Chris AndersonExecutive Director PhD ACSW LCSW CCTP CDTK
Ms. Chris Anderson Ph.D. ACSW LCSW CCTP CDTK is the founder as well as Executive Director and Clinical Director of Soul Dogs Inc. Chris started Soul Dogs, Inc. with the dream of utilizing animals as healing agents for those struggling with trauma. She received her MSW in 1978 and Ph.D. in 2010. She has been a therapist for 43 years. Additionally, she develops programs and nonprofit agencies to meet the needs of the underserved and disenfranchised. She supervises all clinicians and ensures all programs at Soul Dogs, Inc. are therapeutic and ethical. Her areas of expertise include attachment disorder, adoption, trauma-informed therapy, sexual behavior problems, and mental health. She has published two articles on adoption in The Qualitative Report, a peer-reviewed online journal. Chris is an adoptee and was an intensive foster care parent from 1998-2003 and a host home provider (adult foster care for individuals with intellectual disabilities) from 2006-2021. Chris is the birth mother of three and grandmother of three with another on the way; she is foster grandmother to a 17-year-old girl and remains a [foster] mom to her father who unfortunately has been incarcerated for 12 years.
Area(s) of Expertise: Adoption/Adoption Trauma, Attachment Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities, Mental Health
Ashley BueghlyMSW Behavior Services Department Director
Ashley Bueghly MSW is our Behavior Services Director and developed the Family Life Center. She received her MSW in November 2021 and has been providing therapeutic services to this population alongside Chris Anderson for the past six years. Ashley believes that counseling is the container for building a solid relationship with her clients. Her approach is interactive, warm, and accepting. She specializes in trauma-informed care and grief. When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. Ashley helps her clients, who include children, adults, and families, to find healthy perspectives of themselves and strengthen their relationships.
Area(s) of Expertise: Trauma Recovery, Grief and Loss, Parenting
Cindy NavarretteMSW Multicultural Director
Cindy Navarrete MSW is our Multicultural Services Director. Cindy specializes in trauma, grief, and attachment. She is passionate about increasing access to services to all communities by helping non-English speaking families integrate, understand, and utilize the services available to them. This is accomplished by providing services in a language that clients feel comfortable in and where their families can communicate the needs and wants of their loved ones. Cindy ensures all services offered at Soul Dogs Inc. are also in Spanish and ASL as needed.
Area(s) of Expertise: Working with Spanish speaking families, Trauma Recovery
Megan MaxfieldAdministrative Director
Joel SchneiderSupported Employment Director
Joel Schneider is a University of Colorado- Boulder graduate who didn’t find his real calling until 2010 when he began working with adolescents with behavioral and mental health issues. Since then he’s been a direct care staff, case coordinator, employment specialist, job coach, director, and adult waiver case manager. Joel has a passion for supported employment and finding individuals with I/DD the jobs where they can feel connection, support, and happiness. He’s always been a strong communicator and is always happy to share our mission and passion with any organization looking to further support the I/DD community. Joel will strive to ensure that his staff are knowledgeable, compassionate, and empowered to provide the best services possible. Joel hopes you will come join us when you are ready.
Allison BuelAssistant Behavior Services Director
Allison Buel B.A. is our Assistant Behavior Services Director and has worked in the social service field for four years. During this time, she has worked with adolescents with behavioral issues and mental health struggles. She ran life skills groups, anger management groups, hygiene groups, and started a book club with this population. She then spent some time working with individuals who are experiencing homelessness in Denver and helped with resource navigation and introduced an animal-assisted intervention program to help decrease loneliness and anxiety. She has been a behavior/mental health therapist with Soul Dogs, Inc. since June 2021. Allie is completing her MSW in December and is currently working on a Capstone project that researches LGBTQ individuals and their access to effective healthcare.
Area(s) of Expertise: adolescents, LGBTQ, homeless, mental health
Renee RoemerDay Program Director
Renee Roemer is the Day Program/ Animal Service Director at Soul Dogs Inc. She is passionate about connecting individuals with animals within the program as well as outside of the program. Renee works with our dog trainers and clients each day to work on helping clients to develop skills needed to properly work with and handle animals, in the hope that they will be able to apply the skills both while at Soul Dogs as well as in the community. Renee also works to help connect individuals with first hand experiences in the community. Renee is working towards being a nationally certified dog trainer as well as CARAT assessor for animal behavior.
Kiera LonguaDay Program Assistant Director
Kiera Longua B.A., CTRS is the Assistant Day Program Director. While studying Parks and Recreation at Metropolitan State University of Denver, she began working with the I/DD population as a personal trainer. Kiera has since worked with this population as a job coach, day program staff, direct support provider, and program leader. As a certified therapeutic recreation specialist, Kiera is passionate about providing clients with activity-based interventions that can help clients achieve their goals in fun ways. Kiera has provided people with disabilities a variety of therapeutic activities including group fitness, cooking classes, community outings, equine therapy, animal care classes, and more.
Masha AgarkovaBehavior Line Staff Lead
Masha Agarkova B.A. is our Behavior Line Staff Lead and has conducted group therapy sessions with 8-12 clients daily on coping skills, emotions, relationships, and other skills to help promote healthy behaviors. She coaches and educates clients on how to achieve goals by providing positive feedback, encouragement, role-play scenarios, and assistance in applying techniques. She is skilled in providing crisis communication and evasive techniques when program participants display hostile or volatile behaviors that may cause bodily harm to themselves or others. She engages clients in educational, behavioral, and life skills activities such as appropriate conflict resolution, time management, and basic employment skills. Fluent in Russian and Ukrainian languages to help assist ongoing crisis management for families or individuals who may struggle to adapt to English-speaking environments.
Area(s) of Expertise: Group therapy, children, youth and families, crisis intervention, fluent in Russian
Alyssa BoehAnimal Assisted Therapy Program Director
Alyssa Boeh B.A. is a behavior therapist and the Animal-Assisted Therapy Program Coordinator at Soul Dogs. She will receive her MSW in June 2022. Alyssa has extensive experience working in shelter veterinary medicine, dog behavior, and animal welfare. Through this work, she has recognized the importance and therapeutic value of the human-animal bond. Alyssa is an advocate for the rights of her animal partners and provides an open and empathetic approach with her clients. She is very passionate about providing animal-assisted therapy and humane education to underserved and disenfranchised clients. At Soul Dogs, Alyssa incorporates animal-assisted interventions into her clinical work with clients in addition to running animal-assisted group therapy sessions.