Hearts and Paws
Together for Life
Get to know us a bit more...

We have an awesome, well-experienced team dedicated to bringing out the best in you and your canine companion.

Diana Smith, CPDT-KA

Founder of Hearts and Paws, Canine Behaviorist and Trainer

Diana Smith has over 25 years of training experience and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). She has over 2,000 hours of study with some of the world's leading dog behaviorists including Dr. Ian Dunbar, John Fisher, and John Rogerson. These course studies focused on treatment programs for separation anxiety, phobias, aggression issues (over ten types), obsessive compulsive disorders, as well as genetic and medical influences on these problems. As a charter member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest international body of dog trainers, she has also provided an additional venue for continuing education and professional support.

In addition, Diana has worked with local animal shelters and rescue groups to train volunteers on temperament testing and behavior management. Most notable of these is the Austin Humane Society’s Behavior Rehoming Adoption Training Team (BRATT) which is still being used today. Diana is a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator and holds classes and tests for this program several times a year. Diana has also shown dogs competitively in obedience, agility, rally, conformation, field trials, and working trials and holds several titles. Fourteen years ago, Diana developed Club Pup--the largest and longest running kids with dogs camp nationwide and Austin's favorite summer program for children and teenagers with their dogs.

Kelly Springer, CPDT-KA

CPDT & Behavioral Specialist:

Since she was little, Kelly's passions in life always revolved around animals, and she dreamed of becoming an animal trainer. Her family instilled in her that every animal in need was a life worth saving. From an early age, she was known as the neighborhood go-to for rescued animals. She would never turn down the opportunity to help any animal. To this day, she still does everything she can for an animal in need. Kelly teaches agility as a tool to build the relationship with both dog and owner, whilst giving the dog a work out of the mind and body. Students come with dogs who are excited, energetic, and ready to get started, and leave with a dog who is ready to take a nap!

Paul Mann, NADOI-C 

Canine Behaviorist and Trainer

Paul became interested in therapy dog training after searching for ways to fuse his love for animals and his desire to help individuals with disabilities, inspired by his early experiences accompanying his father on visits to nursing homes and hospitals. He began working with dogs at the Lee Mannix Center for Canine Behavior in 2005. Impressed by what he saw, Paul decided to pursue his passion. Paul is a Certified member of the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI), an evaluator for the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program, and a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. He has a degree in Psychology from the University of Texas and has worked with individuals with multiple disabilities at the Austin State School and at special education programs in public schools. Today, he continues to work with individuals with disabilities as a trainer for therapy dog programs. He has volunteered for Safe Place and the Austin Humane Society/SPCA. When Paul is not busy working, he enjoys spending time with his wife Krislyn, their kids Henry and Jocelyn, and their two dogs, Tricksy and Farmer. He also loves to play music, cook, hike and fish.

Kay Dameron, CPDT-KA, CGC Evaluator, AKC Temperament Test Evaluator


Kay Dameron has been working with animals since a young age. She began fostering for Austin Pets Alive and English Springer Rescue in 2015 and promptly became passionate about dog training when she saw the difference it made in foster’s lives. Facilitating communication between people and their dogs to create better relationships brings her joy. Kay is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, is a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), is a certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and AKC Temperament Test Evaluator. In her spare time, she volunteers at Austin Pets Alive. Her pet family includes Sammy (a quirky Springer nose work devotee) and an occasional foster dog.