Sugar Sniffing Dogs / Scent Training, and Obedience    

About

Bios

Janalee Gallagher: President/Trainer
Janalee (right), with her kids. Janalee and her K-9 Chance clearing a destroyed house after Hurricane Katrina.

Janalee has been training professional scent dogs for both local and federal government use since 1997. Prior to training Diabetic Alert Dogs, she spent 4 years building and growing a successful family pet training business at one of Indiana’s largest kennels. The combination of nearly two decades of training canines in scent disciplines for professional use and years of professional family obedience education, and has proved to be invaluable in training Diabetic Alert Dogs, which combines both fields in a single service dog.

On a local level, she has trained both wilderness and human remains detection work, working with local and federal law enforcement officials throughout the state of Indiana to help find live victims and identify human remains.

Janalee’s professional affiliations include being a certified evaluator through the American Kennel Club (AKC), and a Professional Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP). She is a Canine Search Specialist for the Wayne Township Fire Department’s K9 Search Team, and has served on the animal ethics oversight committee for Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis as a Community Liaison. She is Director for Friends of Indiana Disaster Search Dogs (FOIDSD), a not-for-profit group that promotes and funds the training, maintenance, and medical needs of Indiana’s disaster search and rescue dogs, and was also a founding member of Search Dogs of North America (SDONA). She has created summer camps for children in Central Indiana to educate children on dog safety, and has worked to promote the use of Diabetic Alert Dogs in the diabetic community through JDRF walks and galas.

Janalee has Midwestern roots, and graduated from Indiana University. Her family, including her two children and husband, has lived with working dogs for years. They have been instrumental in helping to produce dogs that ASD’s clients are able to live with comfortably, and to ensure that all dogs’ obedience is as strong as their scent work. Her greatest accomplishments come from seeing her children and her dogs succeed in helping others.

Sue Samson: Vice President/Family Coordinator/Trainer
Sue (right) with her kids biking in Colorado. Sue working with two ASD, Inc. dogs at an outdoor café. 

Sue’s wide range of talent is only rivaled by her breadth of experience. Prior to training Diabetic Alert Dogs and managing administration and family services for Alert Service Dogs, Sue spent several years as a Trainer and Event Coordinator at one of the largest boarding kennels in central Indiana. She worked with individuals and families alike to help resolve obedience and education issues. She brings a solid foundation of years of pet obedience training to ASD, but also has a broad base of involvement in training Search and Rescue scenting dogs, as well.

Sue is a Professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP). After graduating from Iowa Central College with her MS she moved to Indiana with her first career opportunity, earning her MBA from Indiana University along the way. Sue’s career and volunteer involvements have always included helping others learn and grow. She was a diligent and dedicated Child Welfare Advocate for the state of Indiana, providing invaluable oversight to children in need. Her career with a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company took her from research labs in Indianapolis, to traveling the globe helping people worldwide navigate unfamiliar systems and processes. She was also one of the driving forces behind fundraising efforts for the International School of Indiana, where her children attended school for years. She has successfully made huge strides in improving communication and making ASD’s processes more user friendly.

Sue has two children, both of whom adore dogs, providing extensive training opportunities and lots of love for ASD canines. Sue’s experience and versatility as a corporate manager, trainer and advocate is critical in helping clients navigate the process of obtaining a diabetic alert dog. She’s a single point of contact for nearly every aspect of our business. Sue is passionate about making sure that ASD’s clients receive the support they need from the first phone call they make to ASD, through support calls after delivery. She is most proud of ASD’s clients’ stories of their dog’s successes in their everyday lives, and works diligently to be a source of information for people seeking information on any and all aspects of Diabetic Alert Dogs as a tool in the diabetic community.

Bryan Danner, Trainer and Operations Manager

Bryan has worked with and trained dogs in both work and play arenas. Bryan was the Kennel Camp manager at Zionsville Country Kennel in Indiana after moving back to the Midwest from California. While his expertise is in exercising and managing 40+ dogs a day, he also has experience in canine obedience training prior to joining forces with Alert Service Dogs in the summer of 2013.

While Bryan wears many hats at ASD, his passion lies in socializing young pups, working older pups through social issues, and implementing the exercise program at ASD. Bryan is also instrumental in helping run drills that create the scent foundation for ASD’s Diabetic Alert Dogs.

Bryan graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Chemical Engineering, which he utilized in the deconstruction of government Superfund sites. With his background in chemical engineer, Bryan is keenly interested in training Diabetic Alert Dogs, and helping them become more effective and efficient in their training.

Steve Discoll, Trainer

Steve began his career in the fire service as a Firefighter/Paramedic in 1991 with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. In 1998. Since then, Steve has been deployed on several missions world wide for USAID.

Steve believes in what he terms “Practical Obedience.” Steve achieves Practical Obedience through a strong foundation of positive reward based training, which utilizes the dogs' innate drives to arrive at a particular behavior.

Steve concedes that a dog may gain quicker results working off compulsion or negative reinforcement. However, Steve prefers to employ techniques that utilize training a dog through positive motivation which results in greater success as a whole and builds a confident canine with a strong obedience foundation.

Steve's partner Blaze is a seven year old Border Collie. Blaze has worked the rubble piles searching for live victims since he was only 8 weeks old. Steve and Blaze hold an impressive resume with deployments all over the world. Most dogs never reach that level of performance. A dog's drive, focus, intelligence, and agility all come in to play and most dogs fall short.

Grace Gallagher, Training and Maintenance

Grace has been helping train scent dogs since she was 4 years old. She frequently helped train Urban Search and Rescue dogs as a young child, giving the canines a completely different search opportunity than an adult provided. Because she grew up with scent dogs, all the work of maintaining, socializing, and training has become second nature to her. Grace has even applied her skills at a large kennel, responsible for maintaining the dogs and facilities, as well as assisting in basic obedience and puppy classes.

Grace joined ASD in 2011, and through her years of experience with working professional dogs she has developed a very nurturing, but firm, handling and training style which the dogs naturally gravitate to. She lends a different training perspective than other trainers give, which is both effective and valuable. Grace currently owns a deaf dog, and has successfully integrated him into the hearing world by working with him, socializing him, and instilling within him the confidence he previously lacked.

Letha Kessler: Fundraising Coordinator
Letha with her husband and dogs. 

Letha Keslar has been fundraising in some capacity since she was in grade school, lugging "kit sales" through her neighborhood,  until graduating to selling Girl Scout Cookies. During high school and college, she served on her schools' Fundraising Ambassadors and gained experience through numerous internships, all the while building a solid foundation in formal fundraising.

Fast forward a few years, and you’d find  that Letha has been working in the field of professional fundraising for over 15 years, serving management and developmental roles for multiple schools and not-for-profits, as well as lending her expertise to many advisory boards, as well.  She’s highly skilled in providing advice and assistance that will make it much easier to meet your plans, timelines, and goals. 

Letha feels strongly about Alert Service Dogs because she has several diabetic family members. She believes that the strides we make at ASD, Inc. could assist all diabetics one day, including those in her family.  Letha lives with her husband, their two young daughters and their Beagle, and enjoys devoting time to family and friends, and watching in awe as her daughters discover the world.

Laura Rector, Marketing

Laura Rector has more than 26 years of experience in medical general management, sales, marketing and strategic planning/execution. She is currently Director of Corporate Accounts at Wright Medical Technologies, after spending 5 years as Director of Corporate Accounts at Stryker Corporation. Prior to assuming her role with Stryker Corporation she acted as the U.S. General Manager for Cheetah Medical, and also served as the US Director of Roche Diagnostics Hospital Sales/Strategy and Marketing efforts for Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices, Cardiac Monitoring Devices, Group Purchasing Organization and Government Business Development.

Laura began her career at Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company, where she spent over 16 years in Training, Sales, Sales Management, Business Development, Product Marketing, Procedure Marketing, Strategic, Franchise Development, Bariatric P & L management, and Global Bariatric Sales and Marketing.

Laura’s extensive background in Business Marketing began at Indiana University, where she earned her B.A. in Marketing. She subsequently attended the Michael Cole School of Business (Kennesaw State University), where she earned her M.B.A. in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Business. She also attended law school at Georgia State School of Law.

Laura believes that ASD’s dogs are the best in the market, and has single-handedly taken on the task of educating everyone she meets about their existence and their efficacy. Laura commonly refers to ASD’s dogs as a ‘high-end medical device’, and believes that they should be layered into every diabetic’s tool box to help them manage their diabetes. Given the chance, she will detail all of the reasons why most diabetics can benefit from an ASD Diabetic Alert Dog. She is very familiar with the dogs at ASD; she not only has hands-on experience socializing the dogs, but her son is a welcome and familiar volunteer, as well!