Who we are
Yvonne is our operations manager and has a 35 year background working with dogs as both a bed bug dog handler and a groomer. She is here to provide you with excellent customer service and oversees the day to day operations of the business. Before starting Sirius K9 with Marina, she worked at Pioneer Human Services for five years as a bed bug dog handler and she still helps with the training of the company owned dogs. She has been certified with several K9 partners and has extensive bed bug experience working in shelters, hospitals, apartments, and private houses.
Motherhood combined with being back in Florida brought changes and challenges and as she was raising her boys she opted out of day-to-day work at the clinics and opened ‘One Lucky Dog’ where she offered training and specialized dog behavior modification. ‘One Lucky Dog’ routinely extended her expertise to people with various disabilities for service dog training. More often than not, those services were gratuitous. Opportunities presented themselves as she became known in her community. Understanding and reacting to canine behavior as opposed to systematic, structured, repetitive training became her hallmark. During this time she had the opportunity to work with many “last chance” dogs that had extreme cases of withdrawal, insecurity and aggression. She assisted those dogs and their owners with various behavior modification tools that offered them a life they never thought possible
The dream has always been to use her knowledge and experience to train canines for a purpose that benefits society as a whole. Training the challenging temperament of working canines for law enforcement has remained the goal. The passion never faded and while juggling the business, the boys and a husband who spent months away overseas she made time to attend Tarheel Canine Training, Inc. Tarheel is a nationally recognized Police K9 training facility in Sanford, NC. Back in school again, Marina went through extensive training with Jeff Riccio (Riptide K9), Janet Dooley (Stateline Canine), and Jerry Bradshaw. Through them she completed her certification as a Police K9 instructor. She followed up with Human Remains and Narcotic Detection K9 certifications issued by the National Tactical Police Dog Association (NTPDA).
A move to the islands occurred shortly after she completed her course of study and certifications at Tarheel. While living in St. Croix, USVI, she became a member of St. Croix Rescue and the K9 Team Commander. With St Croix Rescue she was involved in search and rescue, public outreach and furthered her professional training. On the island she completed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coursework to enable active participation in disaster response operations.
Marina is originally from Spain. She has lived in Florida, the US Virgin Islands, and Washington State. She is fluent in three languages Spanish, Catalan and English. She is married and has two sons.
Marina has always had a passion for animals. Growing up in Barcelona she had dogs and horses. Moving to Florida when she was 21 she first studied English then completed an AAS in Veterinarian Technology, at St. Petersburg College. The degree was not, at that time, offered in Spain.
While going to school she volunteered for many years at Canine College, a training facility in St Petersburg. At Canine College she taught group classes and helped dogs with behavior problems.
Graduating with honors, she began working as a Vet Tech at animal clinics and shelters.
Opportunities presented themselves and shortly after completing her studies she was offered and accepted a position as ‘Vet Tech’ at the Barcelona Zoo. As Spain had no such degree program, her involvement with the animals at the zoo was unprecedented for anyone other than a full ‘Vet’. The family grew, as Marina and her husband welcomed two sons to the family. As grade school approached, a decision to return to the Unites States on a full time basis was made.
Life has a way of throwing you curve balls and one of those brought the family from the sun and sand to the sea and mountains of Washington in 2011. Barely settled she got involved with Washington Explorer SAR (Kitsap Unit) with her two search and rescue K9’s. Her passion for community service and law enforcement continued and since 2013 Marina has been a volunteer at the Mukilteo Police Department.
Through her experience as a volunteer a fire grew and more education followed. Committed to her country she received full US Citizenship in 2013 and finished her AAAS in Criminal Justice in 2015
The consummate volunteer, she has consistently spent time helping at her sons’ schools. Community outreach remains a passion as well. K9 demonstrations at schools and other community events are often on the calendar.