Karen Pratt


Karen has worked in the marketing and communications field for 23 years as an Accounting Supervisor and then as a Director of Administration and Accounting. She then went on to a whole new endeavor as an Accounting Manager for 8 years at an Orthodontic Office and then a Practice Manager for another Orthodontics office for 1 year until a major medical incident cut her professional career short in 2011. She has been with The Animal Behavior Center for over ten years since the center opened. Karen lives in Sylvania very close to The Animal Behavior Center with her youngest daughter Sandy. Sandy also volunteers at The Animal Behavior Center and works at a doggy day care. Karen’s oldest daughter, Michelle is a Veteran Marine and married to a fellow veteran Marine, Wes. Michelle is an editor at a large academic publishing company based in San Diego, CA. and Wes is currently in Seminary school studying to be a pastor.

Karen loves any kind of animal! She has 3 dogs, 7 cats, an African Grey, English budgies, and 2 cockatiels. Karen also helps her daughter Sandy with their Oriental cats/kittens in breeding and showing pedigreed TICA registered cats. Since being at The Animal Behavior Center, she has learned so much from Lara. Using applied behavior analysis and positive reinforcement training has opened her eyes to a whole new level of compatibility and has strengthened her relationship with her animals at home.

Sandy Pratt

Sandy currently works a Doggie Daycare. Sandy volunteers on a regular basis helping out with feeding, cleaning and training. Also, volunteers at the events wherever she is needed. Sandy has a passion for rescuing animals in need and will go out of her way to help the owner or get the animal in good hands, whether it be a veterinarian, shelter, etc. Sandy’s dream is to open a rescue facility someday. Sandy has started raising Oriental show cats; TICA registered and pedigreed.

Lindsay Douglas

Lindsay is an undergraduate student who is currently pursuing a degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. With that degree, she plans to study animal behavior with hopes of opening her own wildlife rehab and rescue center. Lindsay has always had a passion for animals and hopes to instill that same passion in others after learning all she can about the animal behavior field.

Beth Peoples

Beth’s bio is a little different but I couldn’t help but post her awesome story as her bio:

“Once upon a time there was a bird show in Toledo, Ohio. That show, basically started my ABC journey. My intent was to just pick up a food pre-order but what bird parent can resist the temptation to look around for other goodies?
Lo and behold, there it was. That friendly lady turned out to be Karen Pratt and her daughters. Karen had information about a bird club in Toledo that met once a month and there was a meeting SOON!I went to that meeting and that is where I met Lara Joseph. There was so much educational value presented. Never missed a meeting after that. Later, Lara started The Animal Behavior Center and I attended as many workshops as I could. Every once in a while I’d see posts about volunteer positions open but the timing was never quite right.

It is now 11 or 12 years later and I come to the center twice a week and work on enrichment toys; please nobody pinch me; if this is a dream, I don’t want to wake up!”

Kendall Jukalla

Kendall is a graduate of Northern Michigan University with degrees in both Communication Disorders and Nursing. She has been an RN for over 6 years and currently works at 2 hospitals in the Toledo area. She has been a volunteer at The Animal Behavior Center since early 2018. She lives in Lambertville, not far from the center’s new location at Indian Creek Zoo, with her husband, Trevor, and a small zoo of their own.

Kendall always says that while nursing pays the bills, animals are her true passion! All of her animals are rescued/rehomed, and she stands firmly by the adage “ADOPT DON’T SHOP”. She has 2 parrots, a Green Wing Macaw, Murray, who used to reside at the ABC, and an African Grey named Buzz. She also has 2 dogs, a Great Dane and a Mastiff mix, and 2 cats. Both of her cats were foster fails, as she frequently fosters litters of stray kittens.

As an experienced volunteer, Kendall gets to work and train with a variety of animals, as well as create enrichment/foraging toys. Lara has shown her, first hand, how applied behavior analysis and positive reinforcement can change behavior and improve the animal/owner relationship. Kendall’s work at the ABC has strengthened the bond between her and her own pets, and she is excited to continue to learn and grow as a volunteer!

Shannon Hodges

Shannon has been passionate about animals all of her life. Growing up on a farm she got to work hands on with various large animals from a young age. She also brought home all of the stray animals that she could as a child and nursed the sick or injured ones back to health. At 4 years old, she told her Mom that when she grew up she was going to work at a zoo. She has never not had animals in her life and has been the caregiver to many species over the years. Currently she has 2 cats, a parakeet and a veiled chameleon.

She is married and a mother to 4 amazing children and spent most of her adult life being a stay at home mom. Once her children started to become independent, she decided it was her time to go back to school. She graduated from Ultimate Medical Academy in 2018 with a degree in Medical Billing and Coding and went on to work on her Bachelor’s in health care administration, but realized that she was just not passionate about the human heathcare industry. She made the switch and enrolled in a Veterinary Technician program which she is still pursuing. She came to The Animal Behavior Center as a volunteer as part of her program, and stayed on after she completed her required hours for school and she has no plans to ever stop volunteering at the center. She assists with various tasks at the center from cleaning to feeding the resident birds to making enrichment as well.

She is currently working as a zoo keeper where she cares for all reptiles and primates daily. Giving zoo volunteers direction, she inspires others through responsible and correct care.

Lauren Way

Lauren is a graduate of the University of Findlay with a bachelor’s degree in Animal
Science. She is involved with the enrichment team at the center in creating toys for all of
the resident animals. She loves learning all she can from both Lara and the animals in
our care. Lauren has had a passion for animals from a very young age and continues to
love working with and for them in any way she can!

Deb Sasse

Debbie attributes her Busia(Grandmother) for her love of Animals. She always had a kittens, puppies, a bird or fish for her to love on. Mom and Dad also helped that along. Growing up Debbie had a Dog Grooming business which her Dad helped her to start.
Debbie has been in Veterinary Medicine as a Registered Veterinary Technician for over 45 years, everyday is an adventure. and still currently working at a clinic in Temperance Michigan. So volunteering at ABC seemed like a good fit.
At this time she and her husband have 2 GSD’s and 1 St Poodle. All 3 have unique personalities and keep them on their toes.
“At this point in time I have been volunteering for 10 months and will continue till forever.”

Kathy Bennett

Kathy is a graduate of Siena Heights University with a degree in Psychology. She was employed by The University of Michigan and retired in 2008 after working 30 years in student services. Kathy lives in Lambertville with her husband, Terry, and their two adopted cats, Tuxedo and Zelda. She loves animals and is interested in learning about them, their behaviors, and their care. Kathy currently volunteers on a regular basis creating enrichment/foraging toys and cleaning.

Terry Bennett

Terry is retired from the University of Michigan after 22 years of service in Facilities Management. He studied at Monroe County Community College with a focus on Management and Total Quality Management. He lives in Lambertville with his wife, Kathy and two rescue cats, Tuxedo and Zelda (honestly she came with that name). Terry grew up in the country so he has a natural love for animals of all kinds. He volunteers at ABC regularly to assemble enrichment toys for different bird species.

Kyle Myrice

Meet Kyle Myrice. Kyle graduated from BGSU with a BS in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Conservation Biology in 2021. Kyle has always had a passion for animals and conservation. He currently has a few captive breeding projects that include various species of invertebrates, turtles, snakes, and lizards. Aside from cold blooded animals, Kyle loves to work with birds! He adopted his Moluccan cockatoo when he was 19 and she was 21. Kyle says his love for birds has only grown since adopting her!

Kimberly Meggison

Kim is “a servant to 3 cats a dog and currently a flock of 27 (sometimes that number goes up and down).” She helps with those who are unable to care for their birds or find birds outside or just need a spot until they can get back on their feet to be able to get their bird back however long it takes.

Kim has worked in factory life for 25+yrs driving a forklift for about 20 of those yrs.
I have always loved animals.
Kim has volunteered with many rescues; horse rescues (starry skies horse rescue & sanctuary &
Whispering horsemanship)
She currently volunteers with Wild Wings bird rehabilitation (songbird & crow rescue) and has been there for 4yrs. Kim also volunteers with Michigan Duck Rescue for 2 years. She says she has always loved animals.
Kim is a mother of 2 human adult boys and has a grandcat and granddoggie but no “grandhumans” she says.

She has been with her guy for the last 9yrs who has also jumped on the volunteering wagon with her.

Susan Holmes

Susan started volunteering at ABC in the spring of 2020. She had recently left her position at a dental office as a hygienist to have more flexibility with her busy life as a wife to a business owner and a mother to two, busy children in travel sports. She loves animals and was looking for something new to do that didn’t require a lot of hours/commitment while her two children were back in school. With no real prior bird experience, it has been a fun, learning experience for her. “The birds are all so beautiful and unique. I especially love “Jelly Bean”. She is so little and sweet and shy acting. She reminds me of my sweet puppy, Piper, at home.”

Megan Hensley

I attended Colorado State University to study Animal Sciences. I have always loved animals owning 3 dogs and too many chickens, ducks and turkeys to count but my main admiration has always been wildlife. Before moving back to Michigan, I managed a Doggie Daycare, Training and Nutrition Center in North Colorado. I am a firm believe that proper nutrition, natural feeding techniques and mental stimulation will radically improve any animals happiness and wellbeing. Following those principles and my passion for wildlife. I hope to work towards a career in animal conservation.

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