Hope for Disabilities

Fulfilling unmet needs in the disability community


P4A volunteer and founder Karen DiCostanzo is a professional dog trainer. A lifelong animal-lover, she became deeply interested in animal training and behavior after adopting a shelter dog in 2001 and while volunteering as a vet tech assistant at the Hawaiian Humane Society from 2007 to 2013. In early 2013, she started a professional dog training apprenticeship with Marie Selarque of Pro Dog Hawaii, assisting with group classes, private lessons, and puppy temperament evaluations. Like her mentor, Karen believes in a positive, force-free, and scientifically based approach to animal behavior modification.


Karen has also done hands-on training under such internationally prominent and respected animal trainers as Terry Ryan, Susan Garrett, Andrea Dexter, Nancy Gyes, and Elicia Calhoun. She has also participated in learning workshops with Grisha Stewart and Rita Martinez. While she enjoys working with all kinds of dogs, her special passion is training dogs for service, therapy, CGC, and agility. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.