While most people are familiar with seeing-eye dogs for the visually impaired, many do not realize that there are other types of service dogs. Seeing-eye dogs were first introduced into the US in the early 1900’s. The training and use of service dogs to assist other types of impairments did not begin until the mid 1970’s. Unlike therapy dogs that visit nursing homes, federal law protects a Service Dog. Due to the level of training and assistance they provide their recipients, they cannot be denied access into any venue where the public would be allowed such as stores, restaurants, movie theaters, airplanes, etc.
There are over 52 million mentally or physically disabled people in the US today. Most can benefit from highly trained service dogs to assist them with life skills that would otherwise be impossible. Disabled people live their lives without the ability to do tasks we typically take for granted such as picking up a dropped item, opening/closing a door or refrigerator, turning on/off the lights, etc. Each dog is custom trained to do these tasks based on the individual’s needs. There is virtually nothing that we cannot train these dogs to do, performing everything from simple tasks to complex tasks to improve the quality of life for their recipient.
Since this is a very specialized industry, there are very few people producing service dogs for the handicapped. Many of these organizations have waiting lists of 6 to 10 years. Additionally, the cost of taking one of these dogs from start to finish is about $20,000 making it nearly impossible for someone on disability to afford.
Guardian Angels chose to become a 501(C)(3) non-profit public charity so we can raise, train and donate these dogs to deserving individuals, but we need your generous donations to restore independence and dignity to these people’s lives.
We welcome your support through private donations, corporate sponsorships, professional services, matching gifts, bequests, etc., as well as volunteers to join our various programs (hug a puppy, foster families) and committees.
For more information, visit our website: www.medicalservicedogs.com
or call: 352-425-1981.
Carol Borden, Founder and CEO