Carroll College, Helena Montana


Dr. Anne Perkins, Ph.D

Director of Anthrozoology Program

Anne PerkinsThe Human-Animal Bond Program was conceived by Dr. Perkins, Ph. D., Professor of Psychology, in 2006. Dr. Perkins has been a professor at Carroll since 1990. Originally, the Human-Animal Bond Program was a minor in the Psychology Department. The program grew rapidly and is now an Anthrozoology major.

Dr. Perkins received her Ph.D. in animal behavior in 1992 from the University of California-Davis. Concurrent with her faculty career at Carroll, Dr. Perkins held an appointment as a cooperative research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for eight years (1992-1999). Her work resulted in several papers, a book chapter, and a patented drug protocol. Dr. Perkins' love of horses led to five years researching feral horses in the Pryor Mountains and drives her current passion for endurance riding. She is an active member of the International Society of Anthrozoology (ISAZ), the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA), the Delta Society, the Equine Faciltiated Mental Health Association (EFMHA), the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), and the Equine Guided Education Association (EGEA). Dr. Perkins spends her free time at home training her border collies and riding her Arabian horses.

Contact Information:; (406) 447-4329

Dr. Thomas Baumeister, Ph.D.

Dr. Thomas Baumeister, Ph.D.Dr. Baumeister lives his values as a conservation educator.  In addition to teaching at Carroll, he serves as the executive director of Montana WILD, which is Montana’s first conservation education center operated by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. In 2000 and 2008, he received the Governor’s Award of Excellence.  Also in 2008, he was selected to the National Conservation Leadership Institute. Wild in spirit and disciplined in practice, Dr. Baumeister has developed rituals and traditions to live a life enriched by wild things.

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Dr. Erica Feuerbacher, Ph.D

Erica Feuerbacher

Dr. Feuerbacher joined the faculty of the Anthrozoology program in 2014, after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Florida in the Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab. Her research goal is to enhance our understanding of the dog-human relationship to improve the welfare of both. Her research focuses on how human interactions influence dog behavior, which human interactions dogs prefer, and how to apply this research to training. She has a particular interest in separation-related problem behavior. Erica earned her master's degree at the University of North Texas in Behavior Analysis where she studied concept formation in dogs. She is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and has taught group classes, including obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizen. She also does private behavioral consulations. She volunteers with local rescue groups and shelters as a behavioral consultant, and provides foster care for their dogs. Her goal is to help improve the adoptablity of the dogs in her care.

Dr. Feuerbacher recently spoke at the annual Association of Professional Dog Trainers conference in Hartford, CT. She presented her research about separation anxiety in dogs.

Contact Information:; (406) 447-4403

Shari Morin-Degel

Shari Morin-DegelShari Morin-Degel, MA, LCPC, is a Clinical Director for Youth Dynamics, which provides behavior health treatment for young people and their families. Shari earned her M.A. in Professional Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy from AGTS in Springfield, MO.  In 2002, she went to work for Youth Dynamics in Wolf Point, MT. Two years later, she moved to Billings to assume supervision of Youth Dynamics’ Therapeutic Youth Home Program. She expanded the program from two homes in two locations to ten homes in five locations across Montana. In 2010, Shari started an Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies program at the Therapeutic Youth Home in Helena. She is a PATH Registered Instructor for Therapeutic Riding.  For the past several years, Shari presented at the annual conferences for many of the helping professional associations on the topics of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies and Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In May of 2015, she presented for the PATH Region 9 Annual Conference.

Shari lives in Helena with her husband, three horses, and Cockapoo named Whiskey. She is excited to be teaching at Carroll College.

Dr. Marie Suthers, DVM

Dr. Marie SuthersDr. Suthers has more than 25 years of experience in veterinary practice, academic and community education, and the study of human-animal interaction. She is a well-known national and international speaker on the relationship between people and animals including the impact of human-animal interaction on specific human populations and the well-being of animals employed in therapeutic interventions for humans.

Prior to joining the Anthrozoology Program at Carroll College in 2012, Dr. Suthers served as Vice President of Human-Animal Interactions for the American Humane Association. In that capacity she oversaw the research, development and creation of programs and materials, including publications, classroom lesson plans and workshops on Humane Education, Animal-Assisted Therapy and The Link. She also worked with the veterinary community to support mutual efforts to promote public health, animal welfare and well-being. Previously, Dr. Suthers was the Director of Community Education for Heifer International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty. Her responsibilities included directing the development, implementation and evaluation of community education initiatives, education partnerships and teacher training initiatives. Prior to that, she developed and directed the Center for Animal-Human Relationships at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, where her focus involved human well-being as it relates to interaction with companion animals. Prior to that, she was a professor and, subsequently, program director of veterinary technology at Columbus State Community College in Ohio, where she managed the veterinary technology program comprising seven faculty members and 200 students, and incorporated advancements in the field of veterinary medicine into the curriculum. 

Dr. Suthers is former-President of the American Association of Human Animal Bond Veterinarians and served on the board of directors of the International Society for Anthrozoology, the Association for Veterinary Family Practice and the Animal Related Careers Consortium. She served as a Veterinary Medical Officer with the Veterinary Medical Assistance Team–2 of the National Disaster Medical System at the World Trade Center disaster. She received the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award in 2005 and the Distinguished Virginia Veterinarian Award in 2006. She received her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from The Ohio State University in 1982.

Dr. Suthers has a son, Benjamin, and the rest of the family includes 2 horses, Buttercup and Scarlet; a Standard Poodle, Sunny; a barn cat turned house cat, Grandpa; and 2 parakeets.

Contact information:; (406) 447-4360

Dr. Richard Timmins, DVM

After receiving his veterinary degree from the University of California-Davis, Dr. Timmins entered private practice and, for several years, owned two veterinary family practices in Springfield and Eugene, Oregon.  This was followed by a stint managing the veterinary services division of a large pet food company, during which time he traveled extensively, lecturing about nutrition, the human-animal bond, and he practiced management at veterinary schools and conferences in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.  In 2003, he took the position as Director of the Center for Animals in Society at his alma mater, UC-Davis.  There he taught veterinary students about the human-animal bond and communication and other professional skills, and he coordinated research projects involving pets and autistic children, the effects of reading to dogs on the reading skills of children, the nature of the bond pet owners have with their pets, and other topics associated with human-animal relationships.  He speaks at national and state veterinary conferences and has published articles in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, the journal Animal Welfare, DVM Newsmagazine, The Latham Letter, and other periodicals.  He joined the Human-Animal Bond Program at Carroll in Fall 2010. Dr. Timmins became one of the first professors at Carroll to organize and teach a distance learning class because he recently joined is wife Marcia Merryman, DVM, MPVM, in the Repubilc of Georgia. She's studying zoonotic diseases there. When home in the states, you'll find him in his kayak or sailboat on the Puget Sound, or exploring trails in the Olympics, the North Cascades or the Rocky Mountains.

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