Our volunteer training staff consists of both trainers with their Dog Training Certification and those who have had years of experience. Each trainer brings their own knowledge, experience, and breed knowledge to the organization. We have wonderful administration staff that help us in various capacities to continue to provide our Veterans quality service dogs.
ALL are veterans. ALL are committed to helping other veterans. Some have service dogs of their own, and the rest live with veterans who have service dogs.
We are proud to have each and everyone of them on staff.
Heather Fall and her K-9 Orion, SD PAT as the Veteran Liaison Officer central region. Heather is a ten year Veteran of the US Navy and a lifelong Navy Brat. Heather is a Certified Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor and is founding member of Shepherds for Lost Sheep, Inc. As the first and at one time only Veteran’s Liaison, she has the experience and leadership needed to help other veterans. It is her “Pay it Forward”.
Heather also serves as the Mentor Program Coordinator and a Supervising Trainer.
Heather and her now retired service dog Maddie, SD CGC PAT make up Team 2 in the program. Having lost her first service dog Tori to cancer in 2011, she floundered without a service dog. She applied to our program in January 2012 and was matched with Maddie in May 2012. Subsequent to placement with Maddie, Heather returned to school and completed her Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor qualification.
Sadly, Maddie developed an eye condition which disqualified her for service work and forced her to early retirement. Acquiring Orion at 10 weeks old, Heather trained him using the same program which taught Maddie.
Julia A. Maki serves as Support Staff for SFLS. She served in the United States Navy for five years as a Combat Aircrewman aboard P-3Cs. She now resides in Maryland with her husband and three children while working for the Department of Defense as a civilian- when she’s not busy wiping little noses and carpooling to football practice.
Recently, another dream of hers came true as she began writing books for children of military parents. Her books include My Mom Hunts Submarines, a book she wrote for her daughter to explain to her what she did while she was in the Navy. All Hands on Deck! Dad’s Coming Home!, her second book, was written for children that have parents that are deployed. It explains the shipboard side of the military based on the carrier her little sister was stationed on, the USS John C. Stennis. And lastly, taking the suggestion of Heather Fall, Julia decided to write a children’s book about service dogs. In her book Still My Dad, the main character, Abbey, experiences what it’s like to have a parent come home wounded and how their family must now adjust to this significant change in their life.
Zach Pennington is an assistant trainer who volunteers his time and support to Shepherds for Lost Sheep. He is also a Veteran of 9 years in the US Navy. He was paired with Ella SD/PSD/CGC, in January 2013 and entered the SFLS Trainer Assist Program. Since then Zach and Ella have continued to give their support and expertise to any who require it.
John Fall is a 20 year veteran of the US Navy. He was a boat sailor before becoming a P-3 flight engineer. He has four children. His wife, Heather, is also a veteran in our group.
John volunteers to assist in the rehabilitation of our owner surrenders who may need socialization, medical care, and basic obedience. In 2012, he completed the training for four dogs giving their veterans a new “leash” on life.
His expertise is training and rehabilitation of rescue dogs.
As many of our volunteer trainers do, John was recently teamed with Harley, SD PAT, making them SFLS Team 17.
We are happy to have him on our staff and look forward to seeing his hard work and efforts become reality.
Noel Sepulveda had the honor of serving in the United States Air Force for 39 years and was medically retired in 2006 and in 2010 was prescribed a medical service dog for PTSD and diabetes. SD Randall has been such a blessing for him that he decided he wanted to share this blessing with other wounded warriors. So in 2014 he started training to become a certified dog trainer and thanks to the encouragement of Tim McDonough, he has become a certified ABC animal behavior, college dog trainer and service dog trainer and his graduation, will be in July. He looks forward to working on helping other wounded warriors. He is happy to be a part of our team.
Carolyn Fielder volunteers her time an expertise as a trainer and foster home for Shepherds for Lost Sheep Inc. Carolyn comes from a family that believes in serving their country and protecting our freedoms. Both of her grandfathers, her father, her uncles and aunts, cousins, her husband, her sister and son all served in various branches and in various eras from World War I to Afghanistan. She is an Air Force veteran. She was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in the early seventies. She has been a volunteer foster home for several Spokane area rescues for seven years. During that time she discovered a love of training. It brings her joy to help a dog become adoptable that previously had no hope of ever becoming adoptable because of behavior issues. She is a self educated trainer. She has taken every class she could, studied online videos and read many books on positive dog training. She believe it is an honor to help each dog become all he/she can become. She feels honored to be able to help veterans form a working partnership with their canine companion.