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Jackie Kelly


Jackie entered the dog training field while working on her farm - originally training show horses. After the farm, she continued her passion by training dogs. Over 13 years ago she started working with Therapy Dog teams. She has trained over 160 Therapy Dog teams in the triangle area. These bonded teams are well respected, compassionate and skilled to handle any situation.


Karen Callaghan

Director of Operations and Certification Evaluator

Karen manages our memberships and volunteers. She is responsible for making sure that all dog health records are kept current and that all therapy teams are in compliance with our requirements to ensure that safety is kept to the highest standards. She processes requests from organizations needing our services. She also coordinates our volunteers and matches the appropriate dogs with visits to facilities and people in need of comfort during illness or stress.  Karen received her business degree from Monmouth University in New Jersey.  She has two french bulldogs. Violet, (the black and white pied), and Lily, a certified therapy dog.  

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Donna Donovan

Certification Evaluator and Hospital Visit Consultant

Donna along with her dog Rusty are weekly visitors at 2 area hospitals and a hospice center.  

She shares her experience from visiting patients to assist in our program development.  Donna is  also on the Certification Evaluation Team. 


Elaine Greitzer

Child Therapy Visit Consultant

Elaine has been involved in reading programs for children with her dog Lucy in North Carolina. For several years she has provided Dogs With A Purpose with invaluable information from working directly with children. Giving us insight on what methods work well with canine therapy and children. Under our “Lucy’s Corner” page you will some of her terrific ideas.  


Cole Benjamin

Certification Evaluator

Cole is originally from Florida and relocated to the Cary area almost six years ago with his wife. He is a civil engineer specializing in water resources. Dog dad to two Australian Shepherds, Oakley who is eight years old, and Ozzie who is eight months old. Cole began training Oakley in 2018 at Jackie’s  Basics & Beyond, where Oakley became certified as a therapy dog. He hopes for Ozzie to follow in his big brother’s footsteps. Cole and his wife enjoy taking their fur babies brewery hopping, hiking, and anywhere the pups can go swimming!


Kate Curzan

Social Media Organizer

Kate is an 8th grader at Mills Park Middle School who was born and raised in Cary, North Carolina. She is a devoted student who enjoys swimming, playing soccer, and learning about all types of animals in her free time. Kate has two dogs, Coco, who is a 12 year old Maltipoo, and Bella, who is a 6 year old Maltese. Kate began volunteering at Dogs With a Purpose after finding a passion for the organization through Karen Callaghan. She now helps keep the website updated, while also running the Dogs With a Purpose Instagram account!

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