Service Dogs, Inc. of Austin, Texas

June 2020 E-News

Meet Our Newest Match

On June 3, we introduced Cherie Cotner, of College Station, Texas, to Vancouver to be her new Service Dog.

Cherie knew about the benefits of a Service Dog from Angel, the first Service Dog we trained for her in 2009. Angel recently passed away. While no dog could ever replace this beautiful rescued Collie, Cherie knew that she wanted to continue living as independently as possible. She was ready to welcome a new Service Dog to be by her side.

SDI adopted Vancouver as a career change dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind.  He began as a Facility Dog, but left that role when his partner left the facility. Then we placed him with a client who ended up not being able to sustain his care. Vancouver exceled in everything we asked him to do. We were eager to get him back with a client placement where he could realize his full potential.

The timing worked out.  In less than a month after Cherie had to say goodbye to Angel, Director of Training Becky Kier and Senior Trainer Susan Ramsbottom were able to bring him to Cherie’s home so they could meet.

“I think he’s going to be a great one!” Cherie texted after the meeting.

As with Angel, Cherie will receive Vancouver and all of the training free of charge.

Your generosity and compassion make this possible. Thank you for helping heal Cherie’s heart and preserving her independence.

Top, Cherie, her daughter Carissa and Angel
Bottom, Cherie meets Vancouver for the first time

Donate to Support Cherie & Van’s Training

Texas Shelter Reps Attend
SDI’s Dog Evaluation Webinar

On June 2, 2020, SDI’s Director of Training, Becky Kier, taught a 90-minute webinar on how we evaluate dogs from animal shelters and rescue organizations for our training program. Representatives from facilities throughout Texas attended.

We also shared the presentation materials with our guests and invited them to start sharing videos of potential Hearing, Service and Facility Dog candidates. Our goal is to adopt more rescue dogs for our training programs.

Our training department works hard screening dogs for adoption.  As Becky put it, we are trying to find dogs who want to do this job. That includes serving their client and being comfortable in a vast variety of public settings.

We could not travel all over Texas to screen these dogs if it were not for your generous support. As the infographic below shows, we work very hard to find the few dogs that will thrive in our program. And again, as Becky emphasized, it is not about the trainers being able to train the dog, it is about the disabled client succeeding with the dog. That is why we emphasize temperament so much.

We remain dedicated to working with dogs who need a second chance. We thank you for helping us to keep turning strays into stars.

Above left, SDI Director of Training, Becky Kier, leading webinar for 60 shelter reps
Above right, SDI Trainer, Taylor Smith (right), monitoring the webinar for guests’ questions; SDI Webmaster, Damion White (left), providing tech support

Chip In To Help Adopt More Rescue Dogs

Shop All Items for Father’s Day, June 21

Lead With Your Heart
Join SDI’s Paragon Pack

From adoptions to graduations, we work hard all year to give dogs a second chance and help people build better lives.

If you’re moved to help dogs and people, we’ve got an easy way to do it. Join our compassionate group of monthly givers, The Paragon Pack.

When you join the Paragon Pack, you become even more important to Service Dogs, Inc. In fact, you become the foundation of our work.  The generous folks in the Paragon Pack are more than just kind. They are practical thinkers. They know that giving monthly allows us to spend less time fundraising and more time rescuing dogs and training them to help save lives. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about.

Here is what we have been doing during the quarantine:

  • Preparing for our next Team Training Class, graduate re-certifications and 2020 Graduation.
  • Posted thirty-six Quaran-TRAIN Your Dog videos on Facebook, 3x/week, March – May, sharing pet dog training and enrichment tips for our 12,000 followers on Facebook.
  • Posting training sessions weekly on Facebook (Wednesdays at 2:00), May – current

We remain dedicated to serving our fellow Texans.  Deaf moms still need to know when their baby is crying, when the oven timer goes off and when someone is at the door.  Individuals with quadriplegia still need help when they drop their cell phone, keys or wallet and have to open or close a door.  Abused children still need comfort and courage in the court system and especially on the witness stand. And our brave first responders and hospital workers need a healthy reset for their minds and hearts now more than ever.

If you would consider a recurring monthly gift, we pledge to:

  • Update you monthly on the miracles you are making
  • Gift you with one of our Dog Lover caps from our Dog Lover Shop
  • Give you VIP access to Team Training luncheons, our 2020 Graduation and other special events

To create a recurring gift, just click here.  Be sure to click the “Donate Monthly” button.

If you would like to share suggestions, questions or comments to help us improve, I would be very grateful to hear them.

Our cap comes in four colors. When you donate, we will email you for your preference and confirm your mailing address.


Sheri Soltes
Founder & President
Service Dogs, Inc.


Don’t Sleep On These Upcoming Events!

Oct. 31   Mighty Texas Dog Walk     9:00 am   Austin American-Statesman
Dec.  5   SDI Graduation                  2:00 pm   SDI Training Center


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