Our Team

Service Dog Trainer

Tim Franks

Tim Franks, Owner of On Command K-9 Academy, is a fully certified Dog Trainer based in Joplin Missouri. He’s been training Dogs since 1988.

Over the years he has developed a training technique that is based upon the foundation of clear lines of communications between dogs and their pet parents.

This training model follows 5 key areas: Consistency, Confidence, Calm and Assertiveness, Firm, and Fairness. His training philosophy focuses as much on training the pet parent to become a dog’s leader, as much as it is focused on training the dog to respect the parent’s decisions and directions.

The relationship between a dog and its owner should never be based upon fear (punishment) of unwanted or undesired behavior, but based upon the ability of the dog’s owner to lead and communicate effectively of rules and boundaries that the dog is expected to follow.

About On Command Academy:
On Command K-9 Academy is one of the most trusted professional trainers in Joplin. Since 1988, I’ve been helping both dogs and their owners understand each other better and live together in perfect harmony. On Command K-9 Academy is a great option for initial training, retraining, and correcting problems that are causing you, or your dog, trouble. We provide peace of mind for you and your dog.

Service Dog Placement and Training:

Specially Trained Service Dogs for:
     ● Autism
     ● Medical Assistance
     ● Mobility Assistance
     ● Seizure Response
     ● PTSD
     ● Anxiety / Depression
     ● Multi-Purpose Assistance
     ● FASD / PDE Service Dogs


Shannon Laughlin

Shannon was born and raised in Northwest Arkansas / Southwest Missouri. She is married, with two adult children, and four grandchildren and they all live on a small farm. She has been employed with Profit Recovery Group (PRGx) for over 25 years. When she’s not working she is taking care of the animals on the farm and playing with her grandchildren.

She has volunteered with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) for a few years. This non-profit is close to her heart because she lost a nephew in 2000 and her best friend in 2010 to suicide.

It has been a dream of Shannon’s to be able to work with children or adults with disabilities and/or special needs. After reading Gracie Key’s story and getting to know the family she was honored when asked to be part of Saber Life Foundation’s Family.


Angela Pestello

Has been involved with raising and training service dogs since 2015, when her now 24-year-old son Dante had just left for Navy bootcamp. Angela and her husband, Jack, had been looking for a way to become involved with nonprofit organizations that focus on veterans. Angela volunteered for a group in Fayetteville for 3 years that gave trained service dogs to veterans. She and her family raised 3 puppies with that organization.

She now works with On Command in Joplin, MO to help raise their puppies to the advanced training stage. On Command trains for every type of disability, they do not emphasize on veterans. Angela has recently trained an additional puppy with On Command, with no end in sight.

Jack and Angela live in Northwest Arkansas and have many children — ages 26, 24, 20, 17, and 13 — who, Angela says, are all a very important part of raising a service dog. One thing she tells her children is that they have the honor to foster a puppy for a year and help build their foundational skills. Their oldest 2 children are both in the Navy.

Angela now serves as the Secretary for Saber Life Foundation Board of Directors. Through this organization, she hopes to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives by providing amazingly trained service dogs.


Brenda Franks

Brenda has committed her entire life, working with people with disabilities. Brenda is very compassionate with her work as a Certified CNA working in the Home Health Industry for the past 23 years. Since 2014, Brenda has become a Service Dog Advocate for families that face the everyday challenges of Disabilities. 

Desiring to combine both her CNA Nursing Experience and Service Dog Training, and realizing the benefit medical service dogs can provide, Brenda and her husband Tim opened On-Command k9 Academy in Joplin Mo. Working together they successfully trained and have placed hundreds of Service Dogs across the United States.


Lacy Biram

Lacy Biram, wife and mother of 4. Her youngest daughter, Avenly, has Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, and they recently got her a service dog, Mercy. Seeing the bond between Avenly and Mercy makes me believe every person with special needs should have a service dog!

She is happy to be volunteering for Saber Life Foundation to help make that happen for as many families as possible. She has also done volunteer work for the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation and Kyle’s Angels and loves helping as many people as she can!