ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities

Rating: 4.92 stars   105 reviews

Issues: Animals, Education

Location: PO BOX 251 Dobbs Ferry NY 10522 USA

Mission: Founded in 1995, Our mission is to educate and place Assistance Dogs to help people with disabilities gain independence and mobility.
Results: ECAD has placed over 200 dogs, in over 25 states, which is made possible by more than 750 teens that have participated in our ECADemy Program. There are over 60 dogs in training at one time and over 30 people waiting to receive a dog.
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.
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.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 06-1436718
9146930600 x1950
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Its a great program....and i will always will be there for them.....

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?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I received Honey last November. Because of her I have considerably improved my life. I was fast becoming more and more trapped in my own house. I have almost completely turned my life around enjoying my family and leading an almost normal life. She is also responsible for just about eliminated my night terrors. There are no words that I can express that can explain here what she has done for me.

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I got gigi from ECAD in the winter of 2010. Me and gigi have sure had a journey so far. The journey started the year I got gigi. That spring of 2010 Me and gigi won a scholarship to attend the ADA conference in Denver. It was really cool to see other people with disabilities with there service dogs. We really enjoyed ourselves there that week. I have very bad rheumtoid arthritis and depression, so getting gigi has helped alot when the days are tough to get around. The big challenge was yet to come! In 2011, I was layed off from job in march in 2011, so having gigi helped me with that transistion of not working. Then last fall my world turn upside down. I got very sick at end of october. I thought, I had a touch of the flu. Boy! Was I wrong, The day before Halloween, it SNOWED! I was very sick! I had to call the ambulence, I couldn't walk! The medics came, and I took my gigi with me! There was no way I was going to leave her behind. I was admitted into the hospital and I was hospitalized for two months! Gigi got to stay with me there at the hospital for the first week! Because the snow and ice was so bad upstate! But, a wonderful volunteer from ECAD, helped out and took care of gigi for me well I was in the hospital. It was really hard to have her gone though! I ached so bad for her. But, I knew she was safe, loved, and not that far. My bond for gigi is know even stronger! I want her to grow into an older doggie! She helps me everyday. When I am feeling down, and she knows when I am upset she knows. The people at ECAD are great people! Lu and dale spend so much time with the service dogs, they want you to really have the best service dog for you. Until you are confronted with a life of disabled person, you really don't know until your there, it doesn't mean that your life is over! It just changes and you as that person has to adapt to your new reality. Me and gigi are a team. From Richard J. Cortez & Gigi.

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?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

ECAD is a life changing organization. With ECAD and my service dog Brady I have my life back.

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

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

As a retired police officer suffering with PTSD ECAD has given me my life back. Housebound and not wanting any contact with the outside world I starting reading articles on service dogs that helped with my disability. When I arrived at ECAD for the first time I was overwhelmed by the warmth of the staff and volunteers.
Now that I have my Dog Brady I am finally able to get on the road to a better life. Lu, Phil and Barbara thank you for all you do, your amazing people.

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

That I was a client

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

Never lose the feel of what it has now.

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been a volunteer and an employee (currently both) at ECAD since Nov. 2005. I can say without a doubt that by working with this organization, much of my self-confidence has been restored. Learning to train service dogs has strengthened my social work and people skills. I am now working with younger children again through ECAD. I studied education in undergraduate school, so working with children again is wonderful. And I love being able to help train these dogs. To date, I have been a home handler for 63 service-dogs-in-training. I am a very lucky person!!!

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

What can i say about ECAD?? Nutmeg, our therapy dog at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood Florida, works daily with our young patients in rehab helping them learn to walk again, learn to balance and to regain muscle strength. Of course, for Nutmeg, this means being pet, brushed and playing fetch or "tug". She is an ever-present joy throughout the hospital; bringing smiles to everyone she meets - children, families and staff. We can't thank ECAD enough for training us and training Nutmeg for our facility. We love them all!
Kari

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

Nutmeg, our therapy dog who was educated by ECAD, works daily with our pediatric patients. I am lucky enough to be one of her handlers and get to see the impact she has on our patients.

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

not a thing!

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

How did you find this group?

referral from sister hospital

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a registered nurse and manager in a very busy hospital. The thought of adding another task to my laundry list of duties I perform daily becomes chilling. However, volunteering one hour a day to round on my patients with "Lily" our hospital's Service/Therapy dog is the most rewarding part of my day! "Lily" always brings smiles to the patients, their families and the staff. She assists with motivating, stress reduction and bringing the "Healing environment" to our facility.

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

Promoting animal assisted therapies such as stress reduction, animal assisted occupational and physical therapy. Increasing motivation in patients their families as well as my staff.

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

Open another ECAD facility in South Florida.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have had a service dog from ECAD for the past 5 years now and I don't know how I could live alone without him. I am a disabled police officer with a very rare disease similar to MS and has me confined in a wheelchair. Lu & Dale went all out to match me up with the perfect dog. He knows where I am all the time and won't let me out of his sight no matter who is around. he helps me with my daily tasks without even giving him a command. I can't thank them enough.

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

I have the best service dog in the world.

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

Find a way to help them raise more funds so as they can expand to help more people in my situation.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This company is a major role to our society, ECAD is able to help and support many people with all types of disabilities. The animals they train are able to physically and emotions help their owners get through their different life situations. I have been to a CT facility and gotten to personal meet some of their dogs at different levels of their training. I have seen this company's employees and see them work with their animals and am proud to know that an organization like this is around.

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

time spent at the facility

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

keep it the same

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

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Rating: 5 stars  

ECAD has done so much more than just help me with my independence, but also changed me as a person. I have gained confidence as an individual beyond a level never thought imaginable. There is a reason why I returned to ECAD once my first service dog that I received from them retired. If there are any people in the entire world that deserve undying recondition, it is Lu and the rest of the staff at ECAD.

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

positive ways I never imagined.

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

leave it as it is.

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