ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities Overview
Target demographics: People with physical disabilities, children effected by Autism, wounded Veterans returning from war and the At Risk Youth trainers that educate our dogs.1. At-Risk IndividualsThe agencies in which ECAD’s PALS programs operate, serve some of society’s most troubled children and their families in both residential and community settings, providing them with therapeutic care as well as support and skills necessary to succeed as adults:• 87% of the residents are referred through New York City’s child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice systems, and come from the city’s most impoverished and violent neighborhoods.• 68% of the children admitted to these Residential Treatment Centers have suffered neglect.• 36% have been physically or sexually abused.• 43% have had prior psychiatric hospitalizations.• 39% have made suicidal gestures or attempts• 43% have engaged in delinquent behaviors prior to admission.Most of the children come from families with serious emotional or substance abuse problems: • 78% of the children have one or more parents who are substance abusers. • 45% of the children have a parent in prison, • 30% have a parent with serious psychiatric problems.• Approximately 66% of those served are African American, 27% are Latino, 5% are Euro-American and 2% are from other racial/ethnic backgrounds
Direct beneficiaries per year: ECAD averages 15 dogs placed per year with individuals, and rehabilitation facilities.
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: Wash and groom up to 10 dogsSocialize with a new litter of puppiesDecorate & Prepare a graduation ceremonyAssist in general office work; filing, mailings, copies, etc.Participate at awareness events
Geographic areas served: NATIONAL
Programs: Today ECAD’s training program produces a wide variety of Assistance Dogs:
Service Dogs assist individuals with physical disabilities by acting as their arms and legs. The dogs are trained to perform a variety of tasks (e.g., retrieve items, activate light switches, open and close doors, assist with balance) specific to the needs of each individual.
Specialty Dogs to assist children with Autism spectrum disorders in a variety of areas including emotional bonding, socialization support, cognitive development, and physical safety.
Skilled Companion Dogs are placed with individuals who need support but are too young or ill to handle a Service Dog. These dogs are well socialized, trained in basic obedience, and can be trained to perform more advanced tasks based on an individual’s needs.
Facility Dogs are placed in nursing homes, hospitals, private practice settings, alternative schools, or anywhere their therapeutic support is needed. These dogs have been well socialized; obedience trained, and can be trained to work in patient therapy programs.
There are over 60 dogs in training at one time and over 30 people waiting to receive a dog.