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Lezle Stein, "Marley & Me" Advisor, Volunteering in Rutherford County

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Photographs provided by Lezle Stein

Lezle Stein, formally of Los Angeles, California, has recently moved into western North Carolina, bringing with her a myriad of talents, expertise, and devotion to the animals of Rutherford County. Volunteering for PAWS of RC, Lezle is training adoptable dogs as they await their 'fur-ever' families.

PAWS of RC, Lezle tells us, "is a foster-based, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to bringing 'No Kill' shelters to Rutherford County. Our mission is to end the killing of adoptable dogs and cats in Rutherford County, by combining: trap, neuter, release programs for free-living (feral) cats, low-cost spay and neuter outreach, work with rescue groups, foster care programs, comprehensive adoption programs, pet retention efforts, medical and behavioral rehabilitation, volunteer and education programs, with the support of the community, in order to provide a no-kill animal shelter for homeless, adoptable dogs and cats in Rutherford County." Lezle continues, "Since it's inception in 2013, PAWS of RC has provided free or low cost spay/neuter services for over 2500 pets, distributed over 30,000 lbs. of quality dog and cat food, provided over 40 dog houses to pets in need, and re-homed/rescued over 400 owner surrendered pets."

Prior to moving to Western North Carolina, Lezle was a highly regarded dog trainer in the Los Angeles area. She was featured in the Blu-Ray DVD release of Marley & Me, in which she offers dog-training advice throughout the movie. Those familiar with movie know it's about an adorable yellow Labrador who doesn't always behave the best. "In Marley & Me, the rambunctious Lab is fortunate enough to live with people who don't abandon their dog despite the fact that he is completely out of control," says Lezle. "However, this lack of training--really a lack of communication--doesn't work for most pets or pet owners. I hope with my continued work with dog lovers, we can continue to create fulfilling relationships that nurture pet owners as much as the pets."

Lezle is a member of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers and is American Kennel Club (AKC) certified as a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She has served as a volunteer adoption counselor at North Central Los Angeles Animal Shelter, assistant pit bull trainer through Tia Torres' program at the Villalobos Rescue Center and Best Friends®, co-president of Hermon Dog Park (Los Angeles), a member of the Los Angeles City Council Spay and Neuter Advisory Committee, and Director of Animal Welfare for the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council. Her extensive education and training also includes American Red Cross certification in Pet First Aid and CPR, the Paul Owens' Raise With Praise® program, and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. Lezle also worked with many rescue groups in the Los Angeles area, including Downtown Dog Rescue, Dawg Squad, The Brittany Foundation, and Best Friends.

In North Carolina, Lezle also volunteers for Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue in Hendersonville by training other volunteers how to be better handlers. Recently, she started a Lake Lure chapter for the Rutherford Humane Society, where they will hold monthly adoption events by the lake.

Lezle offers weekly group obedience classes and in-home private instruction at Rutherford Pet Supply in Spindale as well as at Pine Gables in Lake Lure. For more information, contact Lezle by email at thedogtrainer@hotmail.com or by calling 323-229-4143. Her website, www.handlewoofcare.com features a calendar of upcoming events.

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