Tiffany Moeltner has been working with Saint Francis Service Dogs for over eight years. Prior to this she earned her M.Ed and worked as a Case Manager for community-based programs serving adults with developmental disabilities and later as a transition specialist in public schools. As an educator she thoroughly enjoyed her work preparing young adults for fulfilling futures through teaching academic, social, vocational, and life skills enabling them to lead fulfilling self-determined futures following graduation from high school.
Dogs have always played a central role in Tiffany’s personal and professional life. Growing up in a home that was never without a dog allowed her to experience first-hand the positive effects of the human-animal bond. We all experience emotional ups and downs in life. While growing up Tiffany moved quite a bit. Starting over wasn’t easy but during moves and other emotionally unsettling times, the constant love and companionship of her four-legged family members was life changing.
As a professional Tiffany has focused on bringing the positive health and wellness benefits of interactions with dogs to bear on her work. In the past, as an educator, she developed partnerships with animal shelters enabling students to learn vocational and social skills through interactions with shelter dogs and the public. Locally, she created a training partnership with Warm Hearth Village that brings Service Dogs in training and registered therapy dogs into the setting. The Service Dogs benefit from the rich training environment with the help of residence, sometimes even participating in physical therapy sessions while the registered therapy dogs are readily available to socialize and bolster spirits - a win-win situation that benefits people and dogs alike. Tiffany also developed a school-based program called Individual Education Pups (I.E.Pups) that capitalizes on dogs’ unique ability to break down social barriers, provide unconditional love, and to motivate people to engage in challenging activities. Through this program dogs truly become partners in education, providing our teachers and administrators with a unique avenue for meeting students’ diverse emotional, personal, and academic needs.
The seeds of Diamonds in the Ruff (DITR) were planted many years ago. Improving the lives of people impacted by disability has been a lifelong goal for Tiffany. DITR gives her the opportunity to pursue that goal while at the same time improving the lives of deserving shelter dogs.