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“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

- Josh Billings
  • The average service dog works for 8 - 10 years
  • 70% of people who need service dogs can’t afford them [1]
  • There are approximately 15,000 service dogs working in the US [2]
  • Nearly 100 dogs were used to search Ground Zero for survivors [3]
  • One search & rescue dog can do the work of 20-30 human searchers [4]
  • Therapy dogs help people physically, emotionally, and socially
Quick Facts
There are all kinds of working dogs
Guide Dogs

Also known as a seeing-eye-dog, these pups make getting around easier for visually impaired people.

Mobility Dogs

Help their handler with balance while walking, standing, sitting, climbing stairs, and can even assist in helping someone up if they fall.

Seizure Alert / Medical Dogs

Can sense and alert their owners to potentially life-threatening medical events before they occur and can even summon help if needed.

Psychiatric Service Dogs

Whether they’re guiding their handler through a stressful situation, interrupting repetitive behaviors, or providing a reminder to take a medication, these dogs mitigate the effects of a psychiatric disability.

Search & Rescue Dogs

These dogs make searching for a person easier. They can quickly cover an area to track down missing people on land or water.

Therapy Dogs

Are pets that visit hospitals, nursing homes or other care facilities and spend their time helping patients.

There are all kinds of working dogs [5]

Autism and Psychiatric Service Dogs

Autism produces a variety of symptoms that can be mitigated through the use of a service dog. People who have been diagnosed with autism face a world that is exceptionally difficult to navigate. The daily companionship of a dog can help ease these challenges, and it has been found that children especially benefit from canine companionship. Because the dog is a constantly at a child’s side, they are available for the

child to hug, which can be invaluable during a frantic state, to help ease the child into a calmer state. Additionally, the dog can be trained to interrupt the repetitive behaviors that are the hallmark symptom of autism. And, if all of that wasn’t enough, the therapeutic relationship that forms between the child and dog has the ability to decrease anger, aggression and mood swings all while teaching the child how to nurture and care for another being. [6,7]

The difference between a therapy dog and a service dog

While both therapy dogs and service dogs provide a wealth of comfort and assistance to people in need, they aren’t the same thing. Therapy dogs are pets first and foremost, but they go to hospitals, nursing homes or other care facilities to help patients. Service dogs are full-time helpers to their owners. Yes, they too have time off, but their main job is to assist their disabled owner in day-to-day functions and are legally allowed to go wherever their owner needs them to go - even if other dogs are not allowed. [8]

Therapy dogs come in all shapes, sizes & breeds
The use of therapy dogs dates back to World War II [8]

The Furry Physical Therapist

When a dog comes to a hospital it is always a happy day. Whether they are visiting patients who are in bed, or working with them in physical therapy sessions, one thing is clear - every patient is happier. Patients who have an animal participate in their physical therapy sessions make significant progress towards their functional mobility and strength goals. The animals help to distract the patient, and transform therapy sessions into play.

For patients who often lose their focus or attention, activities that are done with a dog provide a fun focal point and actually allow the patient to stick with the activity long enough to gain strength and endurance. Additionally, the dogs allow the patients to forget, even momentarily, about the pain they are experiencing or the strenuous effort they are putting into physical therapy. Lastly, the animals also help to erase patient fear associated with doing their physical therapy exercises. [9,10]

When dogs search for a missing person, help with physical therapy, or aid a disabled person, they provide an invaluable service. This month CharitySub has a chance to support the community that trains and cares for these canine caretakers, and we need your help to make it happen!

Let’s support working dogs together.

Angel On A Leash

Volunteer Therapy Dogs
Angel On A Leash

From Portland to New York, Angel On A Leash teams of dogs and handlers have volunteered their time and efforts to helping patients get well.

CT Canine Search & Rescue

Canine Search & Rescue
CT Canine Search & Rescue

Connecticut Canine Search & Rescue is a valuable resource that law enforcement turns to when they need help searching for lost, missing or drowned individuals.

Canine Partners for Life

Service dog training
Canine Partners for Life

Canine Partners for Life trains service dogs allowing people with either physical or cognitive disabilities to live the independent life they want.