Stacey and Carolyn stand smiling in front of the low walls of our puppy area. Each is holding a young yellow lab puppy wearing a blue Future Leader Dog bandana

Meet the Breeding Team

The breeding team at Leader Dog supports our breeding stock host volunteers, maintains and develops our breeding colony of dogs, and oversees the health and well-being of the breeding colony, doing ultrasounds, x-rays and breeding.

Carolyn Whitesell, PhD, Breeding Manager

Carolyn kneels on the floor in a hallway, smiling at the camera with her left arm around a golden retriever sitting beside herCarolyn has been with Leader Dog since 2017. Her responsibilities include selecting the dogs with the best genetics to include in our breeding program and determining which males and females to breed together. Carolyn is thrilled to be able to use her experience in breeding Brittany spaniels and Anatolian shepherds, in addition to her genetics knowledge gained during her M.S./PhD at University of California, Davis, to fulfilling the goal of producing stellar puppies for Leader Dog. Carolyn has two Brittany spaniels and a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever at home.

Stacey Booms, LVT, Breeding Specialist

A smiling woman stands in a large, brightly lit room with low-walled enclosures. She is smiling and holding a yellow lab puppy wearing a Future Leader Dog bandannaStacey Booms came to Leader Dog in 2013. She has been in the animal care industry for over 20 years and is a licensed veterinary technician. Stacey describes her work at Leader Dog as “equally rewarding and challenging.” She loves working with our puppies and finds joy in continuing the Leader Dog life cycle. Some of her responsibilities include overseeing the health and well-being of the breeding colony, doing ultrasounds, x-rays, breeding, and aiding and supporting our volunteer breeding stock hosts. Stacey has two dogs of her own, a mix named Barry and a career changed Leader Dog, a black Labrador named Flynn.

Sam McCormick, LVT, Breeding Specialist

Sam stands in front of the glass garage doors in the Canine Center smiling at the camera and holding a young golden retreiver puppy with a Future Leader Dog bandanna onSam joined the Leader Dog team in 2017. What she enjoys most about working at Leader Dog is being part of an organization that embraces the working relationship between a human and their canine partner. Her responsibilities include overseeing the health and well-being of the breeding colony, doing ultrasounds, x-rays, breeding and supporting our volunteer breeding stock hosts. Sam has a bachelor's degree in animal science and is a licensed veterinary technician. In her free time, Sam enjoys spending time with her husband and training her three German shepherds in various sports.