At Dogster magazine, we love to shine the light on dog-centric organizations like Support Dogs, Inc. This national nonprofit headquartered in St. Louis provides assistance dogs to those with disabilities, courtroom facility dogs and specially trained therapy dogs that visit healthcare facilities and offer reading assistance to students.
Of course, they’ve been very busy. “We’ve been increasing the number of dogs that graduate from our specialized programs, which means we’re helping more people than ever before!” says Anne Klein, president and CEO. “Also, we’re sending our first dog overseas in early 2018. His job is to be there for crime victims, staying by their side, so they can feel calmed and supported as they proceed through the challenges of the legal process.”
So what are the goals for the next few years? “We want to continue to grow the number of dogs who help people through each of our programs,” Anne tells us. “We have assistance dogs who help clients with physical challenges, dogs trained through our TOUCH therapy program who go into places like hospitals and senior living centers and give love, dogs who are specially trained to listen to children as they practice reading. We’re recognized for doing great work; our biggest goal is to do more of it.”
Of course, Support Dogs, Inc. needs help to keep on helping. “We invest over $27,000 per assistance dog we train and give them to people who need them for free,” Anne explains. “Being able to help more people means we need more volunteers and more donors. We need more people to cuddle puppies, more people to take them outside to play, more people who will take them into their home for a year as they grow. We’re a nonprofit, so we rely on donations to fund veterinary care, buy doggie chow, toys, beds, leashes. Anyone who’s had a dog knows how many things they need!” Want to know more? Follow them on Facebook at @SupportDogsInc or visit supportdogs.org.
Thumbnail: Support Dogs, Inc.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!
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