The Humans


Krista Levar, M.Ed., CTDI

Owner | Certified Dog Trainer

Krista Levar is a subject matter expert on Crisis K9’s and has several years’ experience as a professional dog handler and therapy dog trainer. She is a CLASS evaluator through the Association for Professional Dog Trainers, a certified Therapy Dog Trainer through the International College of Canine Studies and a guest speaker at conferences across Canada on various topics including Therapy Dog Program Implementation and Utilizing Dogs in Child Interviews. She was the policy creator for the RCMP’s Victim Services Therapy Dog Program in Prince George and has provided consultation to several other victim serving agencies, school districts and community programs. In 2017 Krista was chosen by the Honourable Shirley Bond to be a guest speaker and inspirational woman for her work with Crisis K9’s and the RCMP for International Women’s Day and she was awarded the BC Community Achievement Award for work with therapy dogs by the Lieutenant Governor of BC.

Lenna Pittenger

Certified Dog Trainer/Office Manager

Lenna Pittenger  is a professional trainer and member of the Association for Professional Dog Trainers and is a CLASS instructor, Therapy Dog and Basic Obedience trainer. She works in partnership with her beautiful Bernese Mountain/Shepherd X Daisy.  Lenna completed the Animal Health Technology Diploma in 2003 from Lakeland College in Vermilion AB. She has current registration with the British Columbia Veterinary Technologist Association. In addition to working with dogs, Lenna has owned and worked with horses since 1989 and completed the Equine Sports Massage Therapy certificate in 1997 from Equissage in Round Hill VA, USA. 

Christine Wlasitz

Certified Dog Trainer

Christine started her journey with Caring K9 Institute because she loves her pug and wanted to build a stronger bond and relationship through training. Her background has been in the tourism/hospitality industry as well as healthcare but her experiences bonding with her pug of cuteness, Major, started her on a new life trajectory of dog training and development. Watching all the dogs in class develop in their obedience and behaviour was so fascinating that she knew this was something she wanted to be a part of. This is when it clicked that dogs really do love jobs, so why not help them to have a job healing hearts? Dog therapy has opened her eyes to a new level of helping others, and she is excited for this journey.

Trish Irwin

Apprentice Dog Trainer

Trish has always been an animal enthusiast. Starting with training and riding horses for many years, Trish quickly became familiar and comfortable handling and working with all sorts of farm animals. Completing an equine management course from Guelph, teaching riding lessons and managing a farm was just the start. Trish has completed the therapy dog program with Mika, a four year old collie cross. Now in the apprentice process of becoming a professional trainer Trish has been attending classes to further her knowledge. Trish and Mika had their first court case last summer and continue to go out in the community spreading smiles.

Allesha Dodorico

Apprentice Dog Trainer

Allesha Dodorico, is the newest member to the Caring K9 Institute’s apprenticeship team. Allesha has always had a heart for animals and animal rescue. She has helped at various shelters and community groups to give back. In 2015, Allesha, along with her family rescued Piper (German shepherd, husky X) from a rural northern Manitoba community. With Piper’s love of life and children and Allesha’s love of animals this brought them to therapy dog training. “I have always known that dogs have a calming, healing ability. In being able to train and encourage the dogs and their owners to showcase this ability. It helps teach others that dogs and all animals are not possessions but lives that should be cherished."

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