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PPK9A does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs.

Meet the Team

Board Members and Staff

My name is Shelli Crust and I live in Waynesboro. I am a Certified Dog Trainer, Socialization Manager for daycare and serve on the Board of Directors. I first came to PPK9A in November of 2020 when I stopped in to meet an adorable Border Doodle Puppy to see if I wanted to adopt her. I fell in love with her (Ziva) instantly and enrolled her in the Socialization Program. I volunteered on my days off from my full-time job to learn more about PPK9A. In August of 2021, I was offered a part-time position. I had fallen in love with all the dogs and realized I wanted to play a bigger role in the mission of PPK9A and the Therapy Dog Program. A few months later, I was offered a full-time position as Socialization Manager for the daycare program and the opportunity to begin taking classes to become a Certified Dog Trainer. Just days after starting my new position, I welcomed another fur child into my home, a Blue Heeler I named Gibbs.

I am a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and a Certified Dog Trainer through the Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy.

In my spare time, I am working on my next training certifications and training my pups to be amazing dogs.



My name is Daphne Almarode and I live in Stuarts Draft. I joined the board in 2023. I work in the Augusta County School System. and own a tri-color Beagle named Winston. He was trained in the PPK9A Therapy Dog Program to serve as a Therapy Dog in the school system. He goes to work with me most days. He has been a comfort to students, teachers, and staff. He loves his job! He is a certified Canine Good Citizen thru the AKC.


My name is McGregor Long and I am a volunteer. I live in Waynesboro with my parents. I work hard to keep the facility and yards clean for the dogs. Playing with the dogs is my favorite way to spend my day. I have a poodle named Mace that comes with me to daycare some days. I love talking to people when they drop off and pick up their dogs.



My name is Sharon Betlej and I live in Staunton. I'm a member of the Socialization Team and serve on the Board of Directors. I became involved with PPK9A in March 2021 when I saw on Facebook an opportunity to volunteer. I retired in January 2018 and since the thrill of retirement had worn off, I began to look for a way to get out in the community and do something different. Not only was working with dogs different from my work life, it also afforded me the opportunity to get outside and play! I volunteered 5 hours a week and absolutely loved it!! I grew up around dogs so it was a good fit for me. In September 2021, I was offered the job to open up Mon-Fri at 7a and work with the Socialization Team. In June 2022, I joined the board and enjoy working with the other board members to make PPK9A the best and first choice training program in Augusta County and surrounding areas. I have 2 Miniature Schnauzers, Andy (pictured above) and Josie.



My name is Sandi Thorpe and I live in Fishersville. I have served on the Board of Directors since 2023. I work in the Augusta County School System and have seen first hand the importance of Therapy Dogs as they relate to children.

My dogs, Archie (Standard Poodle) and Sadie (Labradoodle), are Therapy Dogs and have passed the Canine Good Citizen certification. They both attend the Socialization Program.  It's a great way for them to work off energy during the day. They love playing with their friends and cuddling with the humans.



My name Robbi Blackburn and I live in Waynesboro. I have been on the PPK9A Board of Directors since its inception. I work part-time as a member of the Socialization Team. I also sit on the Board of Directors for the Waynesboro First Aid Crew where I have been a member for 32 years and a lifetime member. Miss Kitty (pictured) was one of the first trained therapy dogs. She loved people and people loved her and performed her job with grace and joy. She passed in February 2024 at the age of 14 years. Kringle is my new rescue and is in Therapy Dog training.


            Miss Kitty working her magic at Books-a-Million




My name is Lauren Kinese and I live in Stuarts Draft. I joined the board in 2023. I work as a reading specialist in the Augusta County School System.

My dog, Beau, a silver Labrador, is a PPK9A trained Therapy Dog. He is a certified Canine Good Citizen thru the AKC.

He's a big fella with a heart of gold and loves meeting people at the Therapy Dog events.


My name is Emily Thomas and I live in Fishersville. I'm a part time staff member. I came to PPK9A as a student from Wilson Workforce to do my externship. I proved to be a good worker so was hired after I graduated. I love the dogs and taking care of them. It is a rewarding way to spend my day. I don't have a dog of my own but hope to one day own a Siberian Husky.

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