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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals, Education, Special Education, Student Services, Vocational & Technical Schools

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.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

3 Lu P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am one of the founders of ECAD and 17 years ago I was looking for a career that I could be passionate about. I wanted to work with dogs, I wanted to help kids that do not get along in the typical schools, and I wanted to help people with limitations. With the help and dedication of my husband and children I was able to make it all work for us. 17 years later I am so proud of what ECAD has become. There is no way I could have done this without the help, loyalty, and commitment of ECAD's staff, volunteers, clients and supporters. I applaud them for helping make my dream a reality. I love all you guys and totally amazed by the work we are able to do as a group. All the reviews, praise, and a magical moments truly belongs to all that are involved with ECAD. This non profit belongs to the community and it is the community that makes it as good as it is. With much love and sincerity Lu Picard

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated with ECAD since the beginning of the program. I am a Mental Health Professional who has worked with Emotionally Traumatized youth for over 30 years. These young children and adolescents help in training the dogs to become service dogs for physically and mentally handicapped individuals, offering them greater independence and self worth. In turn, our youth, who have suffered unspeakable traumas, begin the healing process through the dogs that love them and teach them about caring for all living things. It is a remarkable program that has changed hundreds of childrens lives that I have worked with. I have another story to tell however, as not to long ago I became sick with a debilitating disease and had one of the ECAD dogs. I now understand, on a very personal level, what a gift a service dog is, providing companionship when you're alone when the rest of the world keeps going on, offering the dignity of independence, and freely giving the sense of self worth. The staff, volunteers and founders of ECAD are all a remarkable group of people, and they do this work because they care. I am honored to be affiliated with them. Kathy Forte

1 Shannon234

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My name is Shannon Benton, and I received my Service Dog Trainer/Instructor certification from ECAD through their Train the Trainer program, in August of 2010. Since then, the people of ECAD have been absolutely wonderful helping me to start my service dog training business, including providing advise, donating stud service, and giving me pointers and tips on starting puppy training. Thank you!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I became interested in medical assistance dogs when I discovered my dog was a medic alert dog few years ago. My and a staff member's 6-month evaluation of the various programs revealed few were as good as ECAD and none in the area have their concern/caring/commitment.
Seeing their success just with Luis Carlos Montalván and Tuesday would make anyone a believer. They have recently made strides to expand and improve their services, assisting more people.
While the weather has precluded my attending graduation programs, they've been open and encouraged involvement of others. Suggestions for improvement are welcomed and adopted.
I evaluate executives and companies for a living--and applaud ECAD.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was trained by ECAD 6 and a half years ago to work with therapy dogs as part of my job as a social worker in a residential treatment facility. I found the training I received as part of the program and the continued contact and communication with ECAD to be extremely helpful to my job. I utilize ECAD therapy dogs in individual sessions, group sessions, community activities, and treatment team meetings with my boys. The boys at MercyFirst have responded so well to the presence of the dogs and I am so glad to be a part of the program. The dogs help these severely traumatized boys feel safe and cared for in a way that no human can.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ECAD is like the little engine that could. In a time when companies are struggling to make it, ECAD is continuing to grow and strive toward bigger and better things, without losing the Mom and Pop attention to detail and knowing the people they serve.