Group of puppies sitting on a road

Lone Star Chapter

Canine Companions for Independence
South Central Region

ABOUT

The Lone Star Chapter was established in early 2015 after a group of dedicated volunteers voted to form an organized Canine Companions chapter. Our chapter serves the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and consists of volunteers, puppy raisers, graduate teams and donors who actively work to support the mission of Canine Companions.

The goals of our chapter are to:

  • Grow chapter membership by raising public awareness of Canine Companions.
  • Recruit individuals enthused about raising future assistance dogs.
  • Provide financial support for Canine Companions through fundraising. 
  • Maintain a vibrant, positive presence in the community by giving presentations and demonstrations about Canine Companions.
  • Show support to all who share the passion and pursue the mission of Canine Companions.
  • The Lone Star Chapter is proud to be an extension of the South Central Region. Located in Irving, Texas, the Kinkeade Campus is a partnership between Canine Companions and Baylor Scott & White Health. The Kinkeade Campus offers ideal facilities for providing professional training for assistance dogs and preparing graduate teams for their lives together. 

VOLUNTEER WITH THE LONE STAR CHAPTER

If you’re looking for deeper engagement as a Canine Companions volunteer, we encourage you to get involved with our chapter. The Lone Star Chapter is an extension of the South Central Regional Training Center. We work to raise awareness, recruit new puppy raisers and volunteers and support one another’s work on behalf of the Canine Companions’ mission. If you are interested in working with our chapter, contact us. We’d love to meet you! 

We are always in need of additional puppy raisers. Puppy raisers donate their time and effort in the care and socialization of future service dogs. Learn more at cci.org/puppyraiser.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities.

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EVENTS

Lone Star Chapter Events

Upcoming Puppy Outings

Group outings are essential for our puppies and raisers. We’d love for you to take a look at our calendar of events and join us at an upcoming outing!Assistance dog stands by a water fountain

It is our goal to prepare our puppies to become viable service dog candidates by planning and organizing fun and stimulating social outings and events for both puppies and raisers. Our chapter organizes frequent outings to teach each other how to properly integrate your puppy and its training into your daily life. Check out our outings and events below and don’t forget to join our Meetup Group to receive updates and notifications!

Lone Star Chapter Meetings

Information on upcoming meetings to come.

young dog lays in the grass

Join us for one of our Lone Star Volunteer Chapter meetings to learn more about how you can get invovled with the Lone Star Volunteer Chapter and support the mission of Canine Companions. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Events in the South Central Region

We love to share our story! Canine Companions volunteers, graduates and puppy raisers are available for meetings and events throughout the region. If you are interested in a Canine Companions representative attending an event for your group, organization or company please fill out this form and someone will be in contact to set up a presentation.

If you are interested in volunteering for an event please visit the volunteer page. Make sure to check out the calendar below for all events in the region.

Join us for our quarterly Graduation and Matriculation Ceremonies at the Kinkeade Campus to see the mission come to life. Click here for details! 

LEADERSHIP

woman sitting with yellow golden puppy

Chapter President

Michelle Sudduth

Michelle has volunteered with Canine Companions since 2015 and is a native Texan. She and her family are currently raising Canine Companions puppy Zeppelin, a Labrador/ Golden Retriever cross. Previously they raised Danny III, a Lab/ Golden cross who was released from the program and is now doing therapy work. Michelle is a retired educator who enjoys traveling and spending time with family. Michelle has served as Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer for the Lone Star Chapter.

person with Canine Companions logo on shirt

Chapter Vice President

Debbie Bringhurst

Debbie began volunteering with Canine Companions in 2015 after raising puppies for two other organizations. Debbie has served as the Puppy Welcome Waggin’ Coordinator for the last several years. She retired from the financial industry and has been a member of the Baylor Scott & White Pet Therapy program for 14 years and currently volunteers with Bria, her Canine Companions released dog.

Erin Lamonte

Chapter Communications Chairperson

Erin LaMonte

Erin is a eleven-time puppy raiser, currently raising Mutau, and has been involved with the Lone Star Chapter from its beginning after moving from Southern California four years ago. She has served as Vice President and Communications Coordinator the last three years.

woman holding a yellow puppy

Secretary/ Treasurer

Nanette McGill

Nanette is a six-time puppy raiser that relocated to North Texas in 2019 after volunteering for Canine Companions in Southern California. She is currently raising Jarie, a Labrador/ Golden Retriever cross. Nanette returns for her second year in this role as the Lone Star Chapter secretary/ treasurer.

Graduate Liason

Tom and Jason Bland

Tom and his son Jason received Service Dog Hawkins in October 2016 from the Kinkeade Campus in Irving. Tom retired as an IT professional and enjoys making presentations with Jason and Hawkins throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Tom and Jason's favorite pastimes include laughing at Hawkins and puppy sitting. They also enjoy attending Lone Star Chapter meetups with puppy raisers and asking Hawkins to show off his commands.

a woman holding a black puppy

Puppy Welcome Waggin' Coordinator

Tracy Conine

Tracy has raised three puppies for Canine Companions and is currently raising Whirl, a Labrador/ Golden Retriever cross. Her last puppy Novella graduated recently as a service dog for a veteran. Tracy retired from the insurance industry will use her skills to help us welcome and serve our puppy raiser families.

a woman sitting with a yellow puppy

Community Outreach Co-Coordinator

Jackie Jelen

Jackie is a long-time volunteer puppy raiser who is currently raising her twelfth puppy, Ziti, a yellow Labrador/ Golden Retriever cross. Jackie retired from Chase and is enjoying life. She previously served the Lone Star Chapter in the role of Secretary/ Treasurer.

Dawn Thompson President

Community Outreach Co-Coordinator

Dawn Thompson

Dawn has been involved with Canine Companions since 2013 as a volunteer puppy raiser and has raised two dogs who went on to graduate: Freckles and Orbit. Dawn has formerly served in the Lone Star Chapter as President, Vice President and as Co-Chair of Fundraising and Yappy Hour Committees.

mother and son with yellow service dog

Graduate Liaison

Dolly Thomas

Dolly and her son Jordan are graduates of the program, matched with Skilled Companion Kinkeade in November 2017. Dolly hopes to increase our graduate teams' involvement in Canine Companions activities and volunteer opportunities, and foster relationships and communication amongst our clients.

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