Lizzy my Service Dog and I have gone one many adventures since we became a team on Memorial Day, May 2011. My PTSD and service connected disabilities has up and down days. Lizzy is there with me through them all. ECAD teaches their Service Dogs well, they are family to us. I am grateful to Lu and Dale Picard whom started this organization years ago in their garage. Their vision and dreams have become reality for so many of their Service Dog teams. Improving our quality of life is a blessing. Thank you to my ECAD family.
as a combat disabled veteran, is an alumni and graduate of project heal. lizzy my service dog and i have been a team for several years and been on many adventures. she is a blessing to me and i am lucky to have her in my life.
I am a retired combat us army soldier. i served a tour of duty in afghanistan in 2003. During my retirement, my case manager suggested a service dog to assist me with my various disabilities including mobility and ptsd. Lizzy and I graduated on the 27th of May, 2011. Since we became a service dog team, I am not afraid to go outside, a fear of unkown, unkown if I would fall or not. Lizzy is by my side making sure all goes smoothly for me. Thank you to ECAD's and Project Heal for all they do.
In response to consumer1:
I am a member of a local veterans’ organization. We have been dealing with ECAD as a donor for a number of years. The focus of our support has been Project HEAL which places service dogs with physically and/or emotionally disabled veterans. I read the comments of “consumer1” with dismay and felt compelled to give a contrasting viewpoint.
I think that “consumer1’s” expectations of ECAD are unrealistic and his/her criticisms basically without merit. First, ECAD is making approximately a $25,000 investment in each service dog it provides. Requiring only a $500 non-refundable deposit after being accepted into ECAD’s Program (Civilian Program or Project HEAL ) on a $25,000 investment is beyond generous. Second, I have never heard of a case where a civilian or veteran who followed the rules of the ECAD Program did not receive a service dog. Third, ECAD requires the recipient to meet certain standards for caring for their service dog. I am sorry, but if the recipient does not have the financial resources himself/herself or via family and friends to come up with a $500 non-refundable deposit for an investment that will change his/her life, the odds of him/her having the resources to provide ECAD’s required level of care for their service dog are very low and the dog should go to someone else.
Based on my experience, I can say with confidence that Westchester’s veterans’ organizations are firmly behind ECAD and enthusiastically support Project HEAL. Everyone who happens to read the review posted by “consumer1” ought to (1) read the other 100 reviews also, and (2) look at ECAD’s Charity Navigator Evaluation where it has a “four star (highest possible)” rating. “Consumer1” would be better off focusing on trying to find a service dog elsewhere rather than bashing ECAD on this website where his comments clearly reflect a minority view.
In response to Consumer1:
I am assuming you have not had much interaction with ECAD. They are some of the most dedicated and hardworking people I have ever had the pleasure of supporting. They have gone far above and beyond for every client I have ever encountered there, as well as to ensure their donors they are efficiently allocating the funds they collect. I would recommend this organization to anyone in need of their services. They are a ray of light among the clouds for those feeling hopeless or overwhelmed due to a disability.
I am a client of ECAD and can talk having first hand experience with ECAD. I applied with ECAD 10 years ago and the commitment fee then was $500. I am currently waiting on my second ECAD dog. ECAD commits to all their clients, the instructors are there to help, they return emails and phone calls and treat their graduates like family. ECAD is a hardworking, honest group of people. I would like to clarify a few things in the above review. 1) Yes ECAD has a $500 commitment fee but that is after the face to face meet and greet interview, and only if the person would like to proceed with ECAD. 2) ECAD uses agreements not contracts, having an ECAD service dog is an ongoing relationship with the organization. It is team work and trust on both sides that makes it work. 3) ECAD has a person dedicated to helping with fundraising. And the dogs are amazing I have seen many of them at various ECAD events as well as living with my own ECAD service dog for the past 10 years. Anyone in need of a Service Dog would be lucky to get an ECAD dog and it is well worth the effort and time the clients put in while their dog is being trained.
My name is Donna and I was born with Muscular Dystrophy. I am in a wheelchair and went to ECAD in 2004 to receive a service dog. I have "Haley" since Dec 2004. She is a wonderful Golden Retriever who has changed my life in so many ways. She picks up things I drop, helps open doors, and much more.
Review from Guidestar
ECAD is all about the money. First to ask for a $500 non-refundable deposit from someone who is disabled and probably on a limited income speaks for itself. The deposit is to show commitment from the client with no commitment from ECAD. They expect payment in full without a written contract with a specific scheduled training. There are inconsistencies with information in their documents. Their communication with a perspective client while the client is trying to raise funds is poor. Their lack of knowledge of fundraising resources to share with clients is poor as well. I cannot speak about how well their dogs are trained but I will not recommend this agency due to their lack of integrity.
Four years ago I became a client of ECAD upon receiving my service dog Garrison. He truly changed my life. ECAD provided me with a highly trained service dog (80+ commands), and the personalized training to take care of him and safely navigate in public. I was fighting the constant battle of trying to remain independent in spite of my disability. He enabled me to maintain my independence and give my family piece of mind, knowing that he is always by my side. This is an extremely high quality dedicated organization that really does help 3 people (the client, the trainer and the dog)!! Since receiving Garrison, my family members have become volunteers to try and help others receive the fantastic gift that I was given. We are proud to be members of the ECAD family.
ECAD is an amazing organization!! Its mission is critical in helping the disabled through the training and placement of service/facility/companion dogs. As a wheelchair bound person, I recognize the expertise, devotion and compassion that goes into ECAD's work. Their unique service of fostering independence greatly empowers the disabled. These dogs become an extension of the person thereby enabling them in many ways. In addition to providing assistance in retrieving objects, opening doors, turning on/off lights, etc; the dogs perform a safety function as well by getting help/a phone in an emergency. However, a service dog's work is not all physical, emotional support is also provided. It is very difficult to be depressed with a dog around! I consider myself very fortunate to have discovered ECAD and its dogs!!
Review from Guidestar
We fell in love with this charity a few years ago and went to a few events before finally committing to being Home Handlers. We can't say enough great things about ECAD. We especially love how they support our Military Vets.
I have been a client since 2012. This organization has definitely changed my life. With the help of my Service Dog, Somerset, I am able to be more independent. She help me with everyday tasks, but has also helped me do things I could have never imagined possible (such as taking the Amtrak to visit my parents, who live in another state.)
Somerset has also helped me make friends. People who would never speak to me before I had had the dog now go out of their way to talk to us. I have an incredible bond with my ECAD classmates, who I consider friends for life. Before I had Somerset, I was often anxious in social situations. Having her with me constantly helps me to relax.
ECAD is a wonderful organization. I feel lucky & blessed to be a client.
I received my dog in 2012 and life has definitely changed for the better. My dog Somerset ("Somer") is many things: helper, companion and hero, to name just a few. She gives my life meaning & purpose. Together we can do anything.
I had the great fortune to met an ECAD service dog and his partner, and read about ECAD's exceptional traing methods. It gives me great pleasure to contribute to such a well-grounded charity.