STRAY TO SERVICE

Building Bridges:

 from Shelter Dogs to Service Dogs 

Stray to Service is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives one dog at a time. To Donate: Stray to Service 87 Beaver Creek Road, Sheridan, WY 82801  Call 307-751-7270 with questions! 

ABOUT US

Stray to Service began as a pilot program at the Dog and Cat Shelter in Sheridan, Wyoming. The program outgrew the mission and scope of the shelter and became a 501(C)3 registered with the state of Wyoming. This allows our program to grow nationally by selecting dogs from other shelters, and accepting applications from all of the US.

OUR BOARD

  • Jill Moriarty:  

A US Army Veteran and former small business owner.  Jill has 15+ years of Non-Profit experience as a Board Member and director. She was the Director of the Dog and Cat Shelter in Sheridan, WY, from 2018 – 2022, during which time they became a Best Friends Affiliate and garnered national attention for programs.  She was Board President of CHAPS (Children, Horses, and Adults in Partnership), an Equine Therapy non-profit. During her tenure, CHAPS was the first equine therapy facility in the U.S.  to contract with the VA. She was previously the Director of a non-profit Economic Development Corporation and an 80-acre multi-use facility.

 

  • Julie Chadwick:

Developed the original pilot program called “Anchor Dog.”  She attended a week-long “Paws to Stripes” workshop in Albuquerque, NM, in 2016, primarily dedicated to service dog placement. Julie has vast non-profit experience both as a Director and Board member. She volunteered for the Dog and Cat shelter from 2009-2014, was a Board Member from 2014 to 2018, and was the Interim Director from 2017 to 2018. She also has experience working for the ASPCA in Houston, Texas. She currently serves on the Sheridan County Fairgrounds Board.

 

  • Cathy Wilson:

Volunteer at the Dog and Cat Shelter for the Bite Club program and on the STS applicant selection committee. Cathy has extensive experience in the healthcare field, specifically with Veterans, and can provide professional insight into physical and mental health conditions and limitations. She is also an avid volunteer for the community. She is currently the Big Horn Lions Club Vice President and serves on the Steering and Selection Board for Leadership Sheridan. She has an extensive family military background and is honored to be contributing to the program.

 

  • Sharon Kinnison:

Sharon grew up in Riverton, Wyoming.  After high school, she attended Georgetown University and the University of Wyoming, where she obtained a law degree.  After many random jobs, she became a lawyer, held some government jobs, and practiced privately.  She has served on some private and public boards.  At the present time, she is retired. 

Sharon was not really a dog person until she married a man who was a dog person.  He was a businessperson and a veteran of the Army, having served in Germany.  Together they had some dozen dogs at different times, not more than three at a time.  Some of the dogs were adopted from rescue and shelter organizations.  Some were show dogs.   She has volunteered at the Sheridan Animal Shelter and has transported dogs to adoptive homes.  She is now a widow and manages her three dogs with the help of Country Pet Inn.

 

  • Vahn Mock: Bio Coming Soon!

 

  • Renee Moore:

Renee Moore has many years of experience in fundraising for organizations, including children’s hospitals in North Carolina and Tennessee. She worked in sales and event planning for Jacob Marketing in Knoxville, Tennessee, from 2005-2011. Renee’s passion for helping veterans began while attending the Invictus Games in 2016 and 2017. Renee crossed paths with Mason Lane in 2018 and forged a friendship that has led to her involvement with Stray to Service. Renee resides in North Carolina and offers the program a unique outreach opportunity.

 

  • Morgan Shepardson:

Morgan is a service dog recipient from the Stray to Service Program. Morgan and Annie were placed 2 ½ years ago. Since then, Morgan has turned her life around. She largely credits Annie with her turnaround. In her words, “Codependence isn’t usually healthy. But in this case, it is.  I used to be hypervigilant, which caused constant anxiety. Now I know I don’t have to be vigilant because Annie has my back”.  Since Morgan partnered with Annie, she has been off all her meds and has lost 70lbs! Morgan took it upon herself to organize the first fundraiser for STS!

OUR TRAINERS


Shan Foster

Trainer and facilitator for the Stray to Service program. Shan
has trained dogs for 40+ years. Shan earned his bachelor’s degree in
Administration of Justice and subsequently earned a Master Canine
Trainer
Certification from the National K-9 Learning Center of Columbus Ohio. This
high-level course taught many disciplines of dog training, including Pet
Obedience, Assistance Dog for the Disabled, Scent Detection and Tracking,
Search and Rescue, Personal Protection, and Police K-9 Training. At
National K9, Shan trained under Scott Mueller, a founder in the training of
support dogs for disabled individuals. Shan also certified a dual-purpose
Explosives Detection and Patrol dog with the Department of Defense and
was deployed to Iraq as a private contractor to train and handle working
canines. Shan retired from the Colorado police force as a K-9 Officer and is
the owns Country Pet Inn and All Around K-9 in Sheridan, Wyoming.


Mason Crosslin

Second in Command Service dog Trainer.

Mason trained
intensively with Shan for more than 5 years. They met when Mason was a
client in a similar program in San Diego, CA called Shelter to Soldier. Mason

is a combat Veteran who desperately needed a service dog. Mason suffered
from PTSD due to his time in the military. He couldn’t function in the
civilian world until he got his first service dog, Griffin. Mason continues
training at Country Pet Inn in the summers where he works with the service
dogs and their handlers. His combat experience gives him a special
sensitivity in his ability to communicate with service dog clients. Mason,
once homeless, recently purchased a property in Arkansas where he
continues Stray to Service training during the winter months.

 

STS PLACEMENTS

Sarge (Male Veteran placement)

Ronan (Male Veteran placement)

Boss (Male Veteran placement)

Kya (Male Veteran placement)

Espresso (Agency placement – contraband)

Narah (Non-Veteran male placement)

Cedar (Non-Veteran Sr. female placement)

Clark (Non-Veteran female placement)

Walt (Male Veteran placement)

Gilmore (Non-Veteran Youth placement)

Garrett (Male Veteran placement)

Willow (Female Veteran placement)

Dawson (Non-Veteran Sr. Female placement)

Bridger (Female Veteran placement)

Diesel (Male Veteran placement)

Buddy (Female Non-Veteran placement)

 

THOSE AT WORK

RECENTLY PAIRED DOGS.

Morgan and “Annie”

Morgan and annie.jpg

After years of suffering from severe mental illness, I finally found an organization that helped me to get my service dog, Annie. She has changed my life, and helped me to function in my “new normal”. She helps me to go out in public, and warns me to people near me, helps me feel safe and comfortable in every situation. She is so in tune to me personally, and she knows exactly what to do and how to get me out of situations that trigger any reactions. She stands behind me in lines, or in stores while I am looking at things, she blocks people from getting near me, is always aware of things around me so that I don’t have to be constantly on guard. She knows when I get overwhelmed, and gently brings me back to a more manageable mental place by giving me a little extra attention. I can’t stress enough how much of my life she has given back to me. She is so intuitive, and she is my very best friend. I can’t imagine my life without her. 

She is a wonderful service dog, but once the vest comes off, she is just the most amazing pet. She plays fetch endlessly, and is he best friends with our daughter, other dogs, and even plays with our cat. My husband even lets her take over his spot in the bed from time to time (even though she has her very own super luxurious “space”). 

Every morning, before we leave for the day, Annie meets me at our basket, where we keep her vest and leash and collar. She always eyes her toys, hoping for a little extra play time, but she sits and waits patiently for her vest, and off to work we go. We go everywhere together, and she has yet to disappointment me. She even sits patiently for me when we go to the gymnastics gym, even though I know she wants to badly to play with the little ones. 

I couldn’t be happier with my little Annie, and thank you so much for helping me, and giving me a chance to have a better life.  Update: in 2022 Morgan became a member of our board!

Boss

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Paul and Boss
Paul and Boss

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Paul and Boss
Paul and Boss

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Paul and Boss
Paul and Boss

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Paul and Boss
Paul and Boss

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My name is Paul Clark. I am a US Army Veteran and the partner of Boss, a Lab / Pit mix. Boss has always been by my side, even at times when I felt there was no one else. He helped me through my divorce, my transition out of the ARMY, my big move back to Wyoming, and times of fanatical uncertainty. He has helped me on a day to day basis with my PTSD and ongoing struggle with depression and alcoholism.

When my life unraveled in 2019, I found myself homeless and without the skills to continue through life. I admitted myself to an 8 week program at the Sheridan VA. The Dog and Cat Shelter found a foster for Boss under the agreement that he get neutered and get assessed for their “Stray to Service” pilot project.  

As I went through the COD (Co-Occurring Disorder) program I had the opportunity to visit the shelter once a week. Boss would be at the Shelter waiting to greet me.  Week by week things really started to look up and get better. Shan Foster, the Head Trainer for the Stray to Service Program started working with Boss, and eventually both of us. Shan offered six free lessons to determine if Boss and I could work together.  Shan said it is extremely rare for a dog to move into Service if the he and the handler had a prior relationship. He was being honest about the (unlikely) probability of our success. He said it didn’t mean I had to give up Boss, but that I might need a different dog to be my Service animal.  This is one of the many things that makes our relationship very special. Boss became my Service Dog! 

Since then, I have finished my COD program and am in a transition home at the VA. In the meantime, Boss kept working and together, we have “graduated”.  During COVID, only dogs that had ADA and ADI compliance training were allowed on campus as “Service Dogs”.  Together, we proudly patrolled the gate while the VA was under quarantine.  

The Stray to Service program saved my life. In the months following my situation, they took care of the only being that really meant something to me, so I could focus on my recovery. They gave me an actual purpose. If you look forward to something every day to get up and get out of bed, then your whole perspective changes. Shan gave me the tools that let Boss help me by guiding him in to the role of a Service Dog. Shan’s influence and training continue to this day.

Update: Paul is now a home owner and a saddlemaker!

Jason & Kya
Jason & Kya

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Kia & Jason
Kia & Jason

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Kia
Kia

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KYA

Jason is a Veteran who struggles with severe PTSD.  Kya had been surrendered to the Dog and Cat Shelter in late 2019.  Shan, the Head Trainer, immediately recognized her potential. She was in “Boot Camp” for 10 weeks when Jason entered the program. There was an immediate connection. Jason and Kya finished their training together at Shan's facility. At the end of April 2020 they passed all service dog requirements with flying colors.  Jason recently sent a selfie of Kya sitting by his side while he was checking out at Walmart. Jason said it’s the first time he was able to go without a support person.  He knows Kya has his back.

HOW TO APPLY

Press either the top button for a word document or the bottom button for a PDF file

Fill out the application provided to the left.

 

Return to Either:

EMAIL - info@straytoservice.org

or

ADDRESS - 87 Beaver Creek Road

                      Sheridan, WY 82801

If you have any questions please call: 307-751-7270

 

CONTACT US

87 Beaver Creek Road

Sheridan, WY 82801

 

info@straytoservice.org


Tel: 307-751-7270

HOURS ARE BY APPOINTMENT

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