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Breeding Group 2023 slide BEST

Meet the Breeding Team

The breeding team at Leader Dog supports our breeding stock host volunteers, maintains and develops our breeding colony of dogs, and oversees the health and well-being of the breeding colony, doing ultrasounds, x-rays and breeding.

Dana stands in the canine center smiling and holding a yellow Labrador puppy that is wearing a blue Future Leader Dog bandannaDana has been with Leader Dog since 2018. Her responsibilities include selecting the dogs with the best genetics to include in our breeding program and determining which males and females to breed together. Dana received her Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Michigan State University. Before coming to Leader Dog, Dana spent over a decade breeding and caring for exotic animals (including cheetahs and polar bears). She had the opportunity to work for some of the nation’s top zoos and with some of the world’s most incredible animals. In addition to her work, Dana has supported conservation efforts of local communities and abroad. She traveled to Guyana, where she worked with area leaders and learned how they were working with their government to preserve their natural flora and fauna. She also volunteered with the Cheetah Conservation Fund, helping coordinate U.S.-based events that reinforced the conservation efforts on the ground in Africa. Dana feels fortunate to be a small part of this organization, using her breeding expertise to help provide the best guide dogs for our clients.

Sam stands in front of the glass garage doors in the Canine Center smiling at the camera and holding a young golden retreiver puppy with a Future Leader Dog bandanna onSam joined the Leader Dog team in 2017. What she enjoys most about working at Leader Dog is being part of an organization that embraces the working relationship between a human and their canine partner. Her responsibilities include overseeing the health and well-being of the breeding colony, doing ultrasounds, x-rays, breeding and supporting our volunteer breeding stock hosts. Sam has a bachelor's degree in animal science and is a licensed veterinary technician. In her free time, Sam enjoys spending time with her husband and training her three German shepherds in various sports. 

Alex has been with Leader Dog since 2018 but made the transition to the breeding department in 2022. She has been a licensed veterinary technician since 2013, working almost exclusively in canine reproduction and emergency medicine since 2016. Alex is responsible for the care of our breeding stock moms and dads, as well as the litters whelped out in our volunteer host homes, performing ultrasounds and radiographs, and providing support for our host home families. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her fiancé (wedding in March 2023!) and her four-legged children: Rogue (English shepherd), career changed dog Riley (black lab), Leader Dog mom Leia (yellow lab) and Ghost (cat). 

Meet the Class of 2023

This year, our supporters have made it possible for a truly incredible class of Leader Dogs to graduate. 

Right now: You can help the class of 2024 graduate with a gift – our generous friends at the Gary Sinise Foundation have agreed to match your donation today, up to $100,000!