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Meet Our Team

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.

Chloe Chinchilla

Dog Trainer and Utah Program Manager

Chloe joined the CWAC team in 2018, after her love of dogs, the mountains, and following her gut led her to Salt Lake, a city she had never never even visited before moving. As it turns out, she just happened to land her dream job with Canines with a Cause and has been part of the team ever since. Chloe's favorite part of working with CWAC is witnessing the growth, courage, and strength of both rescue dogs and veterans alike. When not working, Chloe and her small rescue pup spend as much time as they can exploring everything the Mountain West lifestyle has to offer.

Seamus Cashin

Trainer and Nevada 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

Harleigh Poulson

Dog Trainer, Utah

Harleigh got her start learning about & training dogs with Guide Dogs for the Blind in 2013. She was in a volunteer program where teenagers raised puppies who would eventually become guide dogs. She stayed with the program for 6 years before transitioning to training professionally at a veterinary clinic where she continues to work. She loves training any/all dogs but is passionate about training service dogs, disability rights, & mental health. After her brother’s suicide she felt lost & wanted to find a way to reach out to people struggling. Training psychiatric service dogs seemed like a good way to put her unique skills and experience to work in an impactful way. She wasn’t sure where to start, but she put out feelers. After a few months, a CWAC job posting came to her at a low point in her life, when her grandfather was in the hospital. A few days before he passed away they had a very heartfelt conversation about how important her dogs were in her life & the companionship they offered her. Her grandfather (who had always been a cat person) made her promise to help get him a companion dog when he got home. Both of them knew this wouldn’t happen, but Harleigh agreed anyway to offer him comfort. She hopes to fulfill that promise by helping pair veterans like him with dogs as well as honor her brother by helping people train those dogs to be service dogs.

Christina Martinez

Brand, Promotions and Support

The opportunity to work with CWAC came at a pivotal point in Christina’s life. After separating from the military and graduating college, she found herself working for a large retail company with no opportunity for truly meaningful work. With CWAC, Christina is now able to return to non-profit work where her love for dogs and helping her fellowing service men and women collide. Christina will use her brand and communication skills to help support this amazing cause and the passionate people behind it.

Richie

Trainer and Idaho Program Manager

Richie is CWAC’s primary trainer for Northern Idaho/Spokane and surrounding areas. He 
is the founder of Faithful K9 Trainer, completed a 4000-hour training apprenticeship through 
Dept. Of Labor (Office management and Business Administration services) and has trained
 dogs for over 3 years with the P.A.W.S. Program, training dogs for Canines With A Cause.
 Richie is a certified AKC CGC Evaluator.

Geraldine Schneider

North Idaho & Eastern Washington Coordinator

Geraldine desperately needed a dog as a stay at home caregiver to her husband with Parkinson's Disease. Ragusa, her Bernese Labradoodle, not only helped her with the companionship of staying home for 7 years to look after her husband but also helped her husband during his anxiety, panic attacks and hallucinations. When her husband passed in 2022 she wanted to help others suffering with anxiety, depression & panic attacks. Since Richie from Faithful K9 Trainer had helped her train her own dog, it was only fitting for Geraldine to come on board with CWAC as Coordinator for North Idaho & Eastern Washington partnering up with Richie from Faithful K9 Trainer, to help CWAC branch out into that region.

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.

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.
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