graduating, he started training service dogs for Veterans through an affiliate organization of the University. He gained experience and skills in training, group class teaching, outreach and fundraising, as well as dog placement. Having worked in both San Diego and San Antonio, Ketcher has gained an appreciation for the large Military communities throughout the country.

Ketcher also spent several years working in animal shelters, doing behavioral training and abuse rehabilitation. There, he gained experience working with all types of different dog breeds. While gaining knowledge and skill with; behavior training, abuse rehab and welfare, as well as rehoming and adoptions.

A dog lover, Ketcher enjoys spending time with Pinot, his 5-year-old Husky, including outdoor adventures, hikes and taking in the scenery.

New Faces at WCC

Warrior Canine Connection’s pack has grown! We are excited to introduce you to two new members of our team.

Michele Tate
Michele joined WCC in mid-November 2021 as a service dog training instructor at WCC’s program in Asheville, North Carolina. She has vast experience working with a wide variety of breeds and temperaments, as well as service and rescue organizations. In her role, she will oversee the puppy program and work closely with WCC’s highly valued puppy parents.

Michele graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She then received her training at Starmark Dog Training Academy, where she specialized in task training and behavior modification.

Prior to coming to WCC, Michele spent four years working with service dogs and Veterans, so this is not new territory to her. She says the military population is one she’s always been interested in supporting, as she has a partner who is a Veteran and family members who are Veterans and active-duty Service Members.

“It’s been amazing to see how quickly WCC’s purpose-bred dogs pick up on skills, how calm and easy going they are,” said Michele. “Of course, they have well-rounded lives with puppy parents, exposure to people, sounds, and other stimuli from the time they’re only a few weeks old and then formalized training … but it’s been magical to watch that come together.”

Michele has two dogs, Brin and Red, and when not at WCC, she enjoys swimming, riding her bike, cooking, and reading.


Suzanne Brown
In late November, we also welcomed Suzanne Brown as a service dog training instructor who will work in a part-time capacity at our Healing Quarters in Boyds, Maryland. Suzanne graduated from the Coast Guard Academy with a bachelor’s in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, and she earned advanced engineering degrees at the University of Michigan. She served over 25 years active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard before retiring as a Captain in 2020.

Suzanne has volunteered at WCC for the past few years and served in almost every volunteer role from whelping/puppy watcher to puppy parent and she helped coordinate WCC’s Inaugural Ruff Mutter event.

She has extensive experience with the MBTR program, where she discovered her passion for training service dogs, both as a participant and running WCC’s Extended Veteran Program for fellow Veterans who complete the MBTR program and want to continue training service dogs for fellow Veterans.

“I came to know WCC at a really rough time in my life and they really helped me through that,” says Suzanne. “I have seen firsthand the impact that working with the dogs has as well as the difference a service dog can make on a Veteran’s life. WCC’s programs, both the placement of service dogs and utilizing military members and Veterans to help train the service dogs in training, have not only helped me but so many military members and Veterans in their recovery process. Those invisible wounds are real and it’s hard to explain but the dogs have such a tremendously positive impact. I came in at the right time, and now I want to actively help others through WCC’s mission.”

Outside of work, Suzanne enjoys spending time with Baxter, her 14-year-old pet Golden Retriever. Suzanne also used to compete in triathlons and says she is focusing on becoming more active. Suzanne is also a volunteer coach for adaptive/para-swimming and triathlons.