Joy St. Peter is the Founder and Director of The Joys of Living Assistance Dogs (JLAD), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. She launched JLAD in 2004 after attending the Assistance Dog Institute's (ADI) Service Dog Instructor Training Course in Santa Rosa, California, led by Dr. Bonnie Bergen (inventor of the Service Dog concept).
When asked what her motivation was for starting JLAD, Joy said, "I love dogs! I love the connection between people and dogs. I'm passionate about facilitating that connection -- about enriching someone's life and giving that person the freedom of mobility that we so often take for granted."
Within the first two years as a non-profit, Joy inspired the committed service of 15 volunteers, including 12 puppyraisers, and the support of 6 local business sponsors. Joy is committed to raising public awareness around issues surrounding service dogs, and their importance in the lives of those who enlist their special training. In 2006, she graduated her first class of trained dogs. Joy also trains pet-dogs for individual owners, and conducts seminars and presentations on dog-related topics to schools, service clubs and other community organizations.
Joy has earned a reputation among her family and friends as someone who loves animals -- of all kinds -- and who, if anyone, would always be the one to find that stray dog (or it find her) or that orphaned cockatiel on the side of the road (whichreally happened). In 1995, Joy took a Canine Companions for Independence dog into her home and with it an understanding that working with service dogs was what she ultimately wanted to do.
When asked what her vision for JLAD was, Joy replied, "I'd like to have a chapter in Portland and Eugene, and I would like to teach service dog trainers through a Trainer Apprentice Program. I would like to see JLAD earn a reputation for producing high-quality dogs -- the best in the industry."
Her professional affiliations include: