Emily Fritz comes to WCC after spending four years working in the nonprofit service dog industry, where she got her start as an intern and worked her way up, learning everything she could; she worked in the kennels, development, outreach and as the graduate support coordinator.
Emily has jumped in quickly at WCC and says the experience has already had a profound impact on her.
“I feel like I’ve learned so much in the past month,” says Emily. “It’s incredible being part of such a unique community and family and getting to see that “magic” of when a Veteran connects with their dog and seeing how it affects them by giving them mobility, freedom and companionship. It’s already been such a wonderful experience — I’ve met a lot of amazing people already in the short time I’ve been here.”
When not working at WCC, Emily can be found 99% of the time alongside her own trusty black Lab, “Cheeky.”
“(Says laughing) I love answering the question of what I do outside of work because my life just revolves around dogs,” says Emily. “I look at her and ask what she wants to do and that’s what we do. From swim training and nose work to hanging on the beach, I love spending my time doing anything my dog’s interested in.”
Emily graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s in animal science and a minor in disability studies. She is currently working on her master’s in human-canine life sciences at Bergin University.
Recently engaged to fiancé, John, Emily is also busy planning her wedding.
Emily McNeal comes to WCC from the U.S. Army, where she spent five years working as a lab tech. She spent most of her time in the service at Walter Reed. That’s where she began volunteering with facility dogs and began pursuing her passion to work with service dogs.
“When I was at the hospital in the Army, we would take the facility dogs to visit patients and seeing how they reacted at seeing the dogs really sparked my interest in working more closely with them,” says Emily. “It was amazing to see how, in such a short amount of time, the dogs would take their focus elsewhere — away from the pain they were dealing with — and brighten their day. Even if only for a few minutes, it was amazing to see.”
Now she’s excited to pair that prior experience with her passion for working with service dogs to help Veterans.
“I am so excited to be part of the WCC team,” says Emily. “It’s amazing to see these big, strong Veterans who have been through some life-changing experiences that some of us can’t even imagine – smile and open up while holding a tiny puppy in their arms, it’s so encouraging to see.”
Prior to joining the Army, Emily earned her undergraduate degree in childhood psychology and a master’s in human services, health and wellness, both from Liberty University.
When not spending time at WCC, Emily can usually be found coaching others as a Level 1 CrossFit Trainer at a local gym in Maryland.
Please join us in welcoming both Emily F. and Emily M. to our team!