Warrior Canine Connection Founder and Executive Director Rick Yount Elected to Board of Directors for Assistance Dogs International North America

BOYDS, Maryland – Warrior Canine Connection is pleased to announce that its Founder and Executive Director Rick Yount has been elected to the Board of Directors for Assistance Dogs International North America (ADINA), effective immediately. Yount, along with three additional newly elected board members, will work together to represent ADINA’s mission and vision within North America.

“I have always admired Assistance Dogs International for being a leader in the service dog field, and I’m honored to be joining its board,” said Yount. “Since WCC became an accredited member of ADI in 2015, I’ve been fortunate to see how ADI’s commitment to supporting advocacy, training and addressing access issues has positively impacted service dog organizations. Together, with the rest of the ADI board, I look forward to contributing to its tradition of excellence, as well as expanding into new areas of training and education to continue the growth and support for service dogs across the country.”

Yount founded nonprofit Warrior Canine Connection in 2011 after pioneering the first service dog training program at the California Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto in 2008. He also devised WCC’s Mission Based Trauma Recovery training model, whereby Warriors in recovery are enlisted to train service dogs for their fellow Veterans.

“Rick is a leader in the service dog industry and we are excited to welcome him to ADINA’s board of directors,” said Sheila O’Brien, president, ADINA. “We believe his strong experience, background and insight on breeding, training and pairing highly trained service dogs with Veterans will be especially helpful to ADINA as the organization continues to grow, shape access policies and advocate for those who rely on service dogs.”

Rick graduated with a B.A. from West Virginia University and also earned a Master’s in Assistance Dog Education. He combined his social work knowledge and experience along with his service dog training background to develop WCC’s Mission Based Trauma Recovery training model, which serves as an intervention to help Service Members and Veterans with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. He will serve a four-year term on the ADINA Board of Directors.

The slate of 2018 ADINA Board members is listed below:

  • Sheila O’Brien, President
  • Sheri Stoles, Vice President
  • Laura Watamanuk, Secretary
  • Rick Hairston, Treasurer
  • Sally J. Irvin
  • Jennifer Rogers
  • Jeanine Konopelski
  • Jenny Brodkorb
  • Rick Yount


For more information, please contact Beth Bourgeois, Warrior Canine Connection, at beth.bourgeois@warriorcanineconnection.org or 719-216-3206.


About Warrior Canine Connection
Warrior Canine Connection is a pioneering organization that utilizes a Mission Based Trauma Recovery model to empower returning combat Veterans who have sustained physical and psychological wounds while in service to our country. Based on the concept of Warriors helping Warriors, WCC’s therapeutic service dog training program is designed to mitigate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other challenges, while giving injured combat Veterans a sense of purpose, and help in reintegrating back into their families and communities. For more information, visit www.warriorcanineconnection.org.


About Assistance Dogs International North America
Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a worldwide coalition of non-profit organizations that raise, train and place assistance dogs.  ADI is the leading authority in the Assistance Dogs industry establishing and promoting standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, training and partnership.  Assistance dog organizations that pass our accreditation process become ADI Accredited members and are regularly assessed to ensure they meet the high standards in the industry. For more information, visit www.assistancedogsinternational.org.

ADI North America (ADINA) is a Regional Chapter of Assistance Dogs International. ADINA Board of Directors are focused on regional issues and objectives that affect our member organizations in North America that includes support of new members, the opportunity to network and provide education for our membership and involvement in advocacy issues that affect our graduate teams.