K9 Connection Staff

Tyler Muto – Owner, Training Director

Tyler started K9 Connection in 2007 to fulfill his dream of helping dogs and owners live harmonious lives together. Tyler oversees and develops the training programs at K9 Connection, and works diligently to advance our training techniques and coach the staff.

Additionally, Tyler travels the world teaching seminars to other professional trainers who want to improve their skills and learn the secrets of our success. Tyler also serves as the President of the International Association of Canine Professionals. In 2015 Tyler was selected to be an instructor for Leerburg Online University, one of the most well respected and prestigious web-based dog training companies. His personal Pack includes Lobo (Belgian Malinois), Charlie (terrier mix) and Ella (terrier mix). In addition to training dogs, Tyler also enjoys hiking, kung fu, meditation, and spending time with his family.

Tyler personally coaches all the staff at K9 Connection, and directs all the training programs. He is not currently accepting new clients.


 

Amy Cappelli –  General Manager

Though Amy’s background is in illustration and Design, she has always had a fascination with dogs. She began fostering dogs for the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter which peeked her interest in dog behavior and behavior modification. While dealing with a particularly difficult foster dog, she sought the guidance of K9 Connection and was inspired by the leadership that turned an “un-adoptable” dog into a family companion. Since that time, Amy has strived to help others build stronger relationships with their canine companions.

Amy lives in Buffalo with her four children and a menagerie of animals, which includes a tiny pack of rescue dogs.


Katie Ehmke – Office

A vast majority of Katie’s life has been spent caring for animals–personally and professionally. She holds a fancy certificate as a Canine Nutrition Specialist. She was born in California and has lived all over the country.
 
She has three dogs: a Pitbull named Akasha, a Jack Russell/Dachshund mix named Ben, and a Papillion named Buddy.
 
She moved back to Western New York with her soon to be husband. She enjoys silent movies, Thai food, horoscopes, vinyls, and filling up her camera roll with photos of dogs and sloths.
 
 
 
 
 

Lib Gentry – Office – Daycare Attendant

A former training client, Lib jumped at the opportunity to join the team.  Born in Rochester, Lib has called Buffalo home for the last twelve years.  His favorite color is yellow, his favorite ocean animal is the narwhal, and he lives in Buffalo with his pocket pit mix, Ruca. 


Allison Potts – Office – Dog Trainer

A true renaissance woman, Allison wears many hats at K9 Connection. She divides her time between working with Board & Train dogs and helping up front in the office. Always eager to don a strange costume and help with stranger danger exercises, you may someday see Allison and her pool noodle arms in action! 

Allison lives in Amherst with her husband, young daughter and a menagerie of creatures including reptiles, smush face cats and dogs.


Barb Lenahan – Dog Trainer – Board & Train, Group Classes

Barb has had a lifetime of loving and working with her own dogs, and has been training dogs professionally for over fifteen years. In addition to working privately with owners and their dogs to solve problems, Barb has been teaching Puppy, Basic and Advanced Obedience, Scent Work, Rally, Canine Good Citizen and Therapy International preparation classes. Barb is certified as an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and also as a Therapy Dog International Evaluator. She currently owns two Dobermans, and has been successful in the obedience ring, achieving many AKC and other working titles.

Together with Dobermans she volunteers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, bringing support, comfort and companionship to patients, families and staff.


Sami Sodaro -Dog Trainer – Board & Train , Private Lessons

Sami has been an animal lover for her entire life. Growing up, she had a wide array of pets of all shapes and sizes. Dogs have always been an important part of her personal life and being able to incorporate them into her work life has been a dream come true! She currently has three dogs of her own, a maltipoo, pit bull,  and Great Dane.

Sami graduated from the University at Buffalo for Environmental Studies, Animal Behavior, and Biological Sciences. 

Working at K9 connection has been an amazing start to her career in working with animals. She is infatuated with the work she does here and is eager to broaden her knowledge on training and all that goes with it.

 

Karen Piwinski – Dog Trainer – Board & Train, Private Lessons

In addition to owning a variety of family pets, Karen started her pet sitting business caring for the neighborhood dogs and cats at age ten.  From there, she went on to graduate from Penn State University in 2010 with a degree in Animal Science Business Management.

Karen has worked at racehorse farms, an animal shelter, private horse training and boarding facilities, and as a veterinary technician. She enjoys using the knowledge she has gained from training horses in her training of dogs.

Karen had the unique opportunity to train with Mike and George Tracy, nationally recognized bird dog trainers for a summer. Prior to joining K9 Connection, Karen worked at a dog training facility in Pennsylvania, training dogs with a variety of difficult behaviors. She loves the challenge of determining what each dog needs with regard to training and helping them to achieve their owner’s goals.

Karen relocated to Buffalo from Pennsylvania with her two English Setters, Trevor, a therapy dog, and Jazz, a troublemaker.

 

Cait Adams – Enrichment Cooridantor

Cait has been working with dogs for the last several years and has always known she has wanted to work with them. The opportunity to work with us came up and she jumped at the chance to further her education in training. She lives with her husband and a small zoo! 2 dogs, Aurora and Atticus, and several cats. In her free time, she enjoys reading, doing a variety of crafts, and being outside with her dogs!

 
 
 
 
 
 
  

 Mary Briest – Enrichment & Daycare Attendant

Everyone’s favorite professor of the dark arts, Mary joined the team as a daycare attendant in October of 2019, thanks in part to her Chihuahua, Rocky Horror. Rocky was being fostered by our general manager, Amy, who saw potential in Mary and made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Mary graduated from Buffalo State College with a BA in theatre, and lives in Buffalo with her two cars, Marty McFly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and her clefted knight in shining horror, Rocky. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Charles ‘Boogie Shorts’ Muto, ESQ. – Quality Control Manager

Charles has been with K9 Connection since its inception. He has worked his way through training to hold the prestigious title of Quality Control Manager. He takes pride in his stern evaluations of clients and the treats used in our training sessions. He can be found working at the front desk most days, but enjoys down time with his owners, as well as his human and canine siblings.