Credit: Michelle Lohutko

Hiya, I’m Jessica.

I can’t get enough of watching dogs roll in the grass, laughing so hard it hurts, and connecting people to life-changing resources. Everything I do is ultimately all about:

Helping people feel less isolated, more courageous, and better supported in their role as caregivers to people, pets, and our planet.

I’ve spent almost 20 years working with companion animals in a variety of ways including: managing social media for national animal welfare organizations, caring for animals and doing adoptions at my local animal shelter, running a pit bull advocacy and pet owner support group, and hustling with my own dog walking company.

Over time I witnessed the negative effects of Compassion Fatigue on my clients, friends, volunteers, and coworkers. And I experienced it myself. Compassion fatigue and burnout nearly took me out of the animal welfare game completely.

I knew that if I was having this much trouble figuring out how to be a functioning human being while taking care of animals (both of my parents are THERAPISTS, so shouldn’t I know how to do this?), other people were lost too. I made it my mission to create practical tools to help animal care and welfare folks be well, while they do good work in the world.

Today I’m a Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator (CCFE) via The Green Cross. I obtained my training through the Figley Institute, Tend Academy, and the International Association of Trauma Professionals. I am always, always involved in continuing education around the issues of trauma, stress, and resilience, so I can better support you. 

I love being in your corner.

Most days you’ll find me teaching online (sometimes as adjunct faculty at UFL), coaching compassionate badasses, and hosting my monthly membership community. I bring my training in compassion resilience, positive psychology, and mindfulness facilitation to everything I do (even walking reactive dogs!).

But no matter what I’m doing, I’m motivated by curiosity, compassion, and a rock-solid belief that self-care and service inherently belong together.


“Jessica has a unique ability to combine evidenced-based practices and important theoretical frameworks with the front-line needs of employees and management. She infused everything she does with a sense of curiosity, empathy, and expertise.

The value she added to our organization has made her one of the most respected experts in the field of workplace stress, compassion fatigue, and self-care. She is my go to resource.”

― Nathan Brisby, ASPCA Learning & Development

I love learning about your life and your dreams. Your stories matter to me. If Oprah and Studs Terkel had a love child, it would be me.

Want to know more? Here’s a glimpse at what I’ve been up to in my professional and personal life:


Master of Science in Adult and Higher Education, University of Southern Maine 2017

Trauma­-Informed Organization Certificate with the University at Buffalo School of Social Work 2022

3 Vital Questions Coaching Training with Bainbridge Leadership Center 2021

Holding Space Coach Training with The Centre for Holding Space 2018, 2021

Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training with Elizabeth Stanley 2021

Movement for Trauma Level One Training with Jane Clapp 2020

Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program with the AVMA 2020

Organizational Secondary Traumatic Stress Certificate with The National Child Traumatic Stress Network 2019

Compassion Fatigue + PTSD in Social Work with Caring Safely 2019

Positive Psychology Coaching + Positive Psychology Coaching Skill-Building Intensive, The Wholebeing Institute 2017, 2018

Train the Trainer and Organizational Health in Trauma-Exposed Environments Tend Academy 2015, 2017

Certified Mindfulness Facilitator: Mindful@Work + Mindful 365, Mindfulness Without Borders 2016, 2017

Mental Health First Aid Certification, National Council for Behavioral Health 2016

Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Maine 2015

Stress Management Certificate, ALLEGRA Learning Solutions 2015

International Association of Trauma Professionals Compassion Fatigue Professional and Traumatology Institute CF Educator 2014-2017

Walking the Walk- Creative Tools for Transforming CF, Compassion Fatigue Solutions 2014

Compassion Fatigue Educator Certification, Figley Institute 2013

BA in Art History, Temple University 2000 (I really like museum gift shops)

Some of the organizations I have worked with include: University of Florida’s Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program, ASPCA, Humane Canada, The Academy of Dog Trainers, HSUS, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Maine Department of Agriculture, National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, Born Free, Two Green Threads, and Animal Legal Defense Fund.

You may also know me from my projects:  DINOS_10x3_Logo1bumper-01

DINOS: Dogs In Need of Space is a website filled with resources for people who live with dogs who are reactive, fearful, aggressive, you name it. I’m the author of The Official Guide to Living with DINOS


Notes From a Dog Walker is a blog about my dog-filled life that I began on 2011. I love this blog so much, but I moved my writing over here to keep things simple.



I live in Maine with my husband and our cats, dog, ducks, plus a whole lot of bird feeders.

My Myers-Briggs type: INFJ. INFJs are a bunch of old souls that make up less than 1% of the population. This is my fave MB test.

My top 5 Strengths according to Gallup: Relator, Activator, Input, Ideation, and Intellection. What does that mean for you? We’ll connect in a deep, meaningful way, I’ll help you activate your energy, and we’ll explore and generate new ideas through strategic thinking.

And my top character strengths according to Via: Creativity, Humor, Love of Learning, Bravery, Honesty, and Perspective.

You can always find me at: my local library. If sleeping over at the library was an option, I’d be the first to sign up.

My top 2 Voice ValuesHelpfulness + Playfulness.  Everything I do is right there in those two words.

Other place you might spot me: Drive-in movies, old post offices, beginner yoga classes, museums about anything (even shoes), and walking in the woods.

Jessica Dolce
That’s my dog Boogie. Credit: Theron Humphrey


Want to Work Together?

Me too! Connect with me here and let’s talk about how we can make good stuff happen.

Want some more? I left social media January 1st, 2020 and haven’t returned, so the best way to stay in touch is to sign up for my newsletter

If you’re still reading, then you deserve something special. Behold! The outtakes from my photo shoot.