New Faces at WCC
Warrior Canine Connection has two new team members who we would like to introduce to you. Please join us in welcoming both Cate Law and MaryAngela Leifeld to our pack!
Cate Law joined the WCC team in March in a brand-new role — Canine Care and Enrichment Coordinator. In this newly designed position, Cate will support the service dog training program by providing daily mental and physical exercises to the dogs who are being housed at the training center. This will ensure that the pups are well-rounded and cared for, allowing the training staff to focus their time and energy on each dog’s behavioral training plans.
“I’m thrilled to be taking this next step and to be working with WCC,” said Cate. “WCC has the most unique mission by not only placing dogs with Veterans but involving them in the mission, and I am so excited to be a part of that.”
Cate comes to WCC as a recent graduate from the University of Maryland, where she received her bachelor’s in Persian Studies. She discovered her passion for service dogs as a volunteer puppy raiser for a guide dog organization while still in college, and she even helped to get a puppy–raising club off the ground at the University.
In the past three years, she has taught numerous classes for puppy raisers and started a financial support program for puppy raisers of service dog training programs that do not cover all costs of the puppy. She is currently raising her third puppy for another organization, Sage, a female Lab/golden cross, who you may see making friends around WCC! Cate says she hopes to raise a WCC puppy in the future.
When not working, Cate enjoys spending time hiking, exploring Maryland, trying new restaurants and spending time with friends.
MaryAngela recently joined WCC as a service dog training instructor and will be based out the Boyds, Md. headquarters. She joined the team in early May during the pandemic, so her acclimation has been anything but “normal” since all trainings are taking place 100% virtually. However, MaryAngela says she’s settling in well, learning the ropes and that she’s happy to be part of the team nonetheless.
“It’s a unique time to have started a new position but everyone has been truly welcoming and great in terms of making sure I’ve got what I need, know what I need to do and get settled in,” said MaryAngela. “I’m really excited to be part of such a cool program that has such a focused mission in support of our Veterans.”
MaryAngela has been working with assistance and service dogs for years. She got her start by volunteering to raise and train assistance dogs years ago while in middle school and has been hooked ever since.
In fact, in college, she majored in radio-television-film but dogs ultimately won her over, and she became a full-time service dog training instructor, specializing in training dogs to provide greater independence for individuals with disabilities.
Most recently, she worked in the private dog training sector, where she developed a broader knowledge of puppy development and the modification of complex behavioral issues by aiding pet dog owners to achieve their training goals.
When not working, MaryAngela and her wife, who have two dogs and a cat, enjoying hobbies that revolve around their pets such as training and hiking.
Please join us in welcoming both Cate and MaryAngela to our pack!