Hi, I’m Beth Bollenbach, co-founder of Paws for Humanity. I have been a social worker for 30 years working with chronic illness, adjustment in life transitions, anxiety, and grief and loss.
I began my career in healthcare wanting to help people adjust, cope, and find their strengths to thrive through the changes life brings. This naturally led me into becoming a psychotherapist, and I started my own practice. In addition to individual clinical work, I have led support groups for people living with HIV; caregivers of chronically or terminally ill loved ones; bereavement groups; and support groups for Hospice workers.
I have developed and led trainings on a variety of psychosocial issues for healthcare professionals including cultural competence, client centered counseling techniques, boundaries and self care, and mental health issues in the healthcare setting. I have also provided consultation for program development and implementation for several community education programs in the Chicago area.
I am looking forward to taking my experience into the world of animal assisted learning and therapy. Just as I left healthcare for a deeper connection, I now feel called to the pure connection and communication of animals to people’s experiences to allow strengthening and healing in a more organic holistic way.
Hello everyone, I am Dale Welling, the co-founder of Paws for Humanity.
The dream of starting a facility like Paws for Humanity really started for me as a child. Even though I had a relatively happy childhood, my road through life had plenty of potholes. It was my constant love of working with and showing animals that helped me find my true calling of rescuing animals to help people through their transitional times in life. My passion for animals lead me to get my degree from Bethel College, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management. Also I recently attended a week-long immersive workshop through the course work of “PATH” (programs to develop equine therapy and programming), working toward earning a facilitator certification for our programming here at the ranch.
The majority of my life I have found myself in some form of church ministry, and currently I am working as a Spiritual Life Coordinator (or chaplain) for a Hospice agency in Northern Indiana supporting people through their transition in life, in order to help them find peace and acceptance within their life.
When you visit, you will find me as a facilitator and working with the trainers, counselors, and animals in order to help support and create programs. It is my hope that our many friends (new and old) will find a program at the ranch to fulfill their dreams and goals.
Kristine BrownPet Trainer
I have been a pet trainer for 10 years now. Have had wonderful success with training dogs from different backgrounds and different needs, whether it is social anxiety or barking too much. I teach puppy, beginners, intermediate, advanced, and therapy training classes. I am an evaluator for the Canine Good Citizens test as well. One of the most rewarding experiences from teaching is when a terribly frightened dog comes into my class and just hides under the chair. They won’t come out or want anything to do with their classmates. By the end of the 6-week session, they are dancing around the classroom like they own it. A scared and frightened dog is now happy and wants to check out his world. Watching them progress like that is truly an awesome thing to see.
I have two dogs; both are rescue dogs. Seth, my Pitbull terrier mix, is a sweet boy that is now 11 years old. I rescued him from the humane society when he was about 3. He was found on the streets of Benton Harbor. I feel like he was abused and perhaps was going to be a bait dog due to his sweet personality. He has had some obstacles to overcome, but he is doing great, just getting old. Bugsy is my other rescued dog; he is a 3 year old chihuahua. He is a bundle of energy and a spitfire. He too has some background with him, but I am always working with him and his manners.