Lori Ratchelous, LMSW


Lori Ratchelous, LMSW earned her MSW from UConn School of Social Work in 2000 with a focus on group work and completed a Nonprofit Management certification through UConn in May 2019. Lori came to Soul Friends in 2013 and completed a certification in animal assisted therapy through Harcum College in the fall of 2013.  Lori became COO of Soul Friends in the spring of 2019. Though recently resigned as COO, she continues to work with children providing animal assisted therapy through the organization’s grant-funded programing.

In August 2013 she was gifted a therapy dog, Nutmeg, from Freedom Service Dogs in Denver, CO to work with families in Newtown after the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Nutmeg would also begin her working career at Soul Friends.  Though Nutmeg was an already trained therapy dog, Lori and Nutmeg went through the process to become a Pet Partners therapy team.

Lori and Nutmeg have received specialized training as K9 First Responder which assists victims of disaster, catastrophe, crisis, and violence.  They serve communities and individuals as well as police, fire, EMS and other public safety personnel.

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