Southwest Training Center

Serving Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico,  Southern California, Southern Nevada and Hawaii

The Southwest Region of Canine Companions was founded in 1986. We serve Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Southern California, Southern Nevada and Hawaii. The Southwest Regional Training Center is named the Dean, Gerda and Trixie Koontz Campus after our campus benefactors: bestselling author Dean Koontz, his wife and their late Golden Retriever adopted from Canine Companions after being retired from service.

The Dean, Gerda and Trixie Koontz Campus is located in Oceanside, California. We invite you to explore our volunteer opportunitiesmake a donation or attend an eventPresentations are also available for your group by Canine Companions representatives. Our monthly public tours are held on the third Thursday of every month at 1:30 p.m. at our Oceanside campus. Tours are open to the public. If you are interested in attending a tour, please RSVP to Carrie Linden at For groups larger than 10 people, please contact Gwen Seah at to make arrangements.

Southwest Region Staff:
Marcell Mallette, Executive Director | Ann Hough, Office Manager/Assistant to the Executive Director | Piero Berlonghi, Director of Philanthropy | Kim Danker, Director of Philanthrophy | Brandi Cooper, Development Associate | Carrie Linden, Development Assistant | Gwen Seah, Volunteer Coordinator | Lauren Marshall, Community Events Coordinator | Sarah Zetlmeisl, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator

Shelley Dickinson, Program Director | Chuck Dickinson, Training Manager | Becky Hein, Puppy Program Manager | Kerri de Jager, Client Services Manager | Joseph Broad, Kennel Supervisor | Sara Higgins, Vet Technician | Julia Sanchez, Puppy Program Assistant | Amy Kinsella, Senior Instructor | Grace Holmberg, Senior Instructor | Lindsay Taylor, Senior Instructor |  Sarah Nigoghossian, Senior Instructor | Kate Incremona, Instructor | Stephanie Yocum, Instructor | Aimee Schildt, Apprentice Instructor | Morgan Galovic, Apprentice Instructor | Ashley Wilt, Instructor Assistant | Anika Schenkel, Instructor Assistant | Patti Irby, Program Assistant | Jennifer Hof, Campus Caretaker | Abigail Dixon, Kennel Technician | Keerah Caldwell, Kennel Technician | Reese Simmons, Kennel Technician | Zyla Guthrie, Kennel Technician

Southwest Region Board of Directors:
Sheryl Ishizaki, President | Joseph Celentano | Kim Haydel | Leslie Hennessy, Ph.D. | Susan Ryan, M.D. | Sondra Thiederman, Ph.D

Three Canine Companions dogs sitting in front of the Southwest Region campus sign

Canine Companions 

The Dean, Gerda and Trixie Koontz Campus
124 Rancho del Oro Drive
Oceanside, CA 92057
(760) 901-4300 Voice
(760) 901-4350 Fax
(800) 572-BARK (2275) Toll-free

Contact The Southwest Training Center

Apply to volunteer in the Southwest Region.