Debbie Byrne – South Central Region

Debbie Byrne has been a volunteer for Canine Companions since 2017, when she began raising her first puppy, Thistle. Since then, she has expanded her volunteerism to serve our mission in countless ways, exemplifying Canine Companions core values and supporting her community.

Debbie’s ability to support her fellow volunteers stems from her own passion as a Canine Companions puppy raiser. She has raised five puppies, socializing and training each dog with care to prepare them for their life-changing futures. 

Debbie utilizes this personal experience to support her fellow puppy raisers in Arkansas, both through the newly established Diamond Volunteer Chapter and the University of Central Arkansas Living Unleashed puppy raising club. She goes above and beyond 
the expectations of a volunteer: she drives from Arkansas to the Canine Companions at Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Campus in Irving, Texas, for monthly puppy classes. That is no short drive, and Debbie is dedicated to ensuring she has the best knowledge and resources directly from our staff to pass on to the volunteers she supports in her state. On top of attending puppy class, she also offer continuous support the South Central Region Training Center administrative staff while she is in town.

Debbie is an integral part of our Canine Companions community in Arkansas. She serves as a home evaluator for our puppy program to ensure new puppy raisers are properly prepared to welcome a future service dog into their homes. She also helps transport puppies between the Kinkeade Campus in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and Arkansas.

In addition to her work with the puppy raising program, she serves as a Canine Companions ambassador in her community and attends outreach events across the region. She helps introduce the public to our mission in hopes of attracting new volunteers, supporters and clients to the organization.

Each day, Debbie continues to show the same enthusiasm and passion that first brought her to Canine Companions. The South Central Region is thrilled to have the additional states join our region, as it now marks a full year. And, volunteers, like Debbie, embody the dedication our volunteers have that allows us to continue to spread our mission across the region and the country.
A smiling woman sitting on a bench outdoors with a black lab in a canine companions matriculation cape laying across her lap