Core Program Director
Lead Behavior Specialist
This story is how Lynne Karli and her brother Chuck McStay were unintentionally,
re-purposed to create the Finding You Sanctuary
Suddenly his wise, gnarled hands grasped her shirt sleeve, pulling them face to face. Her focus was reduced to the intensity of his gaze as he blurted out his solemn plea, “Please Lynne, you have to help them, they are dying and no one is helping them, I know you can help them, promise me you will help them!” It was after two months of weekly behavioral sessions with him and his dog that Lynne discovered her client was a Viet Nam Veteran. Although she instinctively noticed something different, even erratic about his demeanor, she wasn’t quite able to identify the connection to his undeclared, diagnosed condition of PTS(D).
This event happened in 2010 and it wasn’t until months of working together as a team in early 2013, that Chuck heard that story. In late 2012 Lynne had asked him to help her make a complete transition from dog groomer to dog behavior specialist. She had developed a unique method of helping people to “see themselves” after fostering a deep connection with their dogs, which she had been doing for 35 years. Together, they formally developed and applied this method toward the creation of a partnership aimed at aiding individuals and families with their ‘dog issues’, named the “Finding You Institute”.
After exploring the plea from her veteran client, they began to study, work with, and focus on veterans diagnosed with PTS(D) as a way of honoring their sacrifice on behalf of our civilian population. This process led them to the conclusion that to serve as many as possible, especially those who are economically challenged, they needed to form a non-profit. In March of 2014, the five-member board voted in the articles of organization for the Finding You Sanctuary, Inc. They were organized, well informed, and ready to structure the FYS for fundraising.
However, in April of 2014 their father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed 10 days later. That event caused a two and a half year odyssey with their mom, afflicted with dementia and inoperable abdominal cancer. Lynne stepped up as her full-time caregiver, along with hospice’s help, and moved her into Lynne's home which ultimately put the plans for the FYS on temporary hold.
There were infrequent meetings for concept discussions and other related developments as Chuck kept Lynne up to date on what progress could be managed
Since their mom’s passing in June of 2016 and Lynne’s much needed time to rejuvenate they have re-launched the FYS. Those two and a half years offered them an opportunity to gain a Clinical Trauma Nurse as a board adviser. Also, they have developed an important relationship with Soldier’s Heart, best known for bringing Viet Nam veterans to meet their counterparts for reconciliation and the healing of their souls. There are many other connections and advocates with whom they consider mentors and guides as they fulfill their vision and prepare to fully launch their re-purposed mission.
A little bit of Lynne's and Chuck's background
Lynne and Chuck, along with their two sisters, grew up on Rock Ledge Farm surrounded by wild and domestic animals large and small. Everything from parakeets, turtles and hamsters to chickens, dogs, cats and horses, etc., etc. It was a very hands on experience which included care and rescues of all kinds. It was an enriching upbringing that has served them all well throughout their lives.
Lynne began her professional, animal care career 35 years ago as a Veterinary Technician at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston. Lynne opened Shear Elegance Pet Services in 1980. She groomed and operated a daycare for dogs and is well know for her unique ability to calm her client's dogs and teach how to develop a deep connection between her clients and their dogs resulting in a great relationship.
Chuck Started and operated a number of small businesses over the last 35 years in the fields of construction, retail and small business services. He has always had a unique report with animals and held a deep respect for those who have and currently serve in the military and as first responders.