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April 23, 2011

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April 23, 2011

North Star placed a dog with our son, who has high functioning Aspergers. From the first day this has made a dramatic difference in Dan's life. North Star did a wonderful job of matching an appropriate dog with our son, and of training and follow-up. We are very grateful to them, and would highly recommend them.

The Great!

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

the organization serving our family. We highly recommend North Star, and it's founder/executive director Patty Gross.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find a way for them to have more money so that they could serve more people.

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

How did you find this group?

North Star was on a morning talk show, and friends saw it and told us about the organization.

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

Making our son (with Aspergers) dramatically more self-confident and independent.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 22, 2011

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April 22, 2011

Originally trained as a dancer & now as a nurse, I have also worked as a volunteer for St. Hubert's Paws for People program visiting children & the elderly in hospitals & nursing homes with my own dogs.

My two dogs always remind me of the unconditional love that NorthStar dogs can bring &
working with puppies in their new homes has let me experience how that unconditional love can translate into a better connection for autistic children with their family & everyone else they interact with.

Photos

The Great!

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

I will always remember the tears of happiness & surprise from a family whose autistic child, who never spoke to anyone who was not a member of his family, hugged me & thanked me for bringing him his NorthStar puppy.

Ways to make it better...

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

Try to increase public awareness so that more families would be able to benefit.

April 19, 2011

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April 19, 2011

As a professional trainer and canine behavior specialit, I have worked with NorthStar Foundation for a number of years. The staff at NorthStar are dedicated to training dogs and placing them into homes with children with autism. This is a wonderful cause. I have seen children utter their first words because of contact with their service dogs. I have seen children reach out to others in ways they never have before because of the presence of these wonderful dogs.

The Great!

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

The positive impact their canine placements have in families with children with autism is enormous. These dogs not only support the affected child, but bring a level of connection with all family members, bringing the family closer together with a common bond - their beloved pet.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find ways to increase the number of placements that can be made.

April 19, 2011

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April 19, 2011

I volunteered with North Star through college and I had an amazing experience. Patty taught me a lot about autism and assistant dogs, and every week was a new lesson. I loved taking Angel back to the UConn campus and letting everyone see her. She was a wonderful dog. I walked dogs as a side job as well, but I looked more forward to walking Angel for free than I did walking a dog for money. Every Wednesday I would be so happy to finally go see Angel and the other pups, it literally made my week. This foundation is awesome in its objectives and in what it has accomplished. Patty is a great person who really cares and is passionate about North Star. I hope to keep ties with her for a long time to come. I know I have helped North Star by volunteering, but North Star has also helped me just the same.

The Great!

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

the progress that Angel has made being around so many different people. The changes from week one to the last week were visible, and it was awesome to know you had a part in that. She will help gain awareness for North Star, and that is huge.

Ways to make it better...

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

keep on keeping on. So much progress has been made and I can see it starting to really bloom and open up to everyone. Every person is touched by autism or dogs, or both, in some way, shape or form. As long as North Star continues to move forward, I think great things are to come.

April 18, 2011

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April 18, 2011

In 2010 I contacted North Star to apply to receive a service dog for my autistic son. I was overwhelmed at the specific attention that was paid to our case, and the speed at which a dog was provided. Patty at North Star works harder on quality than quantity and selects her placements very carefully. In our case as we had need of a poodle due to allergies, we lucked out as many others ask for Goldens and Labs, but a poodle happened to be just born recently when we called.

I WISH EVERYONE'S PET COUDL BE A DOG FROM NORTH STAR. The training that Lily came with even at 10 months old was remarkable, I never knew a dog could be so well behaved and calm. The changes though in my son are priceless. My son who has never bear hugged me in his life, but rather, rigidly accepts hugs, plows into Lily each day for deep pressure hugs. He whispers concerns and love into her ears that shock me. I didn't honestly know that my son had it in him! Lily has opened up a window into my son. In public the opportunities that Lily provides to increase communication is almost 100 percent from what it use to be. She is in every sense a walking therapy tool for my son. In fact we use her often at our weekly horse therapy in place of the horses and work out OT and speech situations using her. This trains my husband and I as parents to then continue that therapy in our homes, eventually eliminating the need for that outside therapy and simply using Lily in scenarios to work with our son in OT and speech and pragmatic language.

There are plenty of service dog agencies that are terrific I’m sure, but none so perfect and affordable as North Star. For a parent of autism who is already taxed in affording therapy and evaluation (I have 2 autistic sons) I consider this very important. I have run into so many people in the street who tell me they briefly looked into service animals but the 30 k cost drove them away. At a mere 5 k North Star surpasses what others can not grasp. The simplicity of letting the younger dog in the home to increase important bonding allows for this reduction of cost, as well as North Stars own diligence in fundraising much of the cost for their client. I believe that the bonding in puppy years is essential in regards children with autism and other special needs, and is not at all difficult. You don’t get handed some unruly puppy, at 10 months old our Lily didn’t dream of jumping up on a child; she sat patiently, knew how to calm down on command and understood all basic commands. If you were to offer me a 2 year old trained dog now from another agency at 30k, I wouldn’t take it. I as a parent have also found it very enjoyable and I would say calming and therapeutic for myself to be given a practically finished masterpiece in which I can add my own final touches with the help of North Stars paid trainers that they hire locally to continue you through the process. I never thought I would enjoy the classes and training, which are not overly consuming of your time as the dog is already so well trained, but enough to give you as a parent a real understanding of how to control your dog. It’s given me personally a new interest as well, Lily has served and is serving our whole family and she is not even 2 yet.

The Great!

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

Its speed, cost, and excellent training of our service dog.

Ways to make it better...

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

It’s hard to comment on any negatives, but I suppose giving clients a more step by step of what to expect in terms of services that they provide once the dog is in your home. I was amazed at how many training sessions I was given and even one of my vet bills was paid, things I hadn't expected. I worried before we got Lily how we would work it all out, so knowing things upfront is important to me. It all came together and unfolded on the way very nicely though, I really loved it!

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

How did you find this group?

online

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

My personal love for dogs and training and an increased interest in Animal assisted therapy. For my son the changes have been profound and very therapeutic.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 18, 2011

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April 18, 2011

I first contacted the North Star Foundation a little over a year ago to inquire about getting my son, affected by autism, a therapy dog. We weren't just added to a list and sent a form letter. My family was handled with the upmost respect and patience. I found that North Star was a relationship-based foundation. They are committed to making sure that child, dog and family establish a bond before, during and after placement. We were given ample opportunity to visit with our puppy before placement. This personalized commitment assures that the special needs child and dog are tempermentally suited for each other and that the child will get the maximum benefit from his therapy dog. I couldn't be happier about our placement and look forward to working with North Star as we settle in with our puppy.

The Great!

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

working with North Star to assure that my son received a therapy dog that was suited to his special needs.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would change a thing. I am so happy that I chose North Star to receive therapy dog for my son.

April 17, 2011

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April 17, 2011

I am an animal behavior consultant involved in a partnership with North Star Foundation and a Veterans Administration program in Washington state to train and place emotional assistance dogs with veterans who have PTSD, traumatic brain injuries or other mental or emotional wounds. North Star Foundation raises and provides training for the outstanding canines involved in this project, who then arrive in the Seattle area for more advanced public access training with me. The North Star dogs are exceptional for this type of team work because of their sensitive and reliable nature. North Star is an enthusiastic and valued member of this effort to support veteran reintegration into their community.

The Great!

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

The quality of the North Star Foundation dogs is what makes this program such a success. I have witnessed how a partnership with a North Star dog can transform a veteran's life and make it possible for him to overcome anxieties, deal with night terrors and find the courage to face his fears.

Ways to make it better...

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

I highly recommend North Star Foundation for families or individuals who seek emotional support or organizations that want to make a difference in someone's life.

April 17, 2011

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April 17, 2011

I have been working with North Star since 2005. In the 6 years I have been working with them, I have trained several dogs in my home, assisted trained dogs in the transition to their placement families, helped prepare for the Canine Good Citizen testing, as well as preparing the dogs and families for working with the public. North Star completes every placement with the family in mind. Every dog is specifically trained and tailored with the placement families needs.

Photos

The Great!

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

seeing the difference a North Star dog makes in the day-to-day life of the families. The assistance of a North Star dog helps children better cope with change, difficulties, and struggles.

Ways to make it better...

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

have increased funding and volunteers to be able to serve more families in need.

More feedback...

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

What is unique about this organization?

North Star breeds, trains, and places autism/emotional/social support Service Dogs with children.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 16, 2011

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April 16, 2011

i was looking for information on training a puppy to help my son who has high functioning asperger's syndrome. the North Star Foundation has been more than helpful to me. they returned my email almost immediately and had a large amount of helpful information and resources. i would recommend them to anyone looking for help in finding or training a therapy dog.

The Great!

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

resources and useful information from a very knowledgable source

Ways to make it better...

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

have them located in pennsylvania so we could visit and possibly volunteer

April 15, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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April 15, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

My son received his North Star dog, Hero, in October of 2009 when he was 11 years old. He is a child with autism and had serious problems with stress, behavior, and health problems. He had been out of school for over 2 years & had to return with an aide and full time help in our home.

Life is different now that he has his North Star dog. He is off of his medications and rarely ill. He is in a regular classroom without any extra help at school or at home. He has learned to read and write. His melt downs that once were tallied daily happen once or trice a month. Most importantly he has made friends and is happy from the moment Hero wakes him up in the morning until they lay their heads down at night. His quality of life has improved beyond words. It has been a priceless experience. It is very expensive to raise a child with autism the well bread and trained assistance dogs have so much to offer a child. Please consider donating to the North Star Foundation so they can help this next decades struggling children become contributing members of society. The economy is struggling and so our are small but hard working nonprofits but today's children still need help. If you love happy health children and dogs you will love North Star.

The Great!

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

My 4 children all benefit from the addition of our North Star dog. North Star has been responsive and knowldgeable in helping our son have a beter future.

Ways to make it better...

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

Help raise more funds to be sure that children are able to recieve their North Star dogs quickly. Early intervention is the best intervention.

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