Our Staff

Here at Shallow Creek Kennels, we take great pride in personally hand selecting all of our imported canines. We seek out the highest quality German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds available today. Also available for detection work are many sporting breeds, such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Our selection test is demanding and rigorous; we do not accept Police Service Dog candidates that we would not deploy on the streets ourselves. The dogs are required to possess confidence, courage and clarity, without exception. After the initial selection test and veterinary examination in Europe, we return to our facility in Pennsylvania and repeat both the selection test and the veterinary exam here, ensuring only the best of the best are offered for sale.

Our reputation is paramount and we truly care about the handlers that will be on the streets with our dogs! Our staff consists of active law enforcement canine handlers and trainers; therefore, we can not only talk the talk, but walk the walk when it comes to deploying Police Service Dogs in real world applications.

John BrannonJohn Brannon, Owner

John Brannon’s career in law enforcement spans a 24 year period with the last 22 years having been spent as a K-9 officer working 5 dual purpose Police Service Dogs. For approximately, 20 years, John was employed by the Coral Springs Police Department, Broward County, Florida where he was responsible for all of the day to day operations of the K-9 Unit, from involvement in budgetary issues, the selection of canines, training and instruction of the canines and handlers, to the actual deployment of canine teams. Additionally, while with Coral Springs, John was an active Special Response Team member and the S.R.T. canine team leader.

John is a certified State of Florida K-9 Instructor since 1993 and is a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Trainer Evaluator.

Upon his retirement in 2004, John returned to his home in rural western Pennsylvania. He obtained his law enforcement certification in Pennsylvania and is on call for canine duties at local law enforcement agencies.

In 2004, he established, Shallow Creek Kennels. Shallow Creek Kennels is an Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Academy (OPOTA) and Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) certified training facility.

John’s professional memberships include: lifetime membership and Master Trainer for the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) and past President of Pennsylvania Police Work Dog Association (PPWDA). During his career, John has been a member of and attended seminars of all the major canine organizations, including but not limited to: USPCA and DAD/DAC.

John is a frequent guest lecturer and instructor at numerous K-9 classes and seminars throughout the country.

John’s extensive background in canine selection, training, deployment and tactical operations will ensure you have a canine partner that exceeds any standard.

Joe Bailey, Lead Trainer

Joe Bailey joins Shallow Creek Kennels with a background in the United States Air Force as a Security Forces Airman and military working dog handler/trainer. Having joined the military in 2012, Joe served in various locations around the world, including Montana, Italy, and Alabama.

During his time in the military, he served as a tactical response force breacher for nuclear resource sites before going on to serve as a patrol and explosive detector dog (PEDD) handler. Joe had the privilege of handling three different dual-purpose explosive detection canines during his tenure. Primarily, Joe’s missions consisted of installation law enforcement/base defense and explosive detections sweeps for POTUS, VPOTUS, SECDEF, and other high-profile dignitaries.

Joe was then selected for the MWD trainer/kennel master course and promoted the role of trainer supervisor for the kennel at Maxwell Air Force Base, leading and overseeing the training and certifications of eight military working dog teams. Joe served in the USAF until January 2020 and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant before being honorably discharged.

Mike Van Leer, Lead Trainer

Trooper Mike Van Leer became a State Certified Canine Instructor for the Florida Highway Patrol In 1993. He then became the first and only current State Certified Evaluator for the Florida Highway Patrol in 1996. He is the first canine trainer/evaluator In the State of Florida qualified to teach and certify narcotic detection canines under a national program, the International Forensic Research Institute at Florida International University.

As a canine instructor/evaluator, Trooper Van Leer has trained over 65 police canine teams in the areas of narcotic detection, tracking and patrol dog work. He has trained teams for other police agencies as well as the Florida Highway Patrol. Trooper Van Leer has over 2,000 academic hours in the training of Police Work Dogs. He retired after 28 years of service in 2014.


Amy Shuman, Lead Trainer

Amy is a canine trainer at Shallow Creek Kennels. She has 20 years of law enforcement experience. She has worked for the Wisconsin department of corrections, Iowa department of natural resource and the city of Cedar Rapids Police department in Cedar Rapids Iowa.  She worked 2 dual purpose canines for a total of 10 years while at Cedar Rapids Police Department.  She was also the department’s canine unit trainer.  She was responsible for the selection and training of new canine teams as well as weekly maintenance training of the departments 7 established canine teams.

Madeline DeMilioMadeline DeMilio, Trainer

Madeline DeMilio started at Shallow Creek Kennels as a College Intern, in May of 2015. She was then hired as a full time employee after she graduated with a Bachelor of Technology in Animal Science from the State University of New York of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill in May of 2016. During her four years at SUNY Cobleskill Madeline focused on studying animal behavior in both wild and domestic animals, in addition to studying under Dr. Steven Mackenzie, who assisted her education in Domestic Animal Behavior, Canine Body Language, Animal Behavior Problems and Canine Training.