Mallory Crooks
Director of Public Relations
The Ability Center

School Facility Dogs Gifted to Area Schools Through Zeisloft Grant (2023)

(Sylvania, OH – March 16, 2023) The Ability Center has been awarded $100,000 in support of two school facility dogs to be placed at Montpelier and Stryker schools through a grant provided by the Zeisloft Family Trusts.

Paul Zeisloft Jr. graduated from Montpelier High School in 1967. Through the sponsorship of the family trust, Paul’s life and memory will be honored through the support of over 1,100 students in both school districts.

“Through this grant, we can acquire puppies, provide food and supplies, cover veterinary expenses, and train facility dogs for placement in a new area. Educating families and community members about our dogs will serve as a lasting tribute to the Zeisloft family,” shares Stacie Baumbarger, Director of Assistance Dogs at The Ability Center.

Upon placement, school facility dogs have an average working life of eight years. The Ability Center has placed dogs in 28 public schools in Ohio and southeast Michigan.

“Jet is an extremely positive addition to our school and the community of Stryker. He allows students to become more confident in themselves by practicing tasks and participating in classroom activities. He has boosted morale and the sense of pride in our school. Stryker students, staff, and community members are grateful to be a part of the Zeisloft Legacy and can’t imagine life without Jet,” shares Beth Morr, Dean of Students, Stryker Elementary Schools.

“Roger has been an amazing asset to Montpelier Schools ever since he has joined our community. He has brought our school district together by bringing smiles to staff, students, and community members. Roger has instilled a sense of pride in our students who are excited to introduce him to family and friends,” explains Lance Thorp, Montpelier Schools, Elementary Principal.

Photos and logos can be found here.

Support for Students:
• Reduce Anxiety and Stress – A furry friend available to lower levels of stress and provide a calming effect for students of all ages.
• Improved Socialization – Students have access to a non-judgmental companion and confidante with whom to share their concerns and anxieties.
• Increase Classroom Participation – Studies have shown that school facility dogs help to increase engagement in class activities, create a comfortable learning environment, and ultimately lead to improved academic achievement.

“It is a true honor for us to link the Zeisloft family’s rich history within the Montpelier community with this legacy of transforming the lives of the students of Montpelier and Stryker,” explains Stuart James, Executive Director of The Ability Center.

WHO: Zeisloft Family Trusts awards The Ability Center
WHAT: Grant to fully fund two (2) school facility dogs to utilize in area school systems
WHEN: Dogs are currently in the schools and will be recognized at The Ability Center’s (sold out) graduation ceremony on Thursday, March 23.


The Ability Center
5605 Monroe Street
Sylvania, OH 43560
(Satellite office)
1425 East High Street, Suite 108
Bryan, OH 43506

Montpelier Schools
1015 E Brown Rd
Montpelier, OH 43543

Stryker Local School District
400 South Defiance Street
Stryker, OH 43557

About The Ability Center: The northwest Ohio agency strives to make our community the most disability friendly in the country by increasing independence for people with disabilities, discovering true passions, and changing the community’s perception of disability. The Ability Center has served the seven counties of Lucas, Ottawa, Wood, Fulton, Henry, Defiance, and Williams since 1920.