About Us

About Us 2017-08-25T20:32:02+00:00

Heidi Palmer McNeil, CTC, CPDT-KA

In 2002, Heidi received a Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC) from Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers at the San Francisco SPCA and started Pooch Pawsitive.  While living in Santa Clara, California (doing her high tech marketing career) she started Pooch Pawsitive and taught classes for Dr. Ian Dunbar.  Then Heidi quit the corporate rat race and moved back to RI in 2003 to operate the Pooch Pawsitive business full time.

She is a nationally Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.   Heidi is an approved AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a certified Wag It Games Instructor.

She is past president of the South Kingstown Dog Park Association and has volunteered at Animal Rescue Rhode Island (AnimalRescueRI.org) and other shelters over the years.

She has written or been interviewed for many articles that have appeared in RI Monthly, the Providence Journal and RI Local Magazine as well as other local newspapers. Pooch Pawsitive has also been featured on The Rhode Show television program.

Heidi grew up with poodles (Fifi, Tasha and Colby) and also adopted her husband’s Beagle (Buster) and neighbor Lhasa Apso (Rufus).  Heidi is a graduate of Barrington High School and Providence College.  Heidi lives in East Providence with her husband. In her free time, Heidi enjoys cooking and fixing up the house they bought in 2017.

You can reach Heidi by email at heidi@poochpawsitive.com.

Meghan Silva is a Group Supervisor at our Puppy Preschool and Dog Daycare program.  She is a Massachusetts native (with a few years spent in North Carolina in between).  Meghan adopted her furry best friend Harley, a lab/boxer mix, in 2012 and, while doing research about dog training, fell in love with all things canine!  Meghan worked as a manager of an after-school children’s program in Fall River for 9 years.  She completed her Certificate in Dog Training from Animal Behavior College in 2015 where she completed her externship for the program with Heidi.  Meghan is animal, adult and child CPR and First Aid certified.  Meghan spends her free time hiking out in the woods with Harley or hanging out at home with a good book!

Samantha “Sam” Favreau is a Group Leader.  Sam was raised in Western Massachusetts and Florida and recently moved back to New England in 2016.  While living in Florida, she worked at a dog daycare in the Tampa, FL area and realized that working with dogs was exactly what she wanted to do!  She plans to go to school for dog behavior and training.  Samantha has a senior tabby cat, Stripey.  In her free time, Sam likes to spend time with family or read a good Stephen King book!

Krystal McCarthy is a Group Leader.  A life-long resident of East Providence, her family has had several dogs over the years, her dog Whitney most recently adopted in 2010.  She has worked in the culinary field and, in 2015, decided to pursue her love of animal behavior.  Krystal graduated from Animal Behavior College in 2016 where she completed her externship program with Heidi.  She is currently working toward achieving her CPDT-KA.  She is Pet CPR and First Aid certified.  In her free time, Krystal enjoys adventures with friends and playing pool.

Casey Hallenbeck is an Assistant Group Leader.  Casey took classes at Pooch Pawsitive with her then puppy Australian Cattle Dog mix, Cooper.  Casey also has a dachshund at home.  She loves working with dogs every day and has been a dog walker for two years.  She is enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy to receive her certificate for dog training.  In her free time, Casey enjoys photography and painting.