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DogAbility Center, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Human Services, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention, Recreation & Sports, Sports

Mission: DogAbility Center's mission is to provide innovative canine-assisted experiences, using certified therapy dogs with skilled handlers that afford comfort, inspiration, socialization, education and recreation to better the lives of people of all abilities in the community.

Results: DogAbility Center evaluates, trains and certifies dogs and owners to become therapy activity teams. These dogs then participate in the educational and recreational program provided for our human participants. The educational aspects include stimulating imagination and curiosity, improving reading and language/verbal skills, following instructions, enhancing socialization and cooperation. The recreational experience includes participation with dogs in elements of canine sports, which encourages playfulness, laughter and exercise, increases energy, mobility, balance and coordination. Additionally, participants derive comfort by experiencing mutual affection from interacting with and developing a bond with a dog. In turn they experience compassion and empathy, enhance their self-esteem, sense of responsibility and feelings of competence.

Target demographics: children and adults with special needs

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 100 participants in our program

Geographic areas served: Nassau County, Long Island, New York

Programs: animal-assisted activities, play therapy, fear of dogs, stress relief

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DogAbility is an amazing place where people and dogs connect and learn from each other. I am a volunteer dog handler along with my dog Shelby. We have lovingly worked with kids and adults with special needs, seniors, children who have a fear of dogs, and kids parties for those that love dogs. The unconditional love that a dog gives is priceless.

DogAbility has changed the lives of so many people, including my own. What an incredible feeling when a special needs child or adult has connected with a dog and accomplished a task or a child afraid of dogs feels confident enough to actually pet a dog. The dogs love being at DogAbility. The pride they feel when finishing an obstacle course or making someone laugh or smile brings them great joy.

Come see where the magic happens and even volunteer. It will definitely be the highlight of your day and it will fill your heart with joy.

Brett K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 10-year old son has a terrible fear of dogs, to the point where he would either avoid going to someone's house if they had a dog, or walking on the other side of the street if he saw a dog. Dogability and its volunteers have helped him get more comfortable with dogs through exposure therapy. This is a fantastic place and an indispensable non-profit.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been taking my 6 year old daughter Mary to DogAbility for about a year because she was terrified of dogs. To say the change in her has been dramatic would be an understatement. She has gone from running into the street to escape a dog to petting a dog on the subway. I can’t thank DogAbility enough. The people running it are kind and the volunteers are simply amazing. Thank you to everyone there.

Client Served

Rating: 5

After looking around the local community to help my teenage daughter with her fear of dogs, I was so excited when I found DogAbility. Working with them to help overcome her fear has been a great experience. Everyone there is understanding, caring and patient. The dogs are wonderful as well, especially Willie! I would highly recommend working with them to anyone who is looking for a great experience with dog related issues.

~Jodi S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at dogability with my 5lb. dog. It is a very rewarding experience to see so many different people benefit from this organization. I have watched children at parties and scouts and other groups be delighted with the entertainment and love from the dogs. Then there is another group of individuals who are afraid of dogs. Dogability calls it fear of dog. They slowly work with each brave individual to overcome their fear. It brought tears to my eyes to see the progress as they learn to not be afraid and love the dogs. This is a wonderful organization and I am so honored to be a part of dogability.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Finding DogAbility is goldmine for me. I spent many years working with the disabled population as well as volunteering with the Guide Dog Foundation.
This organization is the perfect blend of both worlds. The dogs provide unconditional love and a sense of belonging to all who come. The dogs thoroughly love participating and having interaction with all... Human and canines alike! It's a win/win for all!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at DogAbility is and has been an extremely rewarding experience. It is just wonderful to see the positive impact the volunteer dogs have on the children. I have seen a frightened, hyper s/n child arriving and the same child smiling and calm leaving. It is just wonderful to see these children interact with the dogs at DogAbility. All of the volunteers are dedicated, giving people hoping to make a positive difference in the life of these children, if only for a short while. All of the dogs are awesome. They seem to know what is expected of them. There are serious dogs, your clowns, very obedient dogs and just plain dogs. They all show unconditional love. My dog and I are proud to be a part of this great organization.

5 Judy156

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love, love, love volunteering with my dog, Sergio, at Dogability. The programs they offer are so wonderful to be a part of. Sass and Vicki are so dedicated to their mission which is what makes it so great. They are passionate about making everyone's experience one to remember.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a DogAbility volunteer for almost a year and wish that I still had enough time to volunteer! It is amazing to see the impact that the dogs and volunteers have on the participants, I often had to hold back tears because it is so touching! Every day was a new, positive experience at DogAbility for the volunteers, dogs, and participants. I can not wait until my schedule opens up a bit and I can return to volunteering with the team.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My 4 year old Golden Retriever, Cooper and I are part of the DogAbililty Pet Therapy team. We have beenough certified at the center since June, 2015. The experiences I have personally had are awesome! To be a part of something so magically is precious. To watch the love that Cooper gives to the many people that he interacts with is amazing. To have my dog interact with a child with special needs is not something that can be 'taught'...he just KNOWS what to do, and how to act. HE knows how to calm down a child that is upset or even a little leary or scared. He knows when to give kisses, and loves having children all over him! The center does so much for so many. It is empowering to be there and an absolute pleasure to be a part of. we ♡ being a part of DogAbility!!
Jeanne and Cooper

3 Daniela F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my family!
Wonderful place and people. We help others and specially ourselves.

Love you guys.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DogAbility is the one place I don't have to keep a hawkeye on my son. He wanders freely interacting with the handlers and the dogs who are all experienced and patient. He is especially fond of Christopher the golden retriever and Ugo the german sheppard. Whenever we are away from DogAbility for a stretch of time I can see the change in my son. When he has attended a session at DogAbility he's calmer, less stressed and more settled. Love this place and its dedicated all-volunteer staff!