New Mailing Address for Donations: PO Box 1047, Pleasanton, Texas 78064
New Mailing Address for Donations: PO Box 1047, Pleasanton, Texas 78064
Jill joined Canines for Christ in 2017 and has loved being a part of a therapy dog ministry that claims the Good News of the Gospel. She has a background in Christian Education.
She began her Canines for Christ journey with her dog, Haley followed by Mollie who are both now retired from serving. She currently serves alongside Rocco and Ryley, two rescued dogs that have their own stories of redemption.
Jill's passion is empowering potential in people to help them live out God’s Call on their life. Through God’s grace, she and her husband (Ross) have been instrumental in growing the San Antonio, TX Chapter of Canines for Christ as well as growing the national ministry through operational changes and program development.
She is an AKC CGC Evaluator, loves anything to do with dogs, and is an IFOC Chaplain serving in many capacities within her community.
Jill serves as our Board President, Director of Membership, and Board Liaison for the Care Partner Ministry.
Ross is an entrepreneur who has founded several successful companies relating to finance and retirement. Ross was raised in San Antonio, Texas, graduated from the University of Texas, and is a Naval Officer veteran.
Ross joined Canines for Christ in 2017 with his wife Chaplain Jill Powell and they began building the San Antonio chapter together. Having a blended family of six children, two grandchildren, and six dogs' life stays busy.
Ross enjoys innovation and how to make operations more efficient while focusing on customer service and the personal touch that our members expect and enjoy.
Ross serves as our Board Vice President and Director of Operations / Finance.
Chaplain Leslie Parish is a New Hampshire native. She currently lives in Big Sandy, TX with her husband David, Therapy Dogs Jessie and Seamus, and three cats. David and Leslie are both U.S. Army veterans. They have been married since 1978, have three daughters, five grandsons, one granddaughter, and one granddaughter-in-law.
A Christ follower since eleven years old, Leslie has held leadership positions at the local church, associational, and state levels of the Women’s Missionary Union; she was a member of an evangelistic mission team to Moree, Australia, formed and sang with a Christian ladies quartet, was president of Cypress Symphonic Band for five years, and currently serves as treasurer and board member of Big Sandy Missionary Alliance and Agape House Ministries as the Canines for Christ chaplain representative.
Therapy Dog Jessie has been doing therapy dog work since 2015 and she has over 975 visits to her credit, with the AKC title of Therapy Dog Supreme. Therapy Dog Seamus (pronounced Shame-us) became a therapy dog in 2020 and has made over 700 visits. He has also earned the AKC title of Therapy Dog Supreme. Both dogs were adopted from BARC, a high-kill shelter in Houston, TX. Leslie and her dogs serve as AccentCare Hospice’s Loyal Pet Therapy team in Longview, TX, representing Canines for Christ and bringing the love and peace of Jesus to the patients and their family members.
Leslie joined Canines for Christ in 2017, became a Chaplain in 2018, and joined the Board in 2019. She sends out the monthly renewal notices, writes sympathy cards for volunteers and therapy dogs who have passed away, manages the Circle of Prayer Facebook page, and is a Care Partner.
Leslie serves as our Corporate Secretary and Director of Prayer and Bereavement.
Samantha is a God-fearing, Jesus-loving, Holy Spirit-filled, Bible-believing, child of God from Mississippi. She is married to her best friend, Tommy, and is the proud mother of her four greatest accomplishments. Samantha began handling therapy dogs nearly twenty years ago with her first Golden Retriever, Scarlet.
After Scarlet passed away in 2016, Samantha took a break from therapy work. In mid-2022 Samantha learned of the ministry of Canines for Christ. She became eager to begin working with a therapy dog through this ministry and was gifted with her dog Shiloh for that purpose.
The two became C4C members in early 2023. Since then, her other two Golden Retrievers, Shmily (See How Much I Love You) and Love have also become certified through C4C. Samantha is currently in Bible College studying Biblical studies with a concentration in counseling.
In her spare time, Samantha enjoys spending time with her family, drinking coffee, volunteering with various organizations, writing, and taking pictures of churches and her much loved Golden Retrievers.
Samantha serves as Director of Chaplains & Board Liaison for the Jr Handler Program
Allison, a Chicagoland native, has been involved in the dog therapy world with her Golden Retriever Lucas since 2016, and a member of Canines for Christ since 2022. She helped start and currently co-leads the C4C Chicagoland/NW Indiana chapter. She and her husband Doug have been married 43 years and have two daughters, two grandsons, and a granddaughter. Allison is a musician and private piano instructor, having taught hundreds of students over the last forty years. She is also a dedicated volunteer of ten years at a local animal shelter, where she trains and socializes dogs, getting them ready to go into loving homes.
Allison is grateful to be part of the Canines for Christ ministry because it allows her to integrate her love for Jesus, her passion for people, and her delight in dogs in a way that blesses others and glorifies God. Allison feels that every day is a gift - to live each day with love in one’s heart, praise on one’s lips, and gratitude in one’s soul is the essence of true joy.
Allison serves as Board Liaison for the Canine Program Facilitator
Lisa Plasencia joined Canines for Christ in 2013 with her Golden Retriever, Skipper. Together they have visited hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, college campuses, Cancer centers, residential facilities, and enrichment centers for the mentally/
“I learned so much from Skipper watching him work. It truly is extraordinary to see these canines show unconditional love to complete strangers. They just bound forward, ready or not,
with love, kisses, and acceptance. Without speaking, they say “you are loved.” What a gift they are to us and to all we visit.
Lisa is also the “Welcome Wagon” for our new Canines for Christ volunteers. After they receive their Welcome to the Ministry email, Lisa follows up with a phone call to each new volunteer. Sometimes she just leaves a voicemail with a heartfelt Welcome and Thank You for
joining us in being the hands and feet of Christ. Other times, she gets to speak with the new volunteers, answer questions, and speak about the getting started process to new ministry.
“I now live in Parrish Florida with my husband, Orlando, (and near my sweet daughter, son in law and extra sweet grandchildren!) and especially love God, my family and friends, dogs, patriotism, gratitude, pickleball, and all the wonderful Canines for Christ volunteers who are
seeking to do God’s will with their beautiful dogs. We share a divine mission!”
“It really is a privilege to have such a joyful way to be obedient to God’s call. Canines for Christ Therapy Dog Ministry allows us to spend time with our best friends while doing our best to share the love of Christ with each visit.”
Lisa serves as New Member Welcome Support & Board Liaison for Local Chapter Development
Joseph Olan M.Ed. is married to Mari Olan and has two adult children Brandon and Brianna and three dogs (Marley, Tatianna, and Chloe). Joseph is currently the Title V Director: Culture of Care at Sul Ross State University.
When Mr. Olan was the school principal at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Uvalde TX. (2020-Feb. 2023), the school was selected for the Business of the Year Award for 2022-2023 by the Uvalde Chamber of Commerce for providing a safe nurturing learning environment for students and being a Beacon of Hope in the community after the Robb Elementary tragedy.
Joseph engaged in a wonderful relationship with Canines 4 Christ after the Robb tragedy to support the mental and spiritual well-being of the children at Sacred Heart Catholic school. Joseph is an Army veteran and U.S. Distinguished Fulbright Educator who has also facilitated over 60 presentations on numerous educational and workplace topics related to neuroeducation/engagement/best-practices nationally and internationally.
He presented at two Regional Global Teaching Dialogues in the U.S.; presented at the U.S. Department of Education Conference: “Equity and Excellence: HSIs Educando for the Future; Presented for various educators in The Republic of Singapore face-to-face, Belgium and London, England (virtually).
Joseph truly believes in the mission of Canines 4 Christ! All for Jesus!
Joseph serves as Board Treasurer and Board Liaison for the Crisis Response Program