About the Program
We train former shelter “pit bull” dogs as service dogs to assist people with disabilities. We carefully evaluate the dogs we select for the program. Those dogs begin learning various tasks they can perform to mitigate a person’s disability.
These tasks include, but are not limited to:
- bracing and balance
- opening and closing doors
- retrieving up items
- pulling wheelchairs
- deep pressure therapy
- and multiple other tasks
The tasks are tailored to the dog’s specific capabilities. Not all dogs can perform the same tasks.
Respecting that all dogs are individuals, some of the dogs who initially pass our evaluations flunk out of the program and go on to be emotional support dogs.
Due to the current number of dogs in the program and our existing waiting list, we are not currently accepting applications for the program. Follow us on social media for updates on when we will reopen applications.
Please see Assistance Dogs International’s list of other service dog programs across the United States for programs that may be able to assist you.
Meet the Service Dog Teams
With handler Margierose
Margie and Captain, as he is affectionately known, live in New York. They met through Animal Farm Foundation, where Captain has been trained to help with Margie’s mobility when she has dizzy spells, by helping her keep her balance or by bracing her on stairways. He can also retrieve items that she has dropped or
In North Carolina, trips to the beach and out in public were difficult for Vicki, who has a lung disorder that makes her dizzy and an unsteady walker. Through Animal Farm Foundation, Parker was matched and trained to help Vicki by bracing her when maneuvering stairs or with feelings of unsteadiness. He can also retrieve objects for her if they are dropped. Parker opens doors for Vicki, both literally and figuratively. With Parker by her side, Vicki is provided with more independence than before, allowing her to do some of her favorite things again.
Matthew and Jericho
After a motorcycle accident, Matthew struggled to maintain his mobility. Then he met his service dog, Jericho. They clicked immediately.
Jericho pulls Matthew in his wheelchair, retrieves dropped items, and hit switches. Jericho braces Matthew if he falls. The two are an inseparable service dog team.
With handler Joe
Zen is originally from Hillsborough County Animal Services in Florida. After training him as a service dog, we Zen paired with his handler, former marine Joe. Zen attends school with Joe. With Zen by his side, Joe is confident and independent and can fully enjoy normal, everyday life.
Fiona has a demyelinating neurological condition, which affects the nerve fibers in her brain and spinal cord. She has chronic pain, weakness, and limited sensation on the right side of her body.
Koda provides counter-balance for Fiona, making walking and standing easier. He uses deep pressure to help her sense her extremities and retrieves items from the floor.
With handler Isa
Isa is an epileptic and relies on Lily as a seizure response service dog.
Lily is specifically trained to stay with Isa and provide weight by laying on or near her when she is having a seizure so that she does not harm herself. Not only that, but Lily is also trained to go get help if Isa asks her to, whether it be at home or in public. And if Isa drops something? No problem, Lily will retrieve it for her. Lily has helped Isa gain more confidence in public outings and even in the home.
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