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October 8, 2014

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1 previous review
February 24, 2011

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 ... more

October 8, 2014

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.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

February 24, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a client/participant in the program.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

This is a great organization.

October 5, 2014

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October 5, 2014

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.
October 5, 2014

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3 previous reviews - show all
June 5, 2013

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 & pur... more

October 5, 2014

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.
June 5, 2013

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.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

My dog Somerset "(Somer") and I have been together a little over a year. It has been a life-changing experience for me. In addition to being my friend and helper, Somer has helped me to make new friends and overcome shyness and depression. (I have been on antidepressants since the age of 16 but now take less medication. The dog helps me more than the medicine ever did.) I also feel that, thanks to ECAD, I have friends for life.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 23, 2012

I was matched with 2 year old Somerset in March 2012. She has improved my life in so many ways. In addition to increasing my independence, she has made me feel more comfortable in public and less anxious in social situations. I thank God every day for ECAD and bringing usd together.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 4, 2014

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October 4, 2014

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.
October 4, 2014

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October 4, 2014

ECAD is an amazing non-profit that helps lives on so many levels. 1. They give independence and new lives to individuals with disabilities, veterans and civilians, adults and children, providing amazingly trained and loving service dogs who provide needed services and connection. 2. They work with at-risk children who train the dogs (under the guidance of professional, gifted trainers), often these children's first experience of loving and caring, changing lives for these children. 3. They have a great bunch of volunteers and advocates who bring the dogs in training into the community. I am a weekend volunteer and the ECAD dogs have brought tremendous joy and growth to my own life. 4. This non-profit is impeccably run. Lu and Dale Picard are so talented at understanding how an organization works at every level. They spend money where it's needed - no wasted money with "Frou frou" fancy stuff or unneeded bureaucracy. Donations and time go where most needed. These people care!!! If you care about people - or dogs - smile - this is an organization worth your time.
October 4, 2014

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1 previous review
June 24, 2013

I have known the Picards for 12 years now and I just graduated from their bootcamp with my third service dog. Memphis is a mobility assistance/ PTSD support dog. All the staff are professional, very k... more

October 4, 2014

ECAD is a wonderful organization that places service dogs with veterans and others with disabilities. I currently have a wonderful dog named Memphis. He is a mobility assistance dog who also began to alert to my diabetes high and low blood sugars. This is my 3rd ECAD dog, all of them have also helped me in my recovery from child sexual abuse.
The Picards and their staff and volunteers are kind and caring people who tailor each service dog to an individual clients needs. I have recommended ECAD to many people and I am giving them a 5 star rating!
Briana B.
June 24, 2013

I have known the Picards for 12 years now and I just graduated from their bootcamp with my third service dog. Memphis is a mobility assistance/ PTSD support dog. All the staff are professional, very kind and compassionate. They always know how to match the right dog with the right person and I am very happy with my new dog. Lu Picard is an incredible woman and I admire her tremendously. Because I survived horrendous child abuse, I often feel very fragmented. Having the right dog has turned my life around and I can work and have a good social life. I also have a healing spiritual life and I now have moments of great joy. My name is Briana Bittel and my canine partner is Memphis.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

They know what they are doing!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 8, 2014

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April 8, 2014

I became aware of ECAD through the Explore.org live cams. It was just before Gucci gave birth to the Cheez-Its and I've been a fan and follower ever since! I have found this organization to be one that cares as much about the breeding and care of these magnificent dogs as they do to the future forever humans they match them with. The Picards, Lu and Dale, are truly dedicated to ECAD's mission and it shows by all the people's lives they have touched and made better, who would otherwise have become a statistic. My only disappointment is that I do not live close enough to be an ECAD volunteer.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

April 8, 2014

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2 previous reviews - show all
September 13, 2012

My daughter & I became volunteers about 2 years ago and we have seen so many people's lies including our own changed by ECAD. Youngs kids learning compassion for others, patience when traning a dog, p... more

April 8, 2014

My daughter & I have been volunteering at the CT campus for almost 4 years now. The staff that work there are some of the most tireless, hardest working people I have ever had the pleasure to work along side of. We have learned so much from volunteering at ECAD, most of all what true dedication to a cause really looks like. ECAD never feels that their work is good enough. They continually strive to do a better job whether it be educating the dogs, the youth volunteers, staff or the general public. We are truly bless to be part of this wonderful organization. Thank-you ECAD for all that you do!
September 13, 2012

My daughter & I became volunteers about 2 years ago and we have seen so many people's lies including our own changed by ECAD. Youngs kids learning compassion for others, patience when traning a dog, personal loss & sacrifice from the veterans that are placed with ECAD dogs. I could go on at great length about all the good we've experinced, but I would struggle to be able to list anything NEGATIE ABOUT ECAD other than the need for service dogs is greater than the amount of staff & volunteers.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 16, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

My daughter and I have been volunteers for about 8 months now. We attend a training class once a week and we participate in the Home for the weekend program.We got involved because of our love for animals and because we thought it would help our dog Carly become more social to other dogs and it has. Having a different puppy in our house every weekend certainly has had its share of challenges, but it has had by far more rewards. We have seen how much the dogs have touched our lives as we work with them and we have seen lives transformed when the dogs are matched up with someone who needs their assistance. There are many wonderful volunteers that give their time freely to support a truly deserving organization and I am proud to work alongside of them and called many of them friend. This review can not be considered complete in my opinion until praise is given to the few paid staff that help train the dogs and us the volunteers and help keep this organization running. They are the heart of the progam and I applaud them for their dedication.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We have been to a ECAD graduation and experienced first hand testimonials from people being united with their dogs how their lives were changed and will be better now that they have an ECAD dog in their life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't know of much that I would change, but I would like to see more staff and volunteer recognition. I would also like to see ECAD have the funds they need to have more staff to take some of the load off those who are currently doing many jobs.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

More structure

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Definitely! We've learned some new skills and sharpened others and made many new friends.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Like I'm part of something much bigger than myself

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

January 10, 2014

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January 10, 2014

ECAD is a seriously run business with a heart of gold mission. Over the past 18 years the organization has grown consistently and is now a leader in the Service Dog industry. As they enter the next generation of their existence, ECAD is building a state-of-the art Canine Education Facility to double their production of expertly trained Service Dogs. I recommend them highly to any serious philanthropist.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

June 11, 2013

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June 11, 2013

I am a 100% disabled veteran. On Retirees Recognition Day at West Point, I met East Coast Assistance Dogs and asked about their program to help the disabled. We had a short conversation and they went to work immediately on my behalf arranging all the paperwork and then I ran it through my physicians at the Veterans Hospital. After 14 months four of us with similar disabilities were brought to their dormitory and we spent a little over two weeks being trained on dogs, their physiology, psychology , care and grooming, all the commands, and working with them in public. We lived with our dogs 24/7 and after a final exam in public we graduated at a special ceremony in a packed civic center. I call our new lives "the miracle of the dogs" as each of us are better off. I don't consider Iris a Golden Retriever. To me she is Iris and as much a part of me as any person could ever get. Together we have driven across the USA twice and flown to Germany. She is close day and night and I could not imagine where I would be today without her. Lt. Col. Bill Northacker, USA, Retired.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have a veterinarian give us a day's worth of instruction as well as show us how to treat simple health issues. Also would include an attorney to talk about Title 3, Public Accommodations of the ADA.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

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 Volunteer