#41 - Assistance Dogs

therapy service dog

Have you ever considered adding an assistance dog to your team of support? Assistance dogs can bring independence, safety, comfort, dignity, companionship, (and cuteness) to the team. The process is quite lengthy and choosing the right organization is important.

Paws with a Cause has been training assistance dogs since 1979 and is considered one of the best programs in the country. Deb Davis has been working with Paws with a Cause for 25 years and in this episode helps:

  • Understand the difference between assistance, service, and therapy dogs
  • What to look for when choosing an organization including a long list of questions to ask
  • Red flags that should cause us to "paws"
  • The ins and outs of the application process
  • Volunteer opportunities

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Mentioned in This Episode

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  • Paws with a Cause has been training assistance dogs since 1979. There is no charge for their dogs despite the $30,000+ price tag.
  • There are a variety of assistance dogs. Deb shares what they are and also explains the difference between assistance and therapy dogs and why it matters.
  • Paws with a Cause had to narrow down which types of assistance dogs they would train. We learn why and how they made the decision.
  • The recommended website for finding the type of dog you need is Assistance Dogs International. This website also has training standards, a member directory, and assistance dog etiquette.
  • When choosing an organization, do your research. Deb offers dozens of things to ask, specifically around post placement as this is the often when the most support is needed.
  • Even if you are not looking to add an assistance dog to your team, there is still a place for you at Paws with a Cause.  Click here for ways you can become involved.

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