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Autism support organization - service dogs

About Our Non-Profit Organization

Helping Children with Autism

DogsInVests began with a dream to help children become more independent. We soon discovered there is a largely underserved portion of our population with special needs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 54 million Americans have a disability, with ⅔ of these disabilities severely hindering everyday life. We knew we had to help. 

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Autism support animals

Our Mission

DogsInVests mission is to improve the quality of life through the training and matching of service dogs with young adults and children with autism.

Autism service dogs video Who we are

Service Dogs at No Cost

DogsInVests strives to empower individuals with autism by providing them with custom-trained service dogs. Our goal is to facilitate specialized training and education to our dogs so any child with autism can experience life with a highly intelligent, helpful furry companion by their side. We ensure anyone who receives a DogsInVests service dog can do so without any financial burdens. Everything is covered by our team and our generous donors.

You can help us in our mission by donating or volunteering to raise or look after a puppy. Whether you’re able to donate money, supplies, dogs, your time, or your support, any help is greatly appreciated and will help improve the lives of others.

The Team

Meet the DogsInVests team

Paul Holt

Executive Director

While looking for a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of owning a dental supply company, Paul’s wife, Michelle, casually mentioned service dog training. Always the visionary and full of ideas, Paul went to work and DogsInVests was born! A lifelong dog lover and now a puppy raiser, Paul is all in on the many benefits children with autism experience when they have a service dog. Who better to serve as our executive director? We are pretty sure we have the right guy!

Michelle Holt

Director of Advancement

After many years of volunteering in various fundraising capacities, Michelle and her husband, Paul, decided to found their own non-profit organization. With a great love for dogs and a desire to give back to the community, DogsInVests was established. Michelle is very excited to promote the organization through public relations and as the primary fundraiser. She has enjoyed meeting other members of the non-profit community and hearing about their worthy causes. She looks forward to the future of transforming the lives of many individuals with our amazing service dogs.

Meghan Koscak

Administrative Director

As someone who loves four-legged furry friends, Meghan was drawn to DogsInVests as a way to match those in need with a service dog to assist them and help expand their abilities. She loves that she is able to be on the ground floor of a fantastic organization that will not only help children with autism but also their families and community. Her organizational skills and love for spreadsheets made her the perfect fit to be our administrative director. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, son, daughter, and family dog, Uecker.

Barb Fredericks

Director of Client Services

Barb Fredericks is the Director of Client Services for DogsInVests. She is a parent of a young adult son with autism and epilepsy. They have an eight-year-old golden retriever, Abby, who is not a service dog but provides lots of love and laughter. She believes having a dog really added a special experience to their family. Abby is in tune with her son’s feelings and behaviors and this has inspired her to want to help others benefit from a custom-trained service dog.

Stevie Duffek

Dog Trainer

Stevie is the owner/head trainer of Kozi’s K9s LLC Dog Training & Boarding. Stevie has over 20 years of professional experience and provides her services all across the country. The dogs she has trained, including her own, have received several National Awards and continue to make marks in both record and history books. When she’s not training her dogs, Stevie enjoys music, the outdoors, and time with friends & family.

Barb Svang

Director of Animal Health and Welfare

Dr. Svang is passionate about the power a service dog has to enhance the lives of all people. She oversees animal health and welfare here at DogsInVests and is thrilled to be part of the organization. She currently practices veterinary medicine at Prairie Animal Hospital, keeping family pets of all sorts happy and healthy.

Katherine Holt

Creative Director

As a recent graduate from Carroll University with a minor in web design, Katherine joined the DogsInVests Team in May 2018 when our journey as a nonprofit began. Since then, she has used the inspiration of the dogs and individuals we work with to bring our website to life.

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