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Jody Wilson
  • Jody Wilson General Manager
    Jody Wilson General Manager

    Jody Wilson

    General Manager

    I have a long held interest in disability issues and I have framed my academic work (Biological/Social Anthropology and Social Science for Public Health) to explore many aspects of disability.  I was also incorporating aspects of incarceration and prison systems into my study. It seems like a natural extension to be working for Mobility Dogs - bringing together both my interest in disability, on a theoretical level and now, working with people whose reality is the lived experience of disability.

    The Puppies in Prisons programme at Wiri and Spring Hill is another aspect of Mobility Dogs that I find particularly interesting and challenging. For the Trust it is about getting more dogs out into the community, but it is more than that, we are giving the prisoners the chance to serve the very community they have offended against.

     

     

  • Natalie Ramm Senior Trainer and Puppies in Prison Coordinator
    Natalie Ramm Senior Trainer and Puppies in Prison Coordinator

    Natalie Ramm

    Senior Trainer and Puppies in Prison Coordinator

    My passion for Mobility Dogs was sparked by an Oprah Winfrey show a decade ago. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join Mobility Dogs during it's conception stage as a volunteer trainer. A decade later I am employed by Mobility Dogs and continue to relish the challenges and triumphs of working s a member of the canine team. When I am not at our training facility I am often working with handlers in our Puppies in Prison program or out on the road placing dogs with our clients. During my down time I can often be found out with my pet dogs, mountain biking or hiking accept when the urge to DIY takes hold then out come the tools with keen eyes watching to make sure it is done correctly.

  • Corinna Cooper Canine Programme Assistant
    Corinna Cooper Canine Programme Assistant

    Corinna Cooper

    Canine Programme Assistant

    I started my career working with animals in 1999. Initially as a Vet Nurse and Zookeeper. In 2004, I started to work solely with dogs as a detector dog handler at our borders, searching for risk goods at the mail centre, international airport and NZ sea ports.

    This year I was given the opportunity to work with Mobility Dogs, bringing together my love for dogs and people.

    I feel privileged to work for the Trust and all those involved in making a positive difference in people’s lives.

    My role involves co-ordinating and supporting our puppy raisers, managing vet visits and supporting the training team.

  • Letticia Mincham Development Manager
    Letticia Mincham Development Manager

    Letticia Mincham

    Development Manager

    My career has focussed on working within health & disability (incl GM Epilepsy Foundation, GM Linkage Trust (now Linkpeople), Ak Regional Manager Panacea Healthcare). Many of the positions I’ve held have had a broad multi-sector focus. I was drawn to working with Mobility Dogs after meeting people involved and being able to very directly see the impact on the life of people and their families where a dog is placed.  It is inspiring to be involved in an organisation that makes a difference in such a broad variety of ways: through the dogs themselves and the difference they make for their person; through their presence in local communities that create opportunities for inclusiveness and community education and engagement; through the puppies in prison programme which provides a new focus and skillset for the people involved and through the volunteer programme that engages people and businesses.

  • Magda Smolira Operations Coordinator
    Magda Smolira Operations Coordinator

    Magda Smolira

    Operations Coordinator

    My first love is ethology – an objective study of animal behaviour in their natural environment. I spent four years working as a kennel assistant at MAF Detector Dog Programme creating an environment for the dogs protecting our borders.

    Pursuing a better work-life balance, six years ago I started working part time as a home support worker assisting people with spinal cord injury and various neurological disorders. In my role as Operations Coordinator I am able to marry both worlds – my passion for helping people and ensuring that working dogs have an optimal environment to do their job effectively. When I am not working I am usually gardening in a company of retired detector dog and two hens.
     

  • Maree Butler Client Coordinator
    Maree Butler Client Coordinator

    Maree Butler

    Client Coordinator

    My interest in the contribution dogs can make to people was piqued when we got a dog to support my daughter who was experiencing night fears. It was a partnership which worked. My eyes were opened to the wonderful world of service dogs.


    I started volunteering at the Guide Dogs for the Blind Breeding Centre 18 months ago and quickly realised this was the right career change to make. I completed the Service Dog Instructor Certification at the Bergin University of Canine Studies in mid 2017. I am delighted to be a part of the Mobility Dogs team and to bring my skill set to the role of Client Coordinator.

  • Judy & Grant Reid Southern Lakes District Coordinator
    Judy & Grant Reid Southern Lakes District Coordinator

    Judy & Grant Reid

    Southern Lakes District Coordinator

    Judy & Grant Reid - Puppy Development Liaison

    Judy and Grant Reid are our Southern Lakes District puppy raisers and leaders.  They hail from Colorado where Judy taught English, grades 7 through college level, and Grant taught landscape architecture on the college level and had his own landscape design business.  When they retired from teaching seven years ago, they decided to make New Zealand their home, as they had made frequent visits to the Otago region through the years and knew this was where they wanted to spend their retirement years.  Grant is a Kiwi having been born and raised in Dunedin, and Judy, a Yank, grew up in the State of Nebraska. 

    Judy and Grant got involved with service dog raising/training in the States when they applied to raise a guide dog puppy in 2001.  Five dogs followed.  When they came to New Zealand, wanting to continue to work with service dogs, they went on line and found the Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust.  In 2007 after making contact with the trust, submitting application and interviewing in Auckland, the Reids raised their first Mobility Dog puppy, Emmit, and by 2014 they were raising their sixth Mobility Dog puppy, Lyric.  Fleur, the SLD Ambassadog, also lives with the Reids and participates in all puppy events and outings taking her role seriously.  

    In 2012 Grant completed the Service Dog Instructor Certification at the Bergin University of Canine Studies.  Grant does the puppy training, and Judy coordinates speaking engagements, organises public relations events and has puppy cuddle duty.  Grant's other involvements include: conducting the monthly puppy meetings, training existing and new puppy raisers and placing fully -trained dogs with disabled clients.

    Working with the dedicated individuals within the Trust, plus raising and training these gorgeous dogs have been highlights of the Reids' time here in New Zealand.

Latest News

  • Articles by Hannah Gibson

    Articles by Hannah Gibson

    These latest articles from Hannah give a real insight into the impact of unseen disabilities

    READ
  • Worth a Read

    Worth a Read

    Article by Hannah Gibson in Huffington Post

    READ

Meet our team

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Jody Wilson

General Manager

I have a long held interest in disability issues and I have framed my academic work (Biological/Social Anthropology and Social Science for Public Health) to explore many aspects of disability.  I was also incorporating aspects of incarceration and prison systems into my study. It seems like a natural extension to be working for Mobility Dogs - bringing together both my interest in disability, on a theoretical level and now, working with people whose reality is the lived experience of disability.

The Puppies in Prisons programme at Wiri and Spring Hill is another aspect of Mobility Dogs that I find particularly interesting and challenging. For the Trust it is about getting more dogs out into the community, but it is more than that, we are giving the prisoners the chance to serve the very community they have offended against.

 

 

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