What is Dogs for Better Lives?

Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) is a national nonprofit organization, based in Central Point, Oregon, whose mission is focused on the procurement, training and placing of Hearing Assistance Dogs (nationally), Autism Assistance Dogs (WA, OR, and CA), and Facility Dogs (nationally).

Accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and recognized by Charity Navigator as a 4-star nonprofit, DBL has been rescuing dogs, bettering lives, and providing Assistance Dogs since 1977.

Since its founding in 1977, DBL has grown from placing Hearing Assistance Dogs to also include Facility Dogs, and more recently, Autism Assistance Dogs. DBL has nationally placed more than 1,300 dogs since its inception by its late founder, Roy Kabot.

DBL to launch signature event in Washington’s Puget Sound region

With the support and guidance of the regional Young Professionals Board – Pacific Northwest, DBL will host a yet-to-be-determined signature event, engaging donors, clients, and community partners.

Eventually, we will have Young Professionals Boards across the country, working to support each of our planned satellite offices.  San Francisco (2020) and Los Angeles (2021) are being planned next.

What is the Young Professionals Board?

As DBL continues to grow and embark on their journey to better the lives of those with disabilities, pairing them with an Assistance Dog, they aim to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the Pacific Northwest region to become involved in carrying out their mission and vision.

The DBL Young Professionals Board (YPB) – Pacific Northwest is comprised of like-minded individuals in their 20s and 30s that have a passion for dogs and giving back to people with disabilities in their communities.  Members will be responsible for marketing the mission of DBL, participating in outreach events, as well as planning and fundraising through a variety of initiatives.

Board Structure

 Term Length

When committing to Dogs for Better Lives’ YPB, the term will last for one (1) year, from January 2020 to January 2021.  As long as the member fulfills all of the commitments throughout the year, members will be welcome to apply for an unlimited number of terms.

 Leadership Roles

The Dogs for Better Lives’ YPB will have a variety of leadership roles that will be voted on by the members of the YPB.  Those positions are: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary.


1) Monthly Meetings; Dogs for Better Lives’ YPB will meet monthly, usually in late afternoon or early evening. The meetings will either be in person at a location in the Greater Seattle area or a Microsoft Teams video conference call hosted by DBL.

2) Fundraising; When committing to Dogs for Better Lives’ YPB, a member is committing to a minimum fundraising “give or get” of $1,500. This will be done through three (3) initiatives:

  • Event #1 – TBD
  • Event #2 –  TBD
  • Event #3 – TBD

3) Marketing; All members of the YPB are expected to assist Dogs for Better Lives in spreading the word about their brand and mission, whether that be through word of mouth, sharing social media posts, and/or introducing new members to our community.

4) Benefits; By being involved in DBL’s Young Professionals Board, there are number of benefits you will receive for your participation:

  • Being a part of something that is larger than yourself. As a member of the YPB, you will have a DIRECT impact on Dogs for Better Lives’ ability to provide our services to people in the Puget Sound region that could benefit and qualify for an Assistance Dog.
  • As a member of the YPB, you will have the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals that sit alongside of you on the YPB, as well as having access to the network of Dogs for Better Lives, which includes being introduced to the Board of Directors and key staff. Please note, the YPB Chair and Vice Chair will have the opportunity to attend one (1) Board of Directors meeting to report on the status of the YPB.
  • Acknowledgement on Dogs for Better Lives’ social media channels.
  • Recognized in Canine Listener magazine, DBL website, and in annual report.

Recent News about YPB – Pacific Northwest

How To Apply

Those interested in applying for DBL’s Young Professionals Board – Pacific Northwest should click on the APPLY button below.

Young Professionals Board (Pacific Northwest) – Board of Directors

Corey Wise

Chair, YPB Member

Mr. Corey Wise is the founder and CEO of StruggleBear, a company that inspires people to own their struggle not only through humor and relatability but through cultivating a community that is bonded by vulnerability and courage. In fact, StruggleBear’s vision is to help create a world where humans allow their “selves” to be worthy of self-love while connecting people through their real-life struggles and their true journeys to triumph.

Prior to StruggleBear, Corey pursued a passion and attended Central Washington University in 2003 to pursue his BA in Flight Technology to become a commercial airline pilot.

In 2008 he enlisted in the US Air Force to become a special operations combat medic. Air Force Special Warfare Pararescue (PJ) specialists rescue and medically treat downed military personnel all over the world and that’s exactly what Corey wanted to do. He answered the call of the PJ motto: “These Things We Do, That Others May Live” but an injury sustained early in training resulted in a surgery that involved a plate and 8 screws installed in his leg, a medical discharge, and the end of his military career crushing those dreams. The PJ motto has served as a lifelong source of inspiration for Corey that drives his efforts to help others to this day.

After the Air Force, Corey’s passion for challenge landed him at the University of Washington to study Business and Marketing. From there he pursued a career in digital marketing, project management, and entrepreneurship, which has provided him with the skills he has applied to StruggleBear.

Corey has lived all over the Pacific Northwest, notably with a year in Squamish, BC where he spent the days outdoors rock climbing. He now lives in Seattle, WA, and can be found running and cycling around Lake Washington, spreading his message of positivity, climbing, and mountaineering the surrounding mountains, as well as working with his Dogs for Better Lives’ future assistance black Labrador, named “Gunther”.

Staying true to the PJ motto, community service has always been a central theme to Corey’s mindset. Even as a youngster, Corey showed leadership qualities as he coached and refereed youth hockey, while later in life serving with various food banks and organizations, as well as assisting in the management of a YMCA community youth garden.

The opportunity to be part of Dogs for Better Lives will allow Corey to fulfill his mission to give back to the community, helping both people and dogs to have better, more fulfilling lives. Corey joined the Dogs for Better Lives Young Professional Board in the spring of 2020.

Meghan Heims

Vice Chair, YPB Member

Meghan Heims is a marketing and advertising executive in Washington’s Puget Sound area, focusing on brand strategy and platform development to create memorable, engaging, and ultimately long-lasting brands. With a background in apparel design and fine art, she cultivates with an eye for creativity and taste. She hopes to utilize these skills and passions to create an everlasting brand with the young professionals board that will stand strong through the many goals that Dogs for Better Lives will tackle and can easily be adapted to suite all YPB branches across the country.

She was born and raised in Newport Oregon, A coastal fishing community and one of the many ports where her father runs his boat. The oldest of 4 daughters, she learned the importance of leadership and teamwork early on. Raised by parents that instilled the importance of hard work, perseverance and problem solving, but also the necessity for compassion and helping others. With this knowledge she has volunteered since a young age, eventually following in her mother’s footsteps and becoming a board member of the Newport Fishermen’s Wives, an organization that raises money for fishing families in need and creates awareness of the importance of the fishing community in their region and beyond.

As a volunteer for NFW she helped organize and execute many large and successful fundraising events. She hopes to offer her expertise on creating these events as a member of the YPB of Puget Sound and raise the ever-important funds that Dogs for Better Lives uses to do its important work.

An adventurous woman, Meghan has traveled all over the United States and Abroad, for work and play. She loves to go surf fishing and beach combing with her husband Jayson (an Army combat veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart and her personal hero), stepdaughter Alyssa (11) and their great dane Muddy Waters.

Meghan hopes to bring a collaborative, focused, co-leadership to the Young Professionals Board of Puget Sound. Utilizing the many unique aspects of her beautiful region to promote, fundraise and create general awareness of the amazing work that Dogs for Better Lives does. She is humbled by the appointment to co-chair and looks forward to working with all of the officers and eventually other YPB boards to fulfill the Dogs for Better Lives mission.

Meghan joined the Dogs for Better Lives' Young Professional Board - Puget Sound in July 2020.

Anthony Dickinson

Secretary, YPB Member

Anthony Dickinson is the Lead Nuclear Medicine Technologist for UC Health in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He specializes in caring for cardiology and oncology patients, while managing various departments in radiology for multiple sites in the UC Health network. Anthony achieved a bachelor’s degree specializing in Nuclear Medicine and is currently working on obtaining his master’s in Healthcare Management. His decade in the healthcare industry has led him to search for more ways to help others through compassion and empathy.

Anthony is a PNW native currently living in Aurora, CO. He is married with two kids and two dogs. He is enthusiastic about health and fitness, participating in Crossfit and coaching part time. Anthony grew up riding motorcycles in the woods of the Kitsap Peninsula, and continues to ride street bikes. He spends a lot of time outdoors exploring the Colorado Rockies through hiking and snowboarding.

Volunteering for Anthony is an opportunity to help others in his own way, serving the community and directly enriching the lives of people in need as well as dogs in need. He believes in the mission for Dogs for Better Lives and is excited to participate on the Young Professionals Board.

Anthony joined the Dogs for Better Lives' Young Professionals Board - Puget Sound in August 2020.

Claire Dickinson

Treasurer, YPB Member

Claire Dickinson serves as the Operations Director for a large Periodontal Specialty in the Pacific Northwest, Puget Sound Periodontics. Claire’s love of dentistry as well as business had led her to this position whereas she leads the day to day operations in effort to serve patients and referring offices in the best way possible. In addition to working in various positions in dentistry for the last 23 years, Claire holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and is close to finishing her master’s in Organizational Management and Leadership.

Claire currently lives half time Colorado with her husband, two sons, and two dogs, and half time in Seattle. She loves Crossfit, and coaches part time while in Colorado. Aside from Crossfit, Claire also is an avid cyclist. Her love of cycling started due to her wanting to share experiences with her son, who is an aspiring Tour de France participant. Both her and her son, have participated in many races throughout the Colorado Rockies and in Denver.

Volunteering allows Claire the opportunity to give back while satisfying her need to help others. She has volunteered many times with her son’s PTA/PTSO organizations, in Crossfit, Dental Teams International, and local events that serve the community. She believes that volunteering and giving back is a huge contribution to the betterment of society. The reason she chose to volunteer for Dogs for Better Lives is because she loves dogs and has experienced firsthand how they can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and ease loneliness. Bringing dogs together with Autistic individuals is an amazing opportunity and one that she is excited about being a part of.

Claire joined the Dogs for Better Lives' Young Professionals Board - Puget Sound in July 2020.

Matty Walsh

YPB Member

Matty Walsh is a freelance graphic designer, and currently the marketing intern for Corvallis Custom, a printing specialist for customers in, and around, the Corvallis, Oregon area. Overall, she assists with the creation of promotional materials, social media, and events for Oregon State and the city of Corvallis.

She was adopted from China, grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Portland, Oregon in 2015. Prior to graduating, she also studied Mandarin Chinese and Criminology at Kent State University. In 2019, she secured her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Oregon State.

With a graphic design background, she has a passion for brand identity, package design, as well as illustration. With every project she has had the privilege of working on, she strives to bring her own unique skill set and perspective.

Aside from being a creative, she is a full time dog mom and crime show/horror enthusiast. She has a soft spot for bully breeds, and her favorite horror movies is Silence of the Lambs. With her free time, you will most likely find her long boarding with the pup, snowboarding, or baking.

She has had the opportunity to work with Dogs for Better Lives in the past, designing their print and digital ads, so the chance to join YPB was a no-brainer.

Matty Walsh is a small fry with a sense of humor, a diverse graphic designer, and a passionate individual who enjoys giving back to her community in which ever way she can.

Matty Walsh joined Dogs for Better Lives Young Professional Board in the spring of 2020.