Our Team

Cathy King, Executive Director

Cathy King: Executive Director

Cathy started the CWAC program while working as Executive Director at Friends of Animals, Utah. After spending many years working in animal welfare and rescue, the importance of companion animals and healing effects they had on their people was undeniable, especially for those dealing with trauma. One of Cathy's sustaining goal is to help eradicate the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals and find them loving homes helping their human counterparts along the way.

Mary Ellen: Superstar Volunteer

Mary Ellen Hunter has volunteered for CWAC since it started in 2010. She has worked on many projects over the years. She has hiked with the dogs and taken them on trains, buses and elevators for training. She has worked with veterans and their dogs in training classes which is very rewarding and does special events as needed. Mary Ellen is currently very involved with the prison program which started in 2015. She spends time weekly at the prison training with the inmates and dogs that they live with.

Chloe Chinchilla: Dog Trainer and Utah Program Manager

After attaining a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Chloe began apprenticeships and mentorships under numerous dog trainers, where she learned applicable skills. She continues expanding her knowledge of dog training though seminars and workshops. She is an AKC CGC Evaluator and recently completed BAT2 training.

Katy Mackay: Head of Research

I collect data and run research studies for Canines with a Cause. I recently graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. I love what this organization stands for and all of the great staff members and volunteers who make it possible. It is also a huge perk to see dogs whenever you come into the office!

Brie, Foster and Adoption Coordinator

Brie: Adoption and Foster Coordinator

I have been training dogs with Canines with a Cause since 2016. Training with the CWAC is just that, “with” CWAC, we are a team. CWAC came into my life at a pretty low point and was a huge part of helping me get things back on track. Now I am a part of helping dogs and Veterans keep or get their lives moving in a positive, helpful way. I am now an AKC certified trainer, an APDT member and enjoy learning new skills to help any and all canines and Veterans.

Rhoda Stauffer: Superstar Volunteer

Rhoda is helping CWAC on organizational development matters as well as writing grant proposals. She has 25 years of experience in working with nonprofit organizations and is passionate about animal rescue. Rhoda is very happy to support CWAC and their work to rescue dogs, by assisting veterans and inmates.

Seamus Cashin (Nevada Program): Dog Trainer and Service Dog Program Manager

After college Seamus moved to California to pursue a career training assistance dogs and earned his Assistance Dog Instructor credentials. While training assistance dogs Seamus not only got to develop his skills as a trained but he also got to witness how the human-canine bond saves lives. As his career progressed, Seamus started to seek out other opportunities to increase his knowledge in training and canine behavior. He started working with a local rescue group which gave him the opportunity to work with different breeds, temperaments and behaviors. He also volunteered with a police K9 unit where he participated in apprehension training as a decoy as well as search and rescue and drug detection training.

Michelle Lopez (Nevada Program): Community and Media Manager

I graduated from the University of Nevada in 2018 with a Bachelors in Human Development and Family Studies. I assist with finding outreach opportunities, creating our monthly newsletters for both Utah and Nevada, social media posts, website development, fundraising opportunities, obtaining and retaining volunteers, finance reports for Nevada and more. I feel lucky to work for an organization that helps incarcerated veterans, veterans and shelter dogs!