Jenna started her career in the animal world as an adoption counselor and vet assistant at the Richmond SPCA. She went on to become a vet technician in Nashville. Accompanying her medical involvement with animals, she also taught beginner obedience classes. Although her life journey took her to the world of cosmetology so that she could support her three children, her love for animals never faded. About three years ago, her middle son was diagnosed with autism and her journey as a mother warrior began. Through the diagnosis and treatment process she gained an invaluable education; reading books, getting training from his therapists, spending lots of time at his autism school, and doing research. Her research finally led her to a place where her passion for animals and for her son met in an amazing way. A year ago, she began pursuing a service dog for her son. That is when Cap entered the picture and changed their lives. She became the training apprentice to Vera Symonds and her passion for dogs was rekindled. But working with just Cap and Easton wasn’t enough, she wanted to make sure that this process was the easiest and best that it could be. She founded and became president of LEAD with Love Inc.
With ambition and passion to work with animals, Vera Symonds aspired to study behaviors and learn from accomplished trainers (chiefly Barbara Gautreaux) and began competitions specifically in dog and horse shows (obedience and barrel racing) earning her the first title, AKC’s Companion Dog, at the adolescent age of 11 in 1992 and champion barrel racer with her pony. Her love of a dog named Bar-Ben’s Impressive Copy and his willingness to work with her, a child, was ultimately the planted seed for her training kickoff to her imminent path with canines. Along the way she received a degree in Computer Information Systems, specializing in Network Administration and acquired management experience with large corporations in the service and sales industries.
Over these 25+ years, Vera Symonds has achieved many titles from the American Kennel Club and she has also achieved:
- AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
- AKC STAR Puppy Instructor
- Conformation Handler (non-pro)
- Therapy Dogs International participant
- AKC’s Bred with H.E.A.R.T.
- Member & Instructor for local Greater Fredericksburg Kennel Club
- Member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America
- Previous board member of German Shepherd Dog Club of Northern Virginia
Kasey grew up training dogs in a variety of sizes, but has always had a passion for the large breeds. She thrives training in many workshops, classes and through large breed private lessons. Her background in Litigation Jury Consulting gives her a unique understanding of human behaviors, and she is able to apply that insight to building stronger dog-people relationships. Kasey lives in Richmond with her three fur kids - two Great Danes and a small lab mix, as well as additional fur kids that foster, visit or come by to play.