Jennifer Desher, service dog training instructor, explains how Warrior Canine Connection helps veterans overcome trauma through the comfort of dogs. Veteran Paula Crawford-Gamble brings service dog Dollie to the FOX 29 studio to give us the inside scoop. Watch the full story on Fox 29 Philadelphia.
Tag Archive for: Jennifer Desher
Warrior Canine Connection is pleased to announce that Jennifer Desher has joined its pack and will serve as the program manager and service dog training instructor at its new training site located at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jennifer is no stranger to working with dogs. In fact, her training roots go back to 2011 when she was living in Minot, North Dakota, because her husband, Kevin, was stationed at Minot Air Force Base. While there, she started taking in stray dogs and doing basic obedience training with them, which she learned by watching YouTube videos, and then would find them deserving homes. During that 3 year-period, she trained and rehomed 60+ dogs. Hooked on working with dogs, she took an online formal dog training class.
Jennifer traces her love of dogs back to childhood. “I have always been a dog lover,” said Jennifer. “After begging my parents for what seemed like forever, I got my first dog at 13—a Samoyed, who I named Tinker, after my grandfather who was nicknamed ‘Tink.’”
In 2013, Jennifer and Kevin moved back to their hometown in Pa. Shortly afterward, Kevin deployed with the Air National Guard. While he was gone, Jennifer spent the year in Texas, attending the Starmark Animal Behavioral Center for additional training. After completing her education, she helped run dog training programs in North Carolina and then back in their hometown of Philadelphia.
So when Jennifer saw the job posting for a brand-new WCC program at the University of Pennsylvania, she immediately filled out the application.
“Finding something like this was a dream come true for me,” said Jennifer. “It hits home since it combines my passion for the military and Veterans with dog training—it was a no-brainer. And it’s in my hometown.”
Jennifer, Kevin, and their two children Penelope, 7, and Benjamin, 1, reside in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, along with their 11-year-old Husky, Meyla. When not working, an avid runner, Jennifer can often be found logging miles around town or at the local parks with her kids and spending time with her large, extended family. She’s also an advocate for the education of beta-propeller protein-associated neurodegeneration (BPAN), a disorder her daughter, Penelope, has that damages the nervous system.