Todd discovered his dream job through one particular pooch.
many months, Daniel went to Wild Rivers Animal
Rescue in Gold Beach daily to visit Shasta, an older dog he
adored. Daniel previously worked in small group employment doing landscaping
and janitorial work, but it was not a good fit. Mentor Oregon reached out to
Mark Curran, executive director at Wild Rivers, and they created a position for
Daniel as a kennel technician.
the past two years, Daniel, 37, has worked four days a week at Wild Rivers. He
cleans the dog’s kennels, washes food bowls, feeds the dogs and cleans the
bathroom and break room. He also socializes with the dogs, and continues to
volunteer as a dog walker.
dog once saved my life,” Daniel said. “This job is a better fit for me.”
experiences Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder significantly affecting
appetite, growth, metabolism, cognitive function and behavior. According to Joy
Lea, former employee at Mentor Oregon, in the past some may have been thought
of Daniel as unable to work in the community.
is very proud of his job and the very fact that he is working,” she said.
participates in the three dog parades throughout Curry County – in Gold Beach,
Brookings and Port Orford, each year on behalf of Wild Rivers.
amazing to watch him with the animals,” said Alisha Wibking-Krohn, job coach
with Mentor Oregon. “There are certain dogs that won’t listen to anyone except
has been taking training classes so he can help training certain dogs to help
them get adopted.
always has a favorite new dog,” Mark Curran said. “He has a great rapport with
the dogs, and he is always willing to help with anything that needs to be done.
We are a small operation so having someone who can step in to help is
lives in a group foster home and works 12 hours per week at Wild Rivers. His
job coach helps to keep him on track with his job duties, and helps to keep him
safe since he experiences food-seeking issues.
help dogs find homes by helping to train them,” Daniel said, warmly petting a
dog by his side. “I love being with them and helping them.”
Ham was the VR counselor for Daniel. Karen Lomheim is Daniel’s service
coordinator from Community Living Case Management. Elaine Lortscher was the job
developer and Alisha Wibking-Krohn from Mentor Oregon provides job coaching. Nelson
Ferguson was the benefits counselor from the Work Incentives Network.