Our Mission

Our rescue program is centered around using decompression, positive reinforcement, and mutual respect to rehabilitate dogs coming from abusive and neglectful situations, as well as those considered feral. Because of their histories, these dogs often have behavioral challenges causing them to appear “unadoptable” in shelters and traditional rescue settings, which makes them susceptible to euthanasia. The HKRT process allows traumatized dogs as much time as they need to adjust and become comfortable in a home setting before finding their forever family, with a focus on safety and quality of life for all involved.

Additionally, we provide training and rehabilitation services to families in our community who have dogs with special behavioral needs. We empower humans through education and realistic, low-cost training and management techniques, which allows more dogs to find and keep homes. Our free community group training classes focus on management, socialization, and enrichment tools to further our outreach to those who need it most.

With our mission, we are reducing shelter capacity, increasing live release rates, and decreasing the number of dogs rehomed or euthanized due to fear – based reactivity and manageable behaviors. ‚Äč

What We Do


We employ positive reinforcement and treat all dogs and their people with empathy through reward-based training following the Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) Principles. Pet parents and their fur babies learn effective communication and realistic management techniques that aid them if behavioral issues arise.

We provide free basic 6-week obedience courses and private in-home or office sessions, behavior adjustment sessions, decompression home set-up and pack member integration sessions, and reiki sessions.

We are members of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and we have an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator on staff.


Our dogs come from other rescues, shelters, and animal welfare groups who identify dogs needing extra time and attention due to a variety of circumstances, to include neglect, abuse, and hoarding situations, feral dogs, and dogs deemed "unadoptable" by other organizations.

Once in our care, we treat the dogs with empathy and mutual respect while employing decompression and positive reinforcement to rehabilitate them. Due to their traumatic histories, the dogs typically have behavioral issues that we allow however much time each individual dog requires to adjust to being in a loving home setting.

The Results

  • Dogs are removed from situations that may be or are harmful to them.
  • Pet parents are educated and empowered to safely and confidently manage behavioral issues.
  • Fewer dogs are re-homed or euthanized due to lack of education and understanding of traumas suffered by the dogs that lead to behavioral issues.
Quick Stats
6-Week Training Course

35 Graduates

Live-Release Rate

91 Percent

Best Friends Animal Society Network Partner | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.
The Road to Puppy Bowl 2020

HKRT was fortunate to be chosen by Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) to participate in the Animal Planet Go! special series, Road to the Puppy Bowl, thanks to the recommendation made by our BFAS State Representative, Lisa Barnett. Ms. Barnett met with us to introduce herself in the spring of 2019 and was impressed with what we offer to our local community.

We were contacted by a production company that summer and wheels were set in motion to film in the fall. Our HKRT family stepped up in a big way to help us prepare for the shoot by donating landscaping and cleaning supplies, time and energy to spruce up our yard for the dogs, and showing up bright and early on filming day to do hair and make-up for our team.

The short web episode ran in January of 2020 with a longer version available on the Animal Planet Go! App leading up to the Puppy Bowl 2020. To show their appreciation for our participation, Animal Planet donated a large amount of items from our Amazon Wishlist. Additionally, our social media accounts received a great deal of new followers, helping us to increase awareness of our mission and service to our community.

Who We Are

Lisa Maasen
Chief Executive Officer
Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Lisa has been in rescue since 2014. She has a passion for helping every living thing and spreading kindness to the world.

Jennifer Marbrey
Chief Operating Officer
Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Jen has been in rescue since 2006. She is OBSESSED with every furry animal she meets and has a passion for Dolly Parton.

Krysten Blasingame
Chief Marketing Officer
Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Krysten has been involved in rescue since 2012. She is passionate about dumpster cats and dogs.

Jennifer Stevens
Chief Financial Officer
Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Jennifer has been in rescue since 2018. She is passionate about senior pups, who need all the love.

Sarah Prater
Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Sarah has had a passion for animals of all shapes and sizes for as long as she can remember. She has been working in rescue since 2020 and her goal is to educate the community and their canines.

Sandra Pozar-Keeter
Organization Facilitator
Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Sandra has a medical background and has had a passion for working with local shelters since 2015. She is a lifelong dog snuggler.

Katrina Mathias
Social Media Manager
Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Katrina tries to foster and adopt every animal she encounters but dogs hold a special place in her heart. Her personal motto is "there's always room for one more". She enjoys making bad jokes and dark humor gets her through life.

Kendra Strnad
Website Administrator
Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Kendra is a 21-year Air Force veteran and enjoyed volunteering at rescue organizations wherever she was stationed. She is fluent in sarcasm and dark humor and wants to pet all dogs.

© 2022 Hard Knocks Rescue and Training, Inc.

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