Enabling Dogs to Positively Change Our World

September is National Service Dog Month and we have a goal to raise $6,000 in each  Dogtopia daycare center before Veteran’s Day in order to sponsor a service dog through America’s VetDogs. That’s more than 75 dogs for our deserving veterans.

Training a dog to become a service dog is quite the process. According to America’s VetDogs, it takes several months and more than $50,000 to breed, raise, train and place one assistance dog. All of America’s VetDog’s services are provided at no cost to the individual.

WHAT IS A SERVICE DOG?

In 1929, the first American guide dog school was opened to help those with visual impairments. Since then, dogs have been trained to help with many kinds of physical and emotional challenges. There are hearing dogs, guide dogs, PTSD dogs, seizure response dogs, and military facility dogs.   Each applicant participates in a training program to ensure that each dog matches the needs, personality, and lifestyle of each veteran. These caring canines help restore independence and self-confidence for each of their handlers.

Before the handler and dog finish the class, they must pass the Assistance Dog International Public Access Test. According to the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners minimum training standards for public access, dogs must receive a minimum of 120 hours of training over at least six months, master basic obedience skills, know proper social behavior like where to use the bathroom, and know the commands and cues to help their disabled human partner. The handler or someone helping the handler then shows that they understand basic dog care, wholesome training methods, and the laws protecting them and the dog.

HOW WE ARE HELPING

Unfortunately, most government agencies only provide funding for service dogs that assist men and women with physical disabilities. Nonprofits, like America’s VetDogs, who are committed to providing service dogs to all deserving veterans and first responders must rely on grants and individual funding. Our goal is to reduce wait times and provide more service dogs for our service men and women.

We hope you’ll help us reach our goal and help continue our work of enabling dogs to positively change our world. Donate in your local Dogtopia daycare center or click here to donate to the Dogtopia Foundation online.