Caring K9s, Inc. Caring K9s, Inc.

Our Team

DJ Gwilt with Lincoln and RJ

DJ is a co-founder of Caring K9s and serves on the board of directors. She has been a Certified Dog Trainer since 2015 and is the trainer for Caring K9s.

Lincoln is a Golden Retriever and was born on December 10, 2014. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since May 2016. The AKC also recognizes Lincoln with the Therapy Dog Distinguished title. He loves swimming in the pool but hates taking a bath. His true obsession is tennis balls that squeak. He enjoys doing tricks for people like shake, roll over and speak. Lincoln enjoys spending family time at home and playing with his canine brother and sister. 

RJ is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and was born on August 4, 2016. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since October 2019. RJ loves to swim and dive for tennis balls.

 

Tina Stockton and Chloe

Tina is co-founder of Caring K9s and serves on the board of directors.

Chloe is a Standard Poodle and was born on May 29, 2015. She started working as a certified therapy dog in July 2016. After bringing joy to many people, she retired in 2021. The AKC also recognizes Chloe with the Therapy Dog Advanced title. She loves spending time with her family, playing fetch with her ball, and chasing squirrels. Chloe loves to give kisses and show off her favorite trick, shake!

 

Karen Russell with Shelby and Buddy

Karen is a retired special education teacher from Michigan and serves on the board of directors.

Shelby is a Goldendoodle and was born on May 7, 2014. She has been working as a certified therapy dog since November 2017. Shelby loves people, treats long walks, and playing with her canine brother. 

Buddy is a Labradoodle and was born on December 10, 2017. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since July 2021. After bringing joy to many people, he retired in 2022. Buddy loves car rides, going to Rural King shopping, and fishing! He actually caught a fish once and surprised himself! He also enjoys evening walks and greeting everyone he sees.

 

Valerie Morrison and Kosby

Valerie is a seasonal member from Montrose, Pennsylvania.

Kosby is a Shih Tzu and was born on November 18, 2012. He started working as a certified therapy dog in March 2017.  After bringing joy to many people, he retired in 2021. Kosby loves to play fetch with stuffed toys and hates to have his toenails trimmed. 

 

Cinda Lillibridge and Fender

Cinda works with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. 

Fender is a Boxer and was born on January 21, 2018.  He has been working as a certified therapy dog since June 2020. Fender likes laying in the sun and chasing his dog sister around the yard. He's up for anything that involves food and in his free time, he enjoys opening his doggy gate with his mouth. He is a master at counter surfing and a professional slobbery kisser.

 

Barb VanWinkle and Spot

Barb is retired from Orthopedic Surgery.

Spot is a rescued Cattle Dog Mix. Her birthday is September 10, 2007. She started working as a certified therapy dog in June 2018. After bringing joy to many people, she retired in 2020. Spot loves herding the horses and cows on her ranch home, but her favorite thing to do is nap. Sadly, Spot crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in February 2022.

 

 

Sue Hyatt and Curie

Sue is a retired Respiratory Therapist.

Curie is a Siberian Husky and was born on December 31, 2013, in Mississippi. She has been working as a certified therapy dog since April 2018. Curie loves doing agility drills, sleeping in the sun, and staying out of the snow.

 

Jim Engard and Chief

Jim is a retired Product Support Manager from a large construction equipment company.

Chief is a Golden Retriever and was born on January 19, 2016. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since February 2019. Chief loves boat rides, swimming, and spending time with his family.

 

Joy Mullen and Maggie

Joy is semi-retired and works at a local real estate office.

Maggie is a rescued Affenpinscher. Her birthday is on September 22, 2010. Maggie has been working as a certified therapy dog since March 2019. She loves to snuggle, watch tv and take long walks. 

 

Paula Gaustad and Gracie

Paula works for a local internet provider.

Gracie is an Australian Labradoodle and was born on April 14, 2017. She has been working as a certified therapy dog since March 2019. Gracie loves her stuffed animals, treats, and playing catch. 

 

Dave Morana and Macy

Dave is retired and serves on the board of directors.

Macy is a Labrador Retriever and was born on January 25, 2018. She has been working as a certified therapy dog since May 2019. Macy loves to swim in the pool, fetch balls, squeaky toys, and playing with her canine sister. 

 

Rick and Dee Lacy with Dixie, Yogi, and KC

Rick and Dee are retired and are seasonal members from New Jersey.

Dixie is a Border Collie and was born on April 7, 2018, in Mississippi. She has been working as a certified therapy dog since April 2019. The AKC also recognizes Dixie with the Therapy Dog Advanced title. Dixie loves everyone, especially children. She is the Aunt to both Yogi and KC.

Yogi is a Border Collie and was born on November 29, 2019. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since December 2021. The AKC recognizes Yogi with the Therapy Dog Novice title. Yogi loves to play tag with Dixie, running and playing ball, playing in the water, watching dogs on TV, and visiting the kids in the neighborhood.

KC is a Border Collie and was born on August 2, 2021. He is currently working on being certified as a therapy dog. KC is Yogi's younger brother. He loves to play and learn with and from Dixie and Yogi. KC loves to greet everyone and loves new challenges.

 

Linda Rooney and Tanner

Linda is retired from Virginia Public Schools and a seasonal member from Spotsylvania, Virginia.

Tanner is a Golden Retriever and was born on December 31, 2016. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since April 2019. Tanner loves playing outside with kids and other dogs, especially his sister. He loves jumping in the pond at the dog park and chasing balls.

 

Carol Schiller with Silas and Hope

Carol is a retired special education teacher and a seasonal member from Niantic, Connecticut.

Silas is a Golden Retriever and was born on May 16, 2017. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since April 2021. The AKC also recognizes Silas with the Therapy Dog title. Some of Silas’s favorite things are being with his family and playing fetch with his tennis ball.

Hope is a Golden Retriever and was born on October 26, 2013. She has been working as a certified therapy dog since March 2022. Hope is starting her second career as a therapy dog. She was a great mom to 36 puppies as part of Clark's Golden Retrievers.  Hope is Aunt to Silas.

 

 

Barbara Zopp-Haynes and Remy

Barbara is a retired mortgage broker. 

Remy is a Goldendoodle and was born on November 6, 2018. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since April 2021. Remy loves his daily sunset walks. He is very inquisitive and as such meets all the neighbors. He is an incredible ball player and swimmer.

 

 

Linda Friedland and Sailor

Linda is retired.

Sailor is a Labrador Retriever and was born on November 12, 2017. He is currently working on being certified as a therapy dog. Sailor loves swimming, playing ball, and his doggy friends. He is very athletic and can jump waves and surf. He also loves his umbrella. 

 

Sue Masson and Otis

Sue is the owner of multiple Dunkin Donuts in Hernando and Pasco County.

Otis is a Great Dane and was born on June 14, 2018. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since May 2021. Otis loves to run and chew on everything! 

 

Stephanie Ghinger and Rico

Stephanie works part-time with Ameriprise Financial Services.

Rico is a Collie and was born on April 24, 2015. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since August 2021. Rico loves laying outside in the grass watching his “herd” of horses and pot-bellied pigs, going for walks, and playing ball with his 2 human brothers.

 

Meryln Lewis with Joy and Levi

Merlyn is President and Trainer of an all-volunteer non-profit called New Life Medical Service Dogs in Citrus County.

Joy is a Standard Poodle and was born on January 27, 2011. She has been working as a certified therapy dog since September 2012. Her favorite therapy visits are with children. Joy is a farm dog and loves to tag along on horseback trail rides. She has never met a squeaker she couldn’t master. Joy loves spending time with Merlyn and her husband and her K9 pack.

Levi is a Standard Poodle and was born on May 28, 2020. He has been working as a certified therapy dog since December 2021. Levi's favorite therapy visits are with the elderly. He is all boy- a lover of sticks, dirt, and all things outdoors!

 

Sue Doherty and Murphy

Sue is a retired elementary teacher, credit, and collection for AT&T yellow pages, and co-owner of a complex machinery company. 

Murphy is a Shetland SheepDog and was born on April 27, 2014.  Murphy loves being a therapy dog!  He seems to understand people's needs, likes, and dislikes.  He especially likes to play with Sue's eight grandchildren!

 

Norm and Linda Ross with Fenway

Norm and Linda are retired.

Fenway is a Golden Retriever and was born on November 4, 2020. He is currently working on being certified as a therapy dog. Fenway loves to chase the frisbee and balls! His favorite things to do are of course eat and hang with his paw parents. He’s very playful and energetic!

 

Austin Klinger and Kathryn Kellogg with Remi

Austin is an Assistant Manager at Jiffy Lube and currently working toward being a firefighter. Kathryn is a Kindergarten Teacher in Hernando County.

Remi is a Golden Retriever and was born on November 6, 2019. He is currently working on being certified as a therapy dog. Remi loves going on walks, playing fetch, and snuggling with his cat sister. Remi loves people and is a great family dog!

 

Debbie Francis and Louie

Debbie sells real estate.

Louie is a Labrador Retriever and was born on January 6, 2021. He is currently working on being certified as a therapy dog. Louie loves to play tug-a-war, is addicted to a morning massage, and is most often velcroed to Debbie when she’s at home.

 

Nancy Jusino and Champ

Nancy’s passion is working with seniors and she’s been doing it for 35 years.

Champ is a Labrador Retriever and was born on January 9, 2019. He is currently working on being certified as a therapy dog. Champ loves to play frisbee, catch, and playing with his Chihuahua mix sister in the backyard. He also loves belly rubs and hugs.

 

Jeri Loffler and Bee

Jeri is co-founder of a nonprofit called Animalade.  She also coaches softball at Pasco-Hernando State College.

Bee is a Labrador Retriever and was born on August 21, 2019. She has been working as a certified therapy dog since December 2021. Bee loves to cuddle, meet new people, and go to bed early!

 

Runay Valentine and Sarge

Runay is a semi-retired nurse executive currently doing part-time remote project work at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

Sarge is a Golden Retriever and was born on October 9, 2021. He is currently working on being certified as a therapy dog. Sarge is full of energy and loves people. He loves the water and will be starting dock diving classes soon.

 

Board Members

Caring K's Board Members: Tina Stockton, Karen Russell, DJ Gwilt, David Morana, and Melinda Kishbaugh