Chief Officers and Members

Sabina has been involved in animal rescue for over 15 years. As a dog trainer for over 7 years, Sabina witnessed situations in which owners had grown so frustrated with or defeated by their dog’s behavior that they considered rehoming them. Faced with annoying behaviors such as inappropriate elimination, barking, or destructiveness, or even more serious ones like snapping, growling, or biting, many owners simply give up.


As a professional dog trainer, Sabina knows first-hand that, with expert training and support, owners who are considering rehoming their pets can help them overcome problem behaviors and keep them for life. 

For the most serious problems, she feels that one-on-one dog training with owners and their pets—ideally in their home environment—and personalized support has the best chance to change behaviors. Yet, one-on-one dog training costs upwards of $100 per session and often requires multiple visits to fix the problem. Most pet owners cannot afford to pay hundreds of dollars for dog training. Realizing that there is an unmet need for affordable, one-on-one behavioral dog training, Sabina founded the non-profit Pawsitive Pup, with the support of fellow trainers and volunteers.


Pawsitive Pup wants pet owners to have the training they need to help their pets, regardless of ability to pay. We want owners and their pets to have mutually satisfying, stress-free relationships and, ultimately, we want to keep pets out of shelters and in their homes with the people who love them. 

Founder and President

Sabina Poinelli

With a love of dogs fueling Vera's passion for helping dogs, (HOPE) is lucky to have Vera on board in our mission to help dogs. Vera became involved in rescuing and rehabilitating neglected dogs on St. Patrick’s Day 2005 when she rescued Sandy, a severely neglected Shih Tzu who came from a puppy mill. Vera subsequently became active in fundraising and outreach activities for animal rescues and has since adopted three more rescue dogs.

Vice President & Rescue Liaison 

Vera McLaughlin

Jeni Grant is a canine behavioral trainer who specializes in serious issues such as anxiety, fear, and aggression. After working as a trainer in the DC metro area for many years, she recenty relocated to New Mexico, where she offers in-person and remote behavioral training. She has been a trainer for over 20 years and once managed a nonprofit animal shelter. She shares her life with her best friend Charlie.

Dog Behavior Trainer

Jeni Grant- CPDT-KA