Atlas Assistance Dogs states its mission as follows: “Atlas fundamentally expands access to assistance dogs. We support people with disabilities to train and certify their own service dog using positive, ethical training methods. At Atlas, we believe anyone who would benefit from a qualified assistance dog should be able to have one.”
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About Jennifer Kolar
Jennifer has been surrounded by animals and active in their training and rehabilitation since she was a child. Just as she’s seen many a stray or shelter dog through fear and reactivity issues, they have seen her through hard times too.
Jennifer recognizes that working with service dog teams is at least as much about the person as about their animal. She is deeply committed to positive, ethical treatment of both dogs and people. She is excited to be a co-founder of Atlas Assistance Dogs and to redefine the notion of service dog training to benefit as many people as possible.
Jennifer has worked as a leader in technology firms for over 20 years and is Vice President of Engineering at her current company. She has volunteered with environmental, animal, and human rights organizations throughout her life. She is a volunteer at the Seattle Animal Shelter. She has more than 10 years’ experience as a professional service dog trainer and instructor.
Jennifer has a BS in Applied Mathematics in Engineering and an MS in Astrophysical, Planetary and Atmospheric Sciences. She is a Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner, Certified Behavioral Adjustment Training Instructor, Atlas Certified Trainer, Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Diabetic Alert Dog Certified Trainer, and a Certified Peer Supporter.
About Molly Neher
Molly was introduced to the world of service dogs when she became in need of one herself after developing a severe seizure disorder while in college. Her service dog Reid was partially trained in a prison program, but Molly continued most of his training on her own with the help of a private trainer to ensure Reid would properly fit her needs. As a college student, Molly became a passionate advocate for people with disabilities and for service dog education and access. She has seen first-hand the benefits and the empowerment a service dog can bring, and it is her strong belief that people do not thrive despite their disabilities, but rather with them.
Throughout her college years, she worked with other local disability rights organizations and also worked to make her campus more accessible to students with disabilities through the leadership and advocacy group she was part of. With Reid by her side she graduated with a B.S in bio-anthropology and psychology.
Molly joined Atlas’ board of directors in 2017 as a means to continue her advocacy efforts and help more people like herself who could benefit from a service dog. In August of 2018, she became Atlas’ first employee and is Atlas’ Director of Operations and Programs. In this role she manages all day to day operations as well as all being the primary point of contact for all of our trainers, clients and volunteers. She maintains a non-voting membership on our board and is involved many efforts related to marketing, fund development, academy, outreach and communications. Molly is also a certified Peer Supporter and Atlas Team Facilitator.