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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Good Dog! Autism Companions

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Good Dog! is dedicated to helping children and families live better lives through autism service dog companionship since 2011.

Results: 35 autism service dog placed and supported.

Target demographics: children and families live better lives through autism service dog companionship.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 100 children and families living with autism

Geographic areas served: San Diego, California and across the USA.

Programs: autism service dog placement; community services including a free chat program for families seeking information about the service dog arena, and community outreach programs; training services including training and family services, including fundraising support to help families raise the required funds to receive an autism service dog and online continued education and support for families with an autism service dog.

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Such an amazing company to work for! Good Dog’s love and compassion for helping others is unmatched. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this team!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been the Lead Trainer for Good Dog! Autism Companions for 5 years.  I am so proud of the work we do! Not only do we help children and families with autism live better lives but we also treat our dogs with great love and care. Dog are intelligent, emotional beings so we use only positive re-enforcement training methods. We also follow the ADI  (Assistance Dog International) standards and guidelines for all aspects of our program. I couldn’t be more proud or lucky to work for such an amazing organization!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are caring and compassionate. They go above and beyond. You can see how much they truly care about what they do & that they strive to provide the best experience for not only the individuals that receive the service dogs, but also their families. They have done so much to improve the quality of life for those on the Autism spectrum. Such a wonderful organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A great organization that is giving everything to help the life of those on the autism spectrum, by proving a best friend into there life

Heather H.7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I’ve been following Good Dog since the beginning and watching the wonderful work they do to help families. This is a great organization with a heart, and a wonderful cause. Keep up the good work!

Laura S.11

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was referred to Good Dog Autism Companions a little over a year ago, still completely overwhelmed and in shock over my sons diagnosis.
I had no idea how I was going to raise the money I needed to get my son his dog. I just knew that’s what I needed to do.
This company is amazing! Not only did they give me the tools for all of my fundraising, they were by my side helping and encouraging me every step of the way.
Much like any progression with Autism, this is a process that takes time and is not without its ups and downs.
We have now raised all of our funds and are in the matching process.
I have made some great friends, got tons of parenting and pet advice from families ahead of us.
Good Dog is a family that I am truly blessed and proud to be apart of.

DM Gaivin

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Dog! Autism Companions has given my family the greatest gift we've ever had on our autism journey. Our autism companion dog, Riley, has helped calm my 14 year old son with his gentle presence and bottomless patience. He's also provided my autistic 16 year old son with opportunities to take responsibility (feeding him, walking him, helping to bathe him) which is a clear source of pride and accomplishment. And as for me, Riley is now my partner-in-crime and I never feel alone, not with his sweet temperament and incredible amount of training provided by Good Dog! Autism Companions. For sure this family is better thanks to the work of this amazing nonprofit.

Donor

Rating: 5

My colleagues and I helped to sponsor a Good Dog! for a local family. What a gift for everyone thanks to the team at Good Dog! The dog has changed a family's life and given us the ability to be a part of the process while changing our lives too. Doesn't get much better than that.

I will be a Good Dog! donor for life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Dog! Autism Companions has been a blessing to our family! Even before you apply for a dog, Laura Sylvester will generously spend 30 minutes telling you about the world of service dogs, life with a service dog, the range of service dog organizations, trainers, and anything else you ask her, as you begin this journey. All of the Good Dogs I’ve seen (including ours) are incredible in terms of their calm, intuition, and capability. Good Dog’s process is perfectly thought out and implemented. The handler training week is intense and wonderful. Our dog has enriched my child’s and our whole family’s lives more than words can capture. Good Dog is an exceptional organization run by devoted, caring, altruistic people who have been there.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

GoodDog Autism Companions has added to our family's lives in ways I never imagined. Our GoodDog George has developed a relationship with my daughter that has heightened her independence, her confidence and sense of competence, and the maturity necessary for being responsible for another living being. She loves him and is always proud to have him with her. As George's primary handler, I have fallen so hard, that sometimes I think he does more for me than for my child! He is impeccably trained and amazingly attuned to us and our emotions. Even my non-animal-person husband is crazy about him. Laura and Rick Sylvester have created - and tirelessly devote themselves - to a most wonderful, necessary, and effective organization. I am so grateful to them. I hope Good Dog flourishes and grows for many years to come!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m so honored to be a puppy raiser for this amazing organization! Good dog! has taught me so much about positive training methods and attention to detail. They truly care about each and every family and dog. I’ve had the best experience raising Good Dog! Dunbar for them and can’t wait to continue raising pups in the future.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Good Dog does more than good! This organization is run by a genuine family who helped their son and now helps countless other families. It’s been incredible to witness the difference a dog can make in a family. Follow their Instagram & Facebook pages and you will start to see the stories that flood in of all the Good in Good Dog!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Three years ago we looked into getting a service dog for our daughter Evelyn, who has Autism. We thought that her natural connection to animals would make a service dog a good fit. We were hesitant to commit to a company due to so many heartbreaking stories about fraudulent operations. Then we found Good Dog Autism Companions. I had a real conversation with the executive director/ Autism mom. She never tried to sell us on a dog. She was invested in making sure it was the right fit for our daughter and our family. Throughout the fund raising, the matching and the training the Good Dog team was supportive, responsive and always caring. Our daughter and her dog, Naboo are a great team and it has made a huge difference in the quality of her life. I would not hesitate to recommend Good Dog Autism Companions. I think of the Good Dog team as our extended family.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

We can't thank Good Dog enough for our service dog NaBoo! They pair their knowledge of the service dog world beautifully with their first hand experiences with Autism. Together they have created more than a company, it's an extended family of love and support.

Angela B.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Dog! Has been amazing for our family. They do an amazing amount of training and make sure each dog is matched to the right family. Our Good Dog! Joy has been amazing for our girls and everyone at Good Dog! Is there for you if you have any questions or concerns. They definitely make sure you know you have their support.

1 Amanda B.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Dog! Autism Companions is a remarkable organization that has forever changed our family in the most amazing way. Good Dog! Charlie came home to our family in July 2017 and she immediately formed the most incredible bond with our son Cade. She has given Cade the confidence to interact with his peers and increased his self esteem and confidence in social situations. Charlie makes public outings as a family so much less stressful, her presence alone provides a sense of calm for our entire family. Charlie’s ability to provide sensory input for Cade has eliminated our need for weighted blankets and weighted vests. When Charlie started attending school with Cade we noticed a dramatic decrease in Cade’s outbursts, anxiety, and frustrations in the school setting. Charlie was able to provide the redirection and sensory needs in the school setting that allowed Cade to stay in the general education classroom longer then ever before. Good Dog!’s owners and trainers are is incredibly supportive and I always look forward to our phone calls. They are quick to answer your questions, provide support, or help with a decision. They have become part of our family. I can not imagine working with a better organization. Good Dog!’s three- tier approach to matching their dogs and families is remarkable and I truly believe it is why our bond with Charlie is so strong. Good Dog! Autism Companions will continue to change lives in extraordinary ways!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I don’t think I will ever stop being amazed at how Good Dog! Charlie's presence has changed our home and Cade’s life for the better. She brightens our entire home and her love for Cade is just incredible. Watching her watch him makes my heart full. She is truly the missing puzzle piece to our family. Good Dog! Autism Companions offers endless support throughout the entire process of being matched with your child's forever friend and their training and bonding course is simply phenomenal. The week I spent in California training with Charlie and the team was a life changing experience for me. Their support is continues after your Good Dog! comes home. This organization truly changes the lives of autism families!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with Good Dog! has been amazing. This NFP changed my families life when my son received his Good Dog! After we recover our dog we could always count on the support from the Good Dog team and we truly feel that we are part of a family. Our family loves to be involved in anything Good Dog related as we want to see other families have such a wonderful experience like we did.

1 Kathy O.2

Donor

Rating: 5

My involvement with Good Dog has been an incredibly rewarding experience! Even a little goes a long way in connecting families with four legged companions that change their lives. Thank you Good Dog for truly making a difference to all those you touch!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been such a blessing volunteering for Good Dog and seeing the magic and love they spread year after year. This organization and its founders give families hope and show how a service companion can change their lives. I have seen it first hand and feel honored to have been there to share in the love and joy when families take their dogs home for the first time. They are much more than service dogs, they are apart of family.

lisa

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't thank Good Dog! enough for the work they do. They have made children living with autism safer, more confident and happier by their work every day by providing a much needed companion. Thank you Good Dog! for how you make a difference.

Stephanie A.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son is 16 has autism. Good Dog! Worked with our family to find a dog to match our situation. They work with you and I highly recommend..

1 Brittney M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was given such an amazing opportunity to work for Good Dog! as a trainer. It was the best decision of my life and I owe it all to Laura and Sam for taking a chance with me. It was a dream come true and I feel like part of the family with them! I have also met with the amazing family who will receive the first dog I’ve trained and lots of other families! It’s such a great community, so loving, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

VanessaS

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a 12 year old son with autism. We are grateful to GoodDog Autism Companions as they have provided my son with his GoodDog and been there to support us every step of the way. They are truly a Great Non Profit.