Meet The Team
Founder & CEO
Jennifer Cattet Ph.D. CPDT-KA
Jennifer has a Doctorate in Psychology with a specialization in Animal Behavior (Ethology). She completed her studies at the Faculty of Psychology in Geneva Switzerland where she was an assistant professor for 8 years. She has worked professionally as a dog trainer and behaviorist since 1988.
Jennifer started the first professional dog training school based on clicker training in France (Animalin). She is the author of “Selecting and Training Your Service Dog: How to Succeed in Public Access Work.”
Passionate about helping people in difficulty, she learned how to train service dogs while working as the Director of Training for ICAN, a local prison-based organization. She enjoyed coaching the inmate trainers and helping them develop skills to better their lives while helping people with disabilities. It was during those years that she learned about the impact of life-threatening conditions, such as diabetes and started developing training protocols for medical alert dogs. Her love for dogs led her in 2013 to continue working with service dogs while also making a difference for dogs in need. She since has set her focus on medical conditions and the use of scent for service dogs.
With her scientific background, she also contributes to ongoing scientific research in the field of medical detection and has co-authored the first peer-reviewed studies proving the existence of a scent, that dogs can be trained to detect, in patients with diabetes or epileptic seizures. Given her expertise in the field of service dog training and medical detection, as well as her fluency in both English and French, Jennifer also coaches service dog organizations and trainers internationally. Her coaching services can be found at https://assistancedog.center/.
Founder and Director of Finance and Administration
Meet Jack Topham, the heart and mind behind the scenes at Medical Mutts. As the Co-Founder and Director of Finance and Administration, Jack wears many hats to ensure the seamless operation of our organization.
Being the first person you'll encounter when you call our office, Jack takes the time to attentively listen to your needs, providing detailed insights into our various programs to assist you in making the best decision. If Medical Mutts isn't the right fit, Jack is dedicated to directing you to the appropriate resources and offering comprehensive information about service dogs.
In addition to his role as the face of customer support, Jack manages the financial and administrative aspects of the organization. He ensures that Medical Mutts stays on the right path, maintaining a strong standing in the service dog community.
With a wealth of experience dating back to 2009 in service dog training, Jack is always at the forefront of new trends and innovations in the field.
Jack's office is a welcoming space, often shared with the mischievous office cat, Marvin. Despite the occasional chaos caused by Marvin's playful antics with important documents, Jack remains dedicated to providing exceptional service and support to everyone who walks through our doors.
Director of Development, Marketing, and Communications
Kelsey Burton is the Director of Development at Medical Mutts, bringing over two decades of experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors.
She previously was the Executive Director of Paws & Think. She previously worked for the American Red Cross and the Family Support Center and has an extensive background in fundraising, outreach, and public relations. As a dog lover who is passionate about small nonprofits, Kelsey describes her role with Medical Mutts as the “perfect fit – a mesh of everything I am passionate about.”
Kelsey, who is an Indiana native, has been involved with nonprofits since the age of 16 – she volunteered with the Humane Society as a teenager, lead a Youth Advisory Council, was a member of Point of Youth, and went on to found the Indiana College Advocacy Team while attending Butler University. She graduated from Butler in 2006 with a degree in Biology & Chemistry. While living in Wisconsin, she attended the Leadership Development Academy and was the Membership Chair for the Chippewa Valley Fundraising Professionals. She is currently a member of Successful Women Made Here and was one of their spotlight speakers in 2017 and 2021. In 2020, Kelsey was selected as United Way’s Elevate Awards Nonprofit Employee of the Year.
Kelsey lives in Westfield with her husband, Josh, and their five dogs Ava, Lily, Hermie, Dinky Bean, and Trinket. Kelsey helps at the Humane Society for Hamilton County on a weekly basis and is passionate about helping shelter dogs reach their full potential. Kelsey and Josh met when they were both students at Butler and have been married since 2011. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys reading, playing with her dogs, watching movies, and spending time with her family – especially her niece, who is also a big dog lover.
Director of Training and operations
Eva Rudisile CPDT-KA
Meet Eva Rudisile, the compassionate force behind the success of our clients and their service dogs at Medical Mutts. As a dedicated Service Dog Specialist, Eva channels her heart and energy into fostering meaningful partnerships between clients and their canine companions.
In her multifaceted role, Eva's responsibilities span from matching dogs with clients to overseeing comprehensive training programs. Her commitment to the success of these partnerships is evident in her coaching and support for clients, ensuring they receive the guidance needed for a successful service dog relationship.
Beyond being a certified dog trainer, Eva holds the distinction of being a board-certified Music Therapist. Specializing in Neurologic Music Therapy, NICU, and general pediatrics, Eva brings a unique blend of therapeutic expertise to our team. She facilitates healing through rhythms and clinical hypnosis, contributing to the holistic well-being of both clients and their service dogs.
Eva's commitment to continuous improvement is evident in her pursuit of knowledge. She holds certifications in Search and Rescue (SARTEC 2 & 3) and is CPR/First Aid certified for both humans and pets. Recognizing the importance of clear communication between humans and dogs, Eva is dedicated to perfecting her knowledge as a dog expert through ongoing education at the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers.
Director of Client Services
Melissa Morris CPDT-KA
Meet Melissa Morris, the driving force behind the meticulous selection and screening of dogs entering our program at Medical Mutts. With a challenging mission at hand, Melissa is dedicated to ensuring that every dog selected is well-suited for the transformative journey as a service dog.
A seasoned professional in animal training, Melissa's journey has taken her under the mentorship of some of the world's most accomplished trainers. Under the guidance of the renowned Dr. Sophia Yin, she honed her skills in training, low-stress management, and teaching, working seamlessly with both cats and dogs.
Melissa brings a wealth of experience from her years spent in shelters and laboratories. As an expert in assessing the behaviors of cats and dogs, she excels in developing and implementing behavior modification protocols. Furthermore, Melissa takes the lead in teaching clients essential skills during our classes, fostering a harmonious bond between individuals and their service dogs.
Devoting her career to making a meaningful difference in the lives of animals and their human companions, Melissa's passion shines through in every aspect of her work. Her extensive background and commitment to excellence make her an invaluable asset to the Medical Mutts team.
Kennel Operations Manager
Kirklin Barnhill brings a wealth of experience in animal nutrition and care to her role as Kennel Operations Manager at Medical Mutts. Fueled by a passion for dogs and a desire for purpose, Kirklin found her calling in the dynamic environment of Medical Mutts where she could leverage her leadership skills.
As the Kennel Operations Manager, Kirklin leads and supervises all facets of kennel operations, ensuring unparalleled care and training for our canine companions. In her approach, she embraces fear-free and positive reinforcement methods, emphasizing repetition and affection to reward desired behaviors.
Kirklin finds immense joy in witnessing the dogs' development, newfound skills, and growing confidence. She appreciates the unique personalities that emerge as the dogs become accustomed to her presence.
Beyond her dedicated work at Medical Mutts, Kirklin enjoys immersing herself in creative pursuits such as reading, writing, and drawing. Her commitment to fostering a welcoming and open environment extends beyond the kennel, reflecting her dedication to creating a positive atmosphere for both the team and our four-legged friends.
After witnessing a Medical Mutts service dog graduation ceremony, Sandi realized that there are so many different ways that service dogs can impact the quality of life for their partners and wanted to help.
As Program Manager for Paws and Think, Inc., Sandi learned how beneficial our relationships with our dogs can be. She has years of experience in project management and program development including recruitment, training, and supervision of volunteers. This experience also includes training dog handlers to understand canine behavior and watch for stress signals with a focus on advocating for their dogs.
In March 2017, in order to learn more about the Human-Animal Bond, Sandi took classes with Animal Behavior Institute and became a Certified Animal Assisted Therapy Professional.
She currently volunteers as a therapy dog team for Paws and Think, Inc. with her dog Daisy, at the White River Library with my niece, and at the USO at Camp Atterbury with my sister. She is also a member of the Indiana Crisis Assistance Response Team. In her free time, she loves to read and do flower arranging.
With her husband, Larry, she shares our home in Greenwood with two dogs, Penny and Daisy, and two cats, Cassie and Watson, who all get along… most of the time.
Service Dog Trainer
Introducing Jenna Jones, a dedicated canine enthusiast with an unwavering passion for animals, particularly dogs. Jenna's journey with Medical Mutts began with a heartfelt mission to provide rescued dogs with a fresh start in life.
Starting as a compassionate caregiver for our canine companions, Jenna quickly realized her innate ability to connect with dogs and took on the challenge of training service dogs. Now, as a valued member of the team, Jenna holds the position of Canine Trainer, a role she pursued with a determination to make a lasting impact.
Jenna's career at Medical Mutts is a testament to her commitment to both dogs and people. She aspires to advance her career in the realm of dog training while simultaneously contributing to the well-being and empowerment of individuals through service dogs.
In her pursuit of excellence, Jenna is dedicated to continuous learning. She strives to deepen her understanding of dogs—their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors—to ensure the success of every dog in our program. Jenna's genuine passion for her work and her desire to make a meaningful difference shine through in every interaction with our furry friends.
Service Dog Trainer
Anne, brings a wealth of expertise to her current role. With a robust background in animal welfare, shelter behavior, and behavior modification for at-risk dogs, Anne boasts over 8 years of experience as a Canine Behavior Specialist at IndyHumane.
Anne has a particular affinity for working with dogs that require extra attention, including the exuberant and energetic types as well as shy and fearful dogs. Her fear-free certification underscores her commitment to force-free, science-based training methods, reflecting her passion for ensuring the well-being and positive development of the dogs she works with.
From a young age, Anne has been enamored with animals of all kinds. Her early experiences include training one of her family dogs for obedience and agility competitions, laying the foundation for her lifelong connection with canine companions. Anne finds profound joy in the bond forged during training sessions, where dogs and trainers collaborate to learn new skills and behaviors.
Outside of her role, Anne dedicates quality time to her own two dogs, Sagan and Mazzy, and embraces the serenity of hiking and exploring the great outdoors. An avid learner, she is currently delving into subjects such as botany, mycology, and dendrology. Anne values moments spent with friends and family, rounding out her diverse and fulfilling interests beyond the training arena.
Service Dog Trainer
Meet Jordan, a dedicated member of our service dog training team with a passion for animal welfare that spans back to 2019. Jordan believes in the power of education and coaching to enhance the well-being of both dogs and their human companions, advocating for better care and management practices within the community.
With a rich background in animal welfare, Jordan served as a medical coordinator for a local shelter, utilizing their skills to ensure the health and welfare of shelter animals. Their experience as a veterinary assistant further adds to their comprehensive understanding of the needs of our furry friends.
In addition to their role as a service dog trainer, Jordan plays a vital role in medical procedures when necessary, showcasing their versatility and commitment to the holistic care of the animals they work with. Drawing from their expertise in assessing behaviors in shelter animals, Jordan excels in teaching valuable skills that make these animals more manageable, ultimately increasing their chances of finding loving homes through adoption.
Jordan's multifaceted approach to animal care, blending training, medical assistance, and behavioral assessments, reflects a deep commitment to the well-being of dogs and a dedication to creating positive outcomes for both pets and their human companions.
Service Dog Trainer
Justin Sparks (AKA Sparky)
Meet Justin, also known as Sparky, our dedicated dog trainer with an unwavering passion for working with dogs. From his early days as a care team member to his current role, Sparky has always been drawn to the transformative impact that service dogs can have on people's lives, helping them navigate the challenges of the world.
A seasoned dog handler and an Army veteran, Sparky brings a wealth of experience to his role. He finds immense joy in receiving updates and pictures of dogs thriving in their forever homes alongside their human companions. For Sparky, training dogs is akin to solving a unique puzzle, recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
What sets Sparky apart is his continual eagerness to embrace new methods in dog training. Beyond his canine interests, he has a love for football, the great outdoors, music, and festivals. Having navigated the complexities of being an Army veteran and a single father, Sparky believes these experiences have equipped him to face the challenges and obstacles that come his way with resilience and determination.
Canine Care Attendant
Meet Megan Lawson, a devoted student in the mental health field, a passionate dog enthusiast, and a staunch advocate for shelter animals. At Medical Mutts, Megan discovers the perfect intersection of her interests, allowing her to pursue her degrees with the flexibility she needs.
In her role as the Canine Medical Care Specialist, Megan tends to the comprehensive needs and well-being of our dogs. Collaborating closely with her supervisor, Kirklin, they meticulously track and maintain all medical records, ensuring the optimal health of every dog in our facility. Megan firmly believes that a healthy dog is not only a happy companion but also one with an innate desire to serve.
Embarking on her journey with Medical Mutts, Megan encountered a dog with a challenging past. Much like many of our mutts, the acclimation process can be tough. However, witnessing the transformative power of compassion, training, and care has been profoundly rewarding for Megan. This experience has particularly highlighted the resilience of a dog who, despite a difficult start, now epitomizes the profound impact that rescued dogs can have on rescuing people.
Megan's dedication to the well-being of our four-legged team members and her compassionate approach underscore her commitment to the mission of Medical Mutts and the belief that every dog deserves a chance at a fulfilling life.
Canine Care Attendant
Kaleigh's lifelong companionship with pets has illuminated the profound impact animals can have on individuals. Her enduring passion for canine care is evident in her role as a dedicated member of the care staff, where she finds immense fulfillment in knowing that the dogs she tends to are destined for individuals in need.
As a compassionate caregiver, Kaleigh spends quality time with the dogs, showering them with love, attention, and, of course, treats. Each interaction with these four-legged friends leaves her with heartwarming and gratifying experiences. Delving into their distinct personalities and quirks brings Kaleigh joy, and she takes pride in the smiles these dogs bring not only to her face but to others as well.
Beyond her role with dogs, Kaleigh channels her creativity in her free time through art. A lover of painting, she especially enjoys creating portraits that capture the essence of her subjects.
Canine Care Attendant
Savanna, raised on a rural farm, discovered her passion for dogs early on, initially training them for farm work and later specializing in grooming. At 13, she embarked on a journey that became a lifelong commitment to canine companions.
Her connection with dogs deepened when she trained her service dog to assist with school-related PTSD, sparking a desire to work with therapy dogs. Joining Medical Mutts is her first step toward that goal.
As a vital part of the care team, Savanna ensures the well-being of dogs, excelling in tasks like grooming and nail care.
Currently pursuing a bachelor's in Social Work at IUPUI, she envisions integrating therapy dogs into her future practice, recognizing their significance in the field of psychology.
Beyond her devotion to dogs, Savanna enjoys creative pursuits like painting and jewelry making, reflecting her holistic approach to life and work.
Office Ambassador and Entertainment Specialist
Meet Marvin, the charismatic feline extraordinaire who holds a special place at Medical Mutts. Marvin, originally from Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, found his forever home during the winter of 2020 and has since become an indispensable member of our team.
In the office, Marvin wears multiple hats, or should we say, collars! As the official greeter, he extends a warm welcome to anyone entering our doors. Additionally, Marvin takes on the crucial role of being the "cat tester" for all our service dogs in training, ensuring they are well-socialized and comfortable around our feline friends.
Marvin's responsibilities extend beyond the professional realm; he's also the chief provider of entertainment for the staff. With his playful antics and mischievous behavior, he keeps the office atmosphere lively and filled with laughter.
Despite being a cat, Marvin firmly believes he is the true owner of the facility, and he ensures the staff caters to his every need. His charming but sometimes cheeky habits, such as rearranging Jack's corkboard and orchestrating paper escapades from the printer, are a constant source of amusement for the team.
Marvin's presence adds a unique and heartwarming touch to our workspace, reminding us of the joy and companionship animals bring to our lives.