Pam Francis-Tuss

Dog Trainer

Pam Francis-Tuss is a certified dog trainer with extensive experience under her belt, and more importantly, an undying passion for our 4-legged best pals. The Sacramento, CA-based professional is the entrepreneur behind Obedient Pups.  Pam also works for The Front Street Animal Shelter coordinating the Behavioral Modification Team and the Behavioral Evaluation Team. She is also the instructor for all the Dog Handling Classes. Pam trains volunteers on how to train their dogs so that they become more adoptable.

Pam spent 32 years working in the medical field and when she finally retired she started doing what made her the happiest…working with dogs. Pam has always had a dog in her life and can’t imagine life without one (or two). ​ Pam has been married for 30 years and has one awesome grown son. She currently has two dogs, her son’s dog Cooper (a 8 year Old English Sheepdog/Boxer mix) and Maddy (a 4 year old mini pit mix). Both are Pam’s best friends and her true loves. ​

Pam believes in respecting owners and their beloved pets: this is why she supports the association for Force-free professionals and values reward-based training strategies and positive reinforcement techniques that have a great impact on the psyche of your dog and lasting good behaviors. The best thing about reward-based dog training is that it can be adapted for any behavior and any breed. But understand that the reward doesn’t have to always be food. It can be praise, a toy or just going outside to play. With a good understanding of how your dog is motivated you can do almost anything from basic training to agility training.

Teri Bennett

Board President

Teri, Board President, Pawisitive Impact, is a non-profit maven with an extreme passion for the homeless; specifically, women, children and animals. Teri has served on the Boards of Directors for many local non-profits including Sacramento Theatre Company, Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue, Not Just Animals, Inc. and Saint John’s Program for Change (formerly St. John’s Shelter for Homeless Women and Children). And, today, in addition to Pawsitive Impact, she sits on the boards for WIND and Friends of Homeward Bound.

While Teri has personally been involved in the rescue and placement of many animals along with administration and program operations, she focuses most of her energies on raising money to ensure the continued good work and sustainability of non-profit rescue organizations.

Amanda Banks

Executive Director 

Amanda Banks has been a public educator in Sacramento for over 10 years. She received both her bachelor's degree and teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento. As a teacher, she witnessed the challenges and struggles that many urban students face.  The most rewarding part of her job as an educator was mentoring at-risk students and providing them guidance through their daily hardships.

Amanda and her husband, Keith, share their home with their shelter rescued cats and a dog.  Their husky-mix, Talia, actually helped inspire Amanda to create the ALPHA program. Talia had been wandering the streets of Sacramento and one day managed to walk into Amanda's classroom full of 6th graders.  The dog was underfed, and had some medical issues as a result of fending for herself.  Despite these issues, this beautiful dog immediately warmed up to Amanda's students and walked around the classroom showing everyone affection.  The students, even the toughest kids in the class, were extremely compassionate and showed true concern for the dog's well being.  Amanda noticed a connection between her students and the dog. She had never seen some of these students exhibit such empathy before. After many unsuccessful attempts to find the owner of the dog, Amanda and her husband decided to make the husky a permanent member of their family and named her Talia. Her students were thrilled to know that the dog had a permanent and happy home.

Amanda had dreamed for years of combining her passion for helping at-risk youth and love of animals.  This dream finally became a reality after meeting Teri Bennett and Pam Francis-Tuss and learning of their dedication to children and animals. She knew it was the perfect fit to create such a rewarding program. Together the three of them combined their strengths to create Pawsitive Impact.