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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Human Services, Youth Development

Mission: Summit Assistance Dogs is a nonprofit organization that empowers people and animals to greater heights by providing highly skilled assistance dogs to people living with disabilities or institutions such as rehab centers and long-term care facilities that can benefit from their use. Summit trains dogs for mobility assistance, hearing and professional therapy for people of all ages (including children) .

Through partnership with an assistance dog, people with disabilities gain greater independence and experience more joy, often times pursuing career and academic goals that were previously unattainable.

Summit strives to acquire as many of its dogs as possible from shelters and breed rescue groups to help alleviate the pet overpopulation problem.

Summit presents educational programs to schools and is committed to including as many youth in our program as possible.

Programs: To provide highly-skilled mobility, hearing and therapy dogs for people with disabilities. During 2014, summit assistance dogs had the following program accomplishments: -graduated 5 new service dog partnerships -provided follow-up support and recertification for 45 existing partnerships -provided a rehabilitative training program for inmates at the monroe correctional complex -provided numerous educational presentations for various community organizations -rescued and provided permanent homes for 8 shelter dogs -received accreditation from assistance dogs international -purchased land for future construction of a new training facility

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter Drew received a companion/helper dog from Summit in the Spring of 2010. Drew was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when she was 6 months old. She is in a wheelchair and physically she relies on others to do most things for her. Drew says the day she received her dog, Feather, was one of the best days of her life. Feather and Drew have a special connection and they love each other. Summit is a wonderful organization. They have brought a lot of joy to Drew's life.

mrssmiddy

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Emma and I am 5 years old. Just before my fourth birthday my legs started hurting so bad that I couldn't walk. My mom and dad had to carry me a lot, but they thought I was just jealous because I had a new baby brother that got to be carried everywhere. But then at my fourth birthday party my mom and dad bought me an American Girl doll and I barely smiled because my legs and arms hurt so bad. I was so miserable I even let my best friend Megan open all my presents for me. After my birthday party, my parents took me to Children's Hospital emergency room. About two weeks later, I was diagnosed with a rare, incurable, auto-immune disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. Basically this disease causes my body to attack it's own healthy muscle tissues causing joint pain and skin rash. About six months later, a friend of my moms suggested we should apply for a therapy dog from Summit Assistance Dogs. I got to meet lots of different dogs, but a Golden Retriever named Anya fell in love with me and I fell in love with her immediately. In August we finally got to take Anya home with us. We are best friends. My mom and dad say that we are so blessed by all the people at Summit and we wouldn't even have Anya if it wasn't for them. I am very happy. Love, Emma Smiddy (age 5)

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received a Summit dog to provide therapy for my classroom of special needs students. My students are excited to come to school everyday to see "Daisy ". Not only does Daisy help my students emotionally, but I have found that test scores and reading levels have improved with the students who receive Daisy's therapy. I am so thankful to Summit for helping me improve the lives of my students.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I were joint applicants for a dog, and we brought home a beautiful Golden Retriever just this month. There is no way to fully express our joy and gratitude for this incredible gift! He has truely changed our lives for the better. During training we met trainers and other volunteers and were very impressed with their thougherness and dedication. They care about the future of both their dogs and their clients. Overall, they are awesome!

eightpaws

Client Served

Rating: 5

As I write this review, my service dog Togo is cuddled up next to me on the bed. There is no greater healing than this sensation of Togo gently breathing, with his body snug against my leg. Togo and I just completed our training together this month. There truly are no words to properly express my new life with Togo. Summit Assistance Dogs does so much more than matching people with their forever companion, they bring unconditional love into people's lives. When I applied for a service dog with Summitt Assistance Dogs, I had just lost my previous dog to cancer. They were so determined to find me a match to ensure my quality of life did not continue to decline. The expertise and dedication of the staff and trainers to find my match was absolutely incredible. After meeting Togo for the first time, I fell absolutely in love. Thankfully, Togo chose me as well. The training Togo and I went through was extensive and thorough. Ensuring that not only would I be competent in handling Togo, but that our bond together was complete. The staff and trainers did everything possible to work with my disabilities and supported me in every aspect of the application, matching and training process. I feel as if I've made life-long friends. It's not often that people can say they have changed a life. Well, the people of Summit Assistance Dogs get to go home every night and know that they have changed so many lives and continue to do so. It's obvious that everyone at Summit is there because they have a passion for what they do. I will be forever greatful to this amazing organization and the people who made sure that my life will be forever enriched by the skills and love of my boy Togo.

Client Served

Rating: 5

LucSherry wrote: I received a service dog from Summit 2 years ago. I can't express fully, through words, how having a Summit dog has enhanced the quality of my life. Summit is very conscientious when it comes to placing their service dogs; they care that the right dog matches with the right person, and they're VERY good at knowing how to do that. Summit follows up, and stays in touch with their clients. Should a situation arise where dog and client have difficulty in meshing as a team, Summit's exceptional trainers will willingly work with them until the issue has been resolved. This organization's cornerstone is one of integrity, and compassion. They make a profound impact on the lives of the clients which they serve.

dogs4cn

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had raised service dogs for another group, so I knew what kind of training I thought was best. When I was in the need of a service dog myself, I did a lot of research. Summit Assistance Dogs was one of two schools I thought I could work with. During my interview process, the staff let me interview them as well. I choose to apply for a Summit Assistance Dog. I am very happy! My match with Murphy was perfect! The trainers evaluate each dog separately as well as each client's needs. Matching the pair is very important to the staff. I am now in the process of retiring Murphy and will be applying for a successor dog from Summit Assistance Dogs.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was placed with my service dog Titus from Summit a few years back and it was one of the best experiences of my life. The trainers and staff there are incredibly competent and patient. During the intensive 2 week training course they helped train me to become a dog handler and worked with my needs as a disabled person to make sure that my dog knew what I needed. My time with Titus since has been incredibly meaningful and rewarding beyond my expectations. He does all the things you might expect from a service dog. Retrieve dropped items, understand and follow commands, and even open doors. But, it is his wonderful ability to melt social barriers that has changed the way I see myself in public and led to so many interesting encounters with people I would have been too shy to meet on my own. Summit and Titus have enriched my life, but there's still so many people in need of a dog. Please, help Summit grow so that more people can have a Titus of their own!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Summit is a life changing organization. My 11 year old daughter received, Feather, a companion/helper dog from Summit almost two years ago. Everyday Feather makes Drew laugh. It warms a mothers heart.