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Our mission

Our mission

Our mission is to bring Assistance Dogs to every human who needs them through a head start program that allows handlers the chance to self-train tasks with unwavering support after an unshakeable foundation has been built.

Our Vision

Our vision is to empower individuals through partnership with canine companions.

The Founders




co-founder and executive director


co-founder and
head trainer



Tori graduated from the University of Cincinnati with degrees in Marketing and Entrepreneurship as well as a certificate in Deaf Studies. Tori graduated from National K-9 Learning Center's Master Course as a Certified Professional Trainer (CPT) with endorsements for: Basic Obedience, Advanced Obedience, Behavior Modification, Utility, Breed Identification, Puppy Development, Tracking, Scent Detection, Personal Protection, Police K-9, Retrieval, and Assistance Dog Training


Tori has been certified through the American Red Cross multiple times for Dog and Cat First Aid and CPR and is a professional member of the International Association for Canine Professionals (IACP). Tori also serves on the Legislative Committee of the IACP to help the profession move forward with safe, common sense legislation that protects the dogs, trainers, and industry as a whole. Tori is an affiliate of Volhard Dog Nutrition, understanding that behavior is directly related to diet.



Justine graduated from National K-9 Learning Center's Master Course as a Certified Professional Trainer (CPT) in 2007 with endorsements for:

Basic Obedience, Advanced Obedience, Behavior Modification, Utility, Breed Identification, Puppy Development, Tracking, Scent Detection, Personal Protection, Police K-9, Retrieval, and Assistance Dog Training.

Justine is a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP). Her company, Full Moon Dog Training (established in 2007) focused on puppy prep school training, giving her the perfect foundation for raising service dog prospects for owners.

Justine prefers to take a holistic approach to training, addressing physical issues at the root of behavioral problems. She firmly believes a one size fits all training approach doesn’t work for most people and it definitely doesn’t do their dog’s justice. 

Tori and Justine continue their education by annually attending conferences, workshops, and seminars across the country. They focus on diversifying their toolboxes. Their most recent conferences include: "Let Dogs Be Dogs" by the Monks of New Skete, Marc Goldberg, and Wendy Volhard (, "Training Between the Ears, Level 1" by Mark McCabe (, "Relationship Based Behavior Modification, Course 1" with Nelson Hodges (, the NePoPo(R) Service Dog School with Victoria Warfel, the IACP Conference in San Diego viewing: 


The Story

In the winter of 2014, Justine had no idea what to think of the young trainer who was looking for employment. She offered to meet Tori for a playdate with her Doberman, Nero and Tori's Golden, Albus. Tori had emailed a few dozen trainers in the Cincinnati area looking for a job or a friend or a mentor... anyone in the field who may be interested in helping a recent National K-9 graduate get started. Of the dozens of emails sent, only one got a reply. The two women had no idea that, that reach out and that response would start a friendship, a working relationship, and eventually a business partnership.

Tori decided to start her own company, Pawlished Dog Training. Justine's recently relocated company, Full Moon Dog Training, offered completely different services and serviced a different area in Cincinnati. After a year or two, the pair had been keeping in touch with lunch dates and the odd email here and there. Tori reached out again, looking for a way to get Justine more involved. The two decided to launch Saturday group classes together. Justine hosted and ran the class, Tori volunteered the space and took care of registrations/payments, etc. Over the period of a few years, people often ask the two if they work for one another. They don't. They've just managed to intertwine their businesses and lives in as many ways as possible. 

Justine and Tori started traveling across the country together to different conferences and workshops to learn from as many trainers as they could. It was only a matter of time before the two did actually start working with one another. Both women had found their niches in the dog world. Justine, a master puppy raiser and Tori, a skilled obedience trainer, knew that they were made for more. As much as they loved their jobs, they both understood that there was a bigger calling reaching out to them. Maybe even a reason why they were brought together... and so Caped Canines Assistance Academy was born.


The Board of Directors


Board President


Mindy has worked at a children’s hospital focused on psychiatry and mental health since 2012. Outside of the career she's built at the hospital, Mindy has worked 5 years in the non-profit sector. Since 2015, she has also volunteered with a local animal rescue where she has fostered over 100 dogs. She has focused her fostering to primarily pregnant and nursing momma dogs and their litters or puppies with unique medical needs. She has learned and practiced some of the most advanced puppy raising protocols to develop these litters before adopting them out. Her dog, Rosie, was foster dog #22. After weaning her 7 puppies, Rosie became a long time client of Tori’s, and a volunteer therapy dog at the hospital where Mindy works.  

Board Vice President



Sarah is the owner of Sarah Menner Photography LLC. In addition to running her own photography business, she works as a Customer Solutions Specialist for an international company. Sarah holds a BA in Communications from the University of Cincinnati (Go Bearcats!). She currently lives in the greater Cincinnati area with her husband, children, and her two dogs, Champ and Chloe. Sarah's hobbies include working out and taking a lot of pictures of her dogs!


board secretary



board Treasurer


Tim is a Managing Director in an International Tax practice. He has more than 14 years of experience in international tax planning for public and privately held clients. Tim’s clients include leaders in software & digital services, retail/consumer products, manufacturing, hospitality, financial services, healthcare, energy and chemicals, and real estate industries. Tim graduated from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and currently holds CPA licenses in Georgia, Ohio, and Washington. You may catch his dog, Cato, snoozing in the background or hanging out with his two human siblings!

Hanna is an IT Director at the City of Cincinnati and has spent the last 15 years working in the public

sector, with a focus on the technology needs and growth of education and local governments and their

impact on their community. He has worked with underserved communities in West Virginia and the

Greater Cincinnati area to help bridge a digital and education divide.  Hanna Attended Xavier University

(Go Muskies!) and Ohio University (OU Oh Yeah) and has multiple degrees in information systems and

management.  Hanna has a passion for animal rescue and has volunteered in a number of local animal

shelters over the past couple of decades.  Along with his wife, he currently Volunteers with a local

animal rescue and maintains a rotating door of fosters through their home, often with medical or

malnutrition needs.  He currently lives outside of Cincinnati with his wife and two rescue Dogs: Oakley and Hanx. In his free time, he likes exploring the City and everything it has to offer, traveling, and spending

way too much time in bookstores



Nicole was born in Cincinnati to a family full of pets, and was raised by parents who were involved in multiple volunteer and not for profit organizations. After participating in community volunteering & at risk youth mentoring, she is excited to join the team at Caped Canines to help connect individuals with life changing service dogs. Nicole spends her days working in supply chain, but loves hanging out with her boyfriend & their three Chocolate Labs: Hank, Lucy, and Nelson, after work. In their free time, they enjoy boating, camping, cheering on the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, and going to concerts. 


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Sarah Clay Leyshock is an employment lawyer and partner with Taft Law in Cincinnati.  She graduated from Georgetown College with a psychology and communication arts degree in 2002 and earned her J.D. from Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 2006.  Sarah is passionate about serving the community through local volunteer work.  Outside of her work with Caped Canines, she serves as volunteer attorney for non-profit corporations through the Pro Bono Partnership of Ohio and is a member of the Talbert House Board of Directors  Sarah lives in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky with her husband, Neil, and their two children, Sam and Harper, and their two dogs, Rudy and Marge. 

The Pack


Loki - Poodle jumping



Lincoln - Doberman


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