Sheri Soltes is a CEO of a not for profit business that she created over 30 years ago. Prior to that, she was a civil trial attorney and appellate attorney for 8 years. She also served as a Briefing Attorney for the First Court of Appeals, Harris County, Texas.
Sheri’s legislative experience includes 23 years of working with the Texas State Legislature on accessibility for people living with disabilities.
In 2018, Sheri joined the Board of Texas Humane Legislation Network, a 43 year old non-partisan organization that works with the Texas Legislature to pass animal anti-cruelty laws such as banning gas chambers in animal shelters.
Sheri also serves as Vice President for Assistance Dogs International, North America. She chairs the ADI NA Legislative and Advocacy Committee. Her work with ADI, NA includes working with the United States Congress on issues related to accessibility for people with disabilities, particularly those using Service Dogs.
Sheri gave up a successful law practice to found and lead Service Dogs, Inc.
Service Dogs, Inc., created in 1988, trains Hearing and Service Dogs for wounded veterans and other disabled Texans free of charge. Through Sheri’s leadership, SDI expanded to provide Courthouse Dogs that help abused children find their voice and testify in court and Crisis Response Canines (Firehouse Dogs) that help first responders and others in the community deal with trauma and stress. Service Dogs, Inc. provides the dogs and training free of charge.
B.A. with high honors, University of Texas Plan II Honors program, 1981
J.D. with honors, University of Texas School of Law, 1984
Sheri moved back to Austin from Houston where she’d been practicing law in 1993. She has lived in the same house in Southwest Travis County Precinct 3 for 25 years.
First Responder Support
Clean Water, Air and Lands
Transparency and Accountability
Through Sheri’s leadership, Service Dogs, Inc. partners with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department in conducting PAWS, the nation’s first and only juvenile prison service dog training program. PAWS teaches youth empathy, responsibility and vocational skill.
Sheri also has been instrumental in placing courthouse dogs with Victims Assistance departments of the Montgomery County District Attorneys’ offices. These dogs comfort children when they are interviewed about abuse and even accompany them to court when they testify. Sheri will be speaking about the courthouse dogs program to the Texas District and County Attorneys Association conference in September 2017.
Sheri has mentored assistance dog programs around the world, including in Australia, Japan, Spain and Chile. She has been a featured speaker at many conferences and institutions in the United States, Spain and Chile.
Her articles on the legal rights of Assistance Dog users have been published by Assistance Dogs International, the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners and Leader Dogs for the Blind.
Sheri's other accomplishments include: