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  

i have a family member who has a companion dog. The union has helped him tremendously. The change I have seen in his emotional stability, attitude and happpiness has been so positive. ECAD does great work, which I am grateful for.

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

My close family member has been helped.

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

I am not involved with them to make a recommendation. I have only experienced the positive change in a family member.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We began volunteering with ECAD last year as weekend home handlers. While having an incredibly smart, adorable dog in our home every weekend has brought us much joy, it was a recent "graduation" ceremony that truly demonstarted the power of this organization. To see the impact that these dogs have had on so many lives was awe inspiring. From the clients whose lives will be changed, to the home handlers whose weekends are made brighter, to the children trainees whose lives are enriched with responsibility, trust, and unconditional love, the community impact that ECAD delivers is nothing short of exceptional. Thank you, ECAD, for everything you do!

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

I have had personal experience with this organization as a weekend home handler volunteer and in my participation in special events such as parades, graduation ceremonies, fundraising events.

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

None

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I work for Children's Village, which collaborates with ECAD. ECAD instructors train at-risk adolescents at our residential school to train assistance dogs for the physically handicapped. I have seen first-hand the transformation of our young men who work in this program. Not only do they develop a skill, but they learn patience, gain self-confidence, and experience the joy of helping someone less fortunate. Many Children's Village staff volunteer in this program, taking dogs home on the weekends to socialize them. I have been a volunteer for three years taking care of Ruthie, who is a breeder in the program and "works" in the pet therapy program.

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

Witnessing its impact on at-risk adolescents.

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

spread the word more about its wonderful work.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I got invovled with ECAD as a compromise to my daughter who wanted a dog to love. ECAD provided that, but also allowed her to feel the joy of giving back to others who ultimately get the dogs we help train. The staff is committed, knowledgable and responsive. They also give back to the community by educating the public on these critical programs.

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

I have seen the benefactos of the dogs; whose lives are changed by having an assitance dog.

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

Expand it!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been an ECAD volunteer for about 4 years. ECAD has been an inspiration for me in showing how an organization can help so many people with so little. Not only do they provide excellent canines for disabled people, but they also provide excellent skills to the youths who train the dogs. These youths all come from different backgrounds but they have one thing in common in that they need guidance in order to succeed in life. I have seen numerous adolescents grow to be young adults that anyone would be proud of. They raise and train the dogs from puppies until about 2 years old and they take extreme pride in their ability to turn that puppy into a service dog that will enhance the life of someone in need, whether it be a military person with PSTS or a physical disability or a child with Autism or a severe physical handicap. The staff at ECAD is to be commended for their outstanding work and service. I have seen first hand how hard they work and how sincere they all are. They are truly deserving of any and all grants that might be available to them!

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

By being a home handler, I was able to take puppies home on the weekend and then when the dog advanced to graduation I was able to see the fruits of our efforts when the dog was given to a person in need.

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

I can't think of anything.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My husband and I have been ECAD Home Handlers for the past 2 years, taking dogs home for weekends. Everything about the ECAD program is impressive.....the staff (professional and helpful); the dogs (well trained, well taken care of); the boys at Children's Village (CV) who help train the dogs. We think the organization is a win-win arrangement: the dogs are eager to please; the boys at CV are involved in a very meaningful program; the clients are thoughtfully and carefully matched with dogs; and finally the client testimony is proof of the success of the program.

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

By being a "Home Handler"

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

Nothing

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

We received a service dog for our son in March 2010. Baker has been the best thing that has happened to us since our son and his twin brother were diagnosed with autism. Baker has given our son confidence, comfort and freedom. The staff at ECAD were phenomenal in training us for 15 days. They listened to us with compassion. I looked at lots of other organizations and chose ECAD because of their compassion and commitment to their dogs as well as the people who are given a service dog.

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

Receiving a dog for our son who has autism. Baker has changed our lives for the better because of ECAD.

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

Do nothing.

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?

Internet search

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

ECAD has given me courage to take my son with me wherever I go. Due to his autism, he always had to stay home. Now, with Baker, we can go to the mall, stores, church, hikes...we even took a road trip to Virginia and Baker kept Micah grounded and safe the whole time.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

ECAD has been training student/residents at our facility for troubled teens. The students take great pride in their accomplishments of teaching dogs to to help those even less fortunate than them. Developing this sense of pride and mastery goes a long way to help our students become service providers not just service recipients.
This experience becomes a foundation and anchor for many teenagers who have not had these personal growth experiences.
It is always better to build on one's strengths than to continuously identify their shortcomings and the action of ECAD is the perfect model for our adolescents.

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

my involvement and observations of the total ECAD experience

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

continue to expand this program to reach even more people.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

It takes a lot of work, unlimited patience, to teach dogs to assist humans, in a way that benefits both. This group does it with kindness, and commitment.

Teach a Dog to Heel, They Heal.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/the-healing-power-of-dogs/

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

Observing the efforts, donating funds, feeling encouraged by what they do with it.

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

Make it available to more people and dogs.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Never ending need, limited supply

Why did you make your donation at this time?

See above

What would you tell others about this organization?

Go to their website, give.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked for ECAD for almost two years now and it is the best thing that ever happened to me. Training these dogs is such a great experience; seeing them grow from little puppies to adult dogs ready to help a person in need couldn't be more satisfying. The people at ECAD are all nice and really make you feel at home. This program is doing wonders for our world not just because they're assisting those in need, but because they're giving them a friend that will love them unconditionally.

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

life everday...getting up every morning knowing that i get to work with a program like ECAD just makes my life so much better. I've become happier since i started to volunteer with ECAD and i can't imagine my life without them.

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

find a way to spread the word. When i talk about ECAD in school everybody always asks what it is. I think we should find a way to get people to recognize the name and know what an amazing thing it is we do at ECAD.

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

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

ECAD has changed my life forever...It has given me a new outlook on life, helped me make some amazing new friends and really gotten me out of my shell.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar