Meet Our Team

Hard Working, Loyal, and Passionate

Carrie Hunt

Director and Founder

Carrie is the founder of both the Wind River Bear Institute and Wind River Tails & Trails. She holds a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Biology. After working on multiple bear projects as a biologist and seeing bears be relocated or euthanized, she set out to create a better way of managing human-bear conflicts.

What resulted was Bear Shepherding, and the use of Karelian Bear Dogs for Wildlife Service Dog work. Because of their unique natures, Carrie was forced to develop her own style of training; it is what we know today as “Partnership Training.” Using her expertise in the field of biology and years of experience working with bears and dogs, this style of training became so successful that she wanted to extend it to the public’s dogs, and opened up Wind River Tails & Trails. She was honored in 2011 by The Wildlife Society with the coveted Montana Wildlife Conservation Award for her work on bears and Wildlife Service Dogs.

As of January 2016, Carrie has taken a personal leave from T&T to care for her family. She is still actively working with our Wildlife Shepherding Dogs and forwarding the mission of our nonprofit organization, but is now based in Utah. She is reachable by email.

Contact: carrie.hunt@windriverbearinstitute.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ally Cowan

Business Manager, Dog Training Program Coordinator, Service Dog Specialist
Ally joined the T&T team in 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a research emphasis in Animal Behavior, and a Professional Dog Trainer Certification from Animal Behavior College. She has been training dogs since 2009 and was the lead trainer for the Missoula PetSmart training program for much of 2014.

In addition to dogs, Ally is also a licensed falconer and has been training and hunting with birds of prey since 2006. She is a member of the Montana Falconers’ Association as well as the North American Falconer’s Association (NAFA).

Ally’s training specialties are in training service dogs and therapy dogs, and helping pet dog owners live the Montana outdoor lifestyle with our complete Off Leash program. She lives with her own three dogs: Kodi, a Siberian Husky, Karma, an American Brittany, and Vita, a heeler mix. She is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a Therapy Pet Evaluator for Therapy Pets Unlimited.

Contact: ally.cowan@windriverbearinstitute.org

 

Kelsey Hay

Kennel & Volunteer Coordinator, Behavior Rehabilitation Specialist

Kelsey began her tenure as a volunteer for WRBI. A graduate of the University of Montana’s Wildlife Biology program, Kelsey turned to wildlife as a career because she did not have a way that she could make dogs her career; now she has both. During her studies at the University, Kelsey was head of the Wildlife Society and participated in volunteer work and outreach. She returned to the T&T family when she adopted her second pit bull, Lenny, who was showing some signs of aggression towards her cat and other dogs and reached out for training. When a staff position became available, Kelsey knew that she had found her calling, and joined the team in September 2015. She shares her home (now) peacefully with two pit bulls, two cats, and chickens!
Because of her own experience rehabilitating her personal dog, Kelsey’s passion and specialty is in returning dogs with behavioral issues back to happy, well-balanced family members.

Contact: kelsey.hay@windriverbearinstitute.org

 

Kyla Kozole

Partners-in-Life Trainer, Socialization Specialist

Kyla rejoins the team in 2016 and comes into the role of Partners-In-Life Trainer. Kyla is Carrie’s niece, and shares her incredible gift with animals. She owns a Wind River Karelian, Sakuu, and has earned both Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog titles with her. Kyla has trained with our bear dogs, pet dogs, as well as working with both dog and human-focused aggression. Kyla’s passion is in helping dogs that can interact with anyone. She is our specialist in our socialization yards, integrating dogs that have never been able to play before, and in starting off puppies on a fast track to happy, healthy family members.
In addition to dogs, Kyla has and continues to train horses professionally. She is currently a student at the University of Montana majoring in art and marketing.

Contact: kyla.kozole@windriverbearinstitute.org

 

Jim Thorson

Kennel Technician

Jim joined Wind River Tails & Trails in January of 2014 after moving up here to be able to spend time with his daughter. When asked to come up with a biography for the website, one of the first things he said was, “I love dogs. I’ve had dogs of my own my entire adult life. Greatest creatures on earth as far as I’m concerned. They’re trusting, and loving, and resilient, and fun…just the best companions you could ever have.”
Jim has been working with dog rescue groups and various humane societies for over 18 years. For 3.5 years prior to moving to Montana, Jim worked at and trained detection dogs for a boarding and training kennel in Texas. His work included training drug detection, tracking, arson, life-threatening allergies, bed bugs, PTSD rehab, and cadaver recovery. All of the dogs used in the detection training programs came from rescue groups or animal shelters. In addition to detection work, Jim also did obedience training at the facility.
He says, “Any day that I can do something to make a dog’s life just a little bit better is the best thing…for me. Working at Wind River, I get to do that every day.” Outside of work, the greatest joy in his life is hiking on the beautiful Montana trails and forests with his dog.

 

 

Shannon Quintanar

Kennel Technician

Shannon joined the team in September 2016. Stay tuned for more info!

 

Ruby MacMillan

Kennel Technician

Ruby joined the team in February 2017. Stay tuned for more info!

 

Tim Cavey

Lead Volunteer, Karelian Bear Dog caretaker/handler

Tim is an invaluable asset to the WRBI and Tails & Trails team. Tim is a staple at the ranch, living on site and seeing to the daily care and maintenance of our American-based Wind River Karelian Bear Dogs. He feeds, walks, and cares for the KBDs, as well as providing supervision and additional care for our Tails & Trails boarding and training clients. Tim is often the first person besides the trainer of any of our human aggressive canine clients who interacts and handles the dogs in our care, and always makes himself available for training assistance. The ranch and WRBI would not be the same without him!

 

Don't Be Shy. Get In Touch.

 

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

 

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