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New IHAC Adjunct Faculty, Jen VonLintel

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Animals and Human Health Certificate: From student to instructor

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Jen VonLintel smiling with her two dogs, a golden retriever and spaniel.

The Institute for Human-Animal Connection is pleased to welcome Jen VonLintel as one of the newest members of our adjunct faculty teaching team for the Animals and Human Health Certificate. Jen VonLintel, MS, is a licensed school counselor in Loveland, Colorado, specializing in animal-assisted interventions (AAI) in school settings.  Jen was introduced to this work as part of a 2009 research study with HABIC, Human-Animal Bond in Colorado.  That experience ignited her passion for learning more about the human-animal bond and resulted in the formation of an AAI program at her school in 2011 with her now-retired golden retriever, Copper.  

Jen is not new to the professional development programs offered at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection; in fact, she has earned three of the certificates over the last 8 years! She completed the Animals and Human Health program in 2013 and began integrating her education into her career as a school counselor. She later returned to earn the Canine-Assisted Intervention Specialist Certificate and Humane Education Practitioner Certificate.

Professionally, Jen screens volunteer teams for her school district, mentors other education professionals with their programs, and is facilitating a district-level therapy dog training program with Canine Community Heroes. She is also the administrator/moderator for the Facebook group, School Therapy Dogs, which consists of 6,000+ educators who share best practices, research, and tools to support ethical programs.  Copper’s work at BF Kitchen Elementary can be accessed by visiting

Jen is a contributing author to the book, “Animal-Assisted Crisis Response – Specialized Canine Intervention for Individuals Affected by Disasters and Crisis”, and co-author of the journal article, Pathways for Implementing a School Therapy Dog Program: Steps for Success and Best Practice Considerations.  She has made numerous presentations at professional conferences and AAI courses that include, HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response, Colorado School Counselors Association, Colorado State University, and IAHAIO, International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations. Her work in trauma-informed canine interventions and AAI education was recognized when she received the 2018 Magic Award from Pet Partners.

Jen’s desire to learn more about this field is driven by volunteer work with numerous organizations including Hearts and Horses, the Larimer Humane Society, the Board of Directors at Canine Community Heroes, the National Mental Health Committee with HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response, and the inaugural Leadership Council for the Association of Animal-Assisted Intervention Professionals.

The Institute is thrilled to partner with Jen VonLintel starting this summer with the 2021 Cohort 3 Animals and Human Health Core Course. Brand new students and seasoned professionals alike will learn and benefit from Jen’s extensive experience, prolific network, and friendly demeanor.