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Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Training, Animals, Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Health, Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Rehabilitative Care, Veterans

Mission: Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc., was created for the charitable purpose of rescuing, raising, training and then donating medical service/assistance dogs to mentally and/or physically impaired individuals to provide assistance, independence and improve the quality of life of both the recipient and the dog. In addition, it is our goal to promote education and pioneer research studies to further advancement of service dog training, raise public awareness regarding the laws pertaining to service dogs and lessen the dependency of the handicapped on government, communities, caregivers and families.

Results: We are so very proud to say that of veterans receiving our service dogs, the suicide, attempted suicide and divorce rates have fallen to ZERO. Additionally, our recipients report reduction or elimination of necessary prescription medications, improved family and community life - even a return to the workforce! This is not a quick fix, or a feel-good program. This is a life-altering solution for those suffering from PTSD.

Target demographics: disabled veterans suffering from PTSD &/or physical disabilities

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: federally protected, individually-trained medical service dogs

Community Stories

98 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Guardian Angel organization staff and trainers are nothing short of outstanding. It is clear within minutes how well led, organized, professional, and caring everyone is at Guardian Angels. They truly make a difference.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so grateful for Guardian Angels. My dad and his dog have an incredible bond! He laughs and plays with Whaler, and it’s so heartwarming to see. I haven’t seen him smile and laugh the way he does with Whaler in years. Thank you for everything!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Prior to being paired with my service dog Bull, my life is in a hard downward spiral. I suffer from PTSD, major panic attacks and anxiety attacks, horrific nightmares and night terrors, massive mood swings, prior suicide attempts and I avoided so many things that I used to enjoy in the past before go I went to Iraq. I basically closed myself off from the world. I hardly spoke to any family or friends. When I did go to the store it felt like I was stuffed in a shoe box. Any type of crowd I felt as if I was suffocating. Any type of traffic, I swore I was being followed or there were IED's lining the road or snipers on rooftops. In 2016, I was paired with Bull. That very first night, he shielded me from a guy who was begging for money to by drugs. Later that night, he woke me up a few times from the nightmares I was having. Throughout the almost 3 years with him, I am more comfortable going into stores and restaurants. I am gaining bits of my life back that I thought I would never see or do again. And to this day when I have nightmares he will wake me up, they snuggle close with his head on my chest. His breathing and knowing he is right there helps me relax. A couple of weeks ago, I had a major drop in my blood sugars, I knew something was very wrong, but Bull had started alerting to it 15 minutes before I had the issue. Biggest thing, he was never trained for that because I am not diabetic. He is a life saver. The whole group at Guardian Angels Medical Service dogs are life savers and life changers

1 ThortheGuardian

Client Served

Rating: 5

GAMSD has been a life saver for me. I am a Police Officer that was injured in the line of duty. I suffered a traumatic brain injury, a permanent spinal cord injury as well as developing PTSD. My life before being paired with my dog,Thor, was very difficult. I could not be left alone for fear of falls due to my brain injury, I was afraid to be in public, and my inability to do other tasks. Now Thor is by my side at all times. He is able to help me if I fall, always watches my back , keeps people from getting too close to me, calms me during night terrors and forces me to get out in public. He is amazing. I don’t know where I’d be without him.

This organization is amazing and they truly due this work from their hearts and it shows. Their time and dedication training their dogs and helping their recipients is second to none. I have seen a lot of service dogs and by far I would say GAMSD dogs are the best trained I’ve ever seen. I was so impressed with them that once my family finished researching and speaking with them we decided they were the only organization for us and we would wait for however long it would take to get one of their dogs.

They not only demand the best from their dogs but they also did a thorough check on me as well. They wanted to make sure that I would be an appropriate match for one of their Supers. The application packet was no small task to fill out and that gave us even more faith in them. They don’t just hand out dogs to anyone. This isn’t a fill out a form and come get a dog after they know a few commands and then good luck. These are highly trained animals that also are highly intelligent and are trained to think for themselves to best help their handler. How they do what they do is incredible.

The last thing I want to say is that once we are paired we join not just an organization but a family. Their is a support group of recipients to help you along the way as well as being able to contact trainers, veterinarians, or anyone else in the organization up to and including the owner if you need to talk.

None of this would be possible without the generosity of others. Each dog that is trained for a recipient is sponsored (there is no charge to the recipient for their dog)! How amazing is that?? Receiving Thor made that hit home even more for me. Knowing that someone donated so that I could receive him renewed my faith that there are amazing people out there. In fact it made me want to do something special and pay it forward. With that said I set out to raise enough money to sponsor a dog for a future recipient. I got my entire family involved. It was not easy we worked hard in person and on social media. It took over a year but I’m proud to say that I am the first recipient to have the privilege of sponsoring a service dog and one extra perk is that I got to pick the name as well. Knowing that I am giving someone else the opportunity to have a new normal like someone gave me is the best feeling in the world. So if that’s something that you want to be a part of then look no further and come join Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs family with me!

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a Police Sgt who was injured in the line of duty. I sustained a TBI a spinal cord injury as well as other injuries. I lost my memories of anything before assault. I felt I had lost everything. No memories, couldn’t work, constant pain, PTSD I had it all. Then I was paired with my service dog, Thor, and everything changed. He had my back and I could focus on me. He is always with me and we are a team. I depend on him and he on me. I’m starting to get my life back as much as possible. I don’t know where I’d be without Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. They truly save lives.

Review from Guidestar

the_ben_keen

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can not say enough about this amazing, life-saving organization. I met GAMSD a few years and over the years I saw the amazing things service dogs were doing to help my friends so I finally made the decision to apply. A year later, I found myself in Florida with my wife receiving my service dog, Bolt.

Before having Bolt, I wasn't really able to do some things that many people take for credit like going to the grocery store by myself without having some level of an anxiety attack. Before Bolt, I couldn't sit somewhere unless I could see every door and have a plan for my exit. Before Bolt, I had some dark thoughts and if you would have asked me then if I was going to see my 40th birthday I would have had said probably not.

With Bolt, I'm able to go out. My wife can send me too the store and know I'll be okay. I can sit comfortably whenever I go and I'm making plans to celebrate my 40th birthday at camp in a few months. This is the power of these dogs. Everyone is familiar with some of the larger names within the veteran support arena of non-profits and while they do some great things, I've been hard pressed to find an organization like GAMSD with such a caring, educated and passionate staff like those that work for GAMSD.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been so lucky to have been paired with a beautiful Super Medical Service Dog "Foxy" from Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. The Staff, The Traininers and the entire organization has been incredible through this process. With COVID-19 being an issue their team planned out and conducted our training by coming to us in Western PA. My New Norm has already become a reality and it would not have happened without the GAMSD team. They are a class act and quality organization with a goal that in incredible. I truly have been blessed to have been paired with Foxy and I am so greatful.

They have made a difference in my life!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I served as a Navy Corpsman for 20 years. I was witness to many horrific injuries and events. As an ambulance crew member and later an ER Supervisor, trauma was an every day event. Being a woman veteran, I also experienced sexual discrimination and sexual assault. All this combined resulted in PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I had become a hermit and withdrew from life. I could no longer function outside my home. Guardian Angels helped me start living again rather than just existing. When I met my dog Patton, I immediately felt less anxious and overwhelmed. He calms me, alerts me when my blood sugar is too high or too low, and has even alerted when I was having a stroke. GAMSD is not only a helpful organization...it is a life saving one. I'm not sure if I would be here today, if not for GAMSD!

2 Melanie Ann D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Guardian Angels has become a family to me. From my first phone call to them and even now, I know that I can reach out for assistance and they will come through. This organization has given my life new meaning and I do not know if I would be here today without Whinney. She gives me reason and purpose in life.

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Guardian Angels saved me when years of VA visits and many different prescriptions did nothing but make me feel like I was on a roller coaster. I was sponsored for my dog and she has given me my life back. Without this agency I might not be here today!

Review from Guidestar

3 Gary D.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experiance with GAMSD has been nothing short of miraculous. From the jntial training, to interaction pre and post pairing with Brooks. Who by the way is amazing. She has been all I ever hoped and then Some. She is exceptionally well behaved and trained so well. She is my best friend and has changed my life. Every time i am out somewhere i get comments on how well behaved she is. In short she is my shining light, and i have so much praise for GAMSD.

Review from Guidestar

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for the organization in 2011 after I was able to witness the significant positive changes one of their medical service dogs had on my father. In 2013 I was asked to join the board of directors and now I get to be part of an organization that gives back to the disabled in our country. I love my role at GAMSD and look forward to every opportunity where we can help others.

Review from Guidestar

Frank S.5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I have applied and pyt in paperwork for this company 3+ years ago! I have consistently called them and sent emails and the excuses are still going! I put all my trust into this company and they failed! I believe them and thought this was the normal process in getting a service dog! This has prompted me to look elsewhere and start all over again. I was forced to say something so that no other veterans have to go through this long wait to get the help they need. The person that I delt with during most of this long process was Debbie.

1 Rod L.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Rocket and I have been paired a little over 3 years. I do not know where I would be without him. He alerts me to all my medical needs. medicalservicedogs.org is an amazing organization that has given me my life back in the form of a new normal. I am a veteran, there are 22 veterans who commit suicide on a daily basis but those paired with Medical Service dogs from this organization
are not a part of that statistic. I can not pay it forward enough to them.
Please choose them, they help so many.
Thank you

Review from Guidestar

2 Sarah180

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have being paired for 5 years and every time that I have needed one of them, trainers, office manager, Carol, volunteers, they are just one phone call away to aid me, thanks to the effort of all of them I'm alive today, because without them Hero my service dog wouldn't be possible for me. They were just the brightest star that shine when I needed the most, I called their farm Home.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name Is Sarah, I am the recipient of #superservicedog Hero.
Before receiving Hero in 2014 I was a complete shut in, meaning I rarely left my house, and when I did it usually ended very badly and would take me days to recover. In April 2014 I was paired with Hero and my life suddenly changed and I started to venture out into the world again. Now I am able to go places and talk to people and be normal once again! I not only received Hero, but they also have become my friends and some I consider my family. The love and support of all the staff is awesome!

Review from Guidestar

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have only been with my Nina for a year now. During that time we have had our ups and downs, and through it all Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs has assisted with follow up training both at our house and the farm.
Follow up phone calls and concern for our joint success.
Nina and I have succeeded and grown together , by the network of trainers, office staff, volunteers, foster families and fellow recipients. We are better than before and stronger today than yesterday.
I've learned I must trust my dog as much as I trust my new family , my new Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog family.
Jim and Nina

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
8

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jim and my Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog is "Nina".
I first contacted them just over two years ago. We took our tri- pod miniature pincher "Piper" in for evaluation.
Our first contact was with Deborah Foor and she set the evaluation appointment.
The Kennel Master came out and evaluated Piper and said he was smart enough but this is a 24/7 job and would be too much for his little feet and 3 legs.
Then they explained how as a Veteran and if vetted properly and approved i may qualify for one of these life saving dogs for free at no cost to me.
We got the application and then moved a few months later. Finally I submitted the paperwork and got approved.
It took me over a year and half to get paired.
During my waiting period I attended several events and then met and made friends with other previously united recipients. I urge folks to do this as it gives you an education in waiting that for me proved to proved to be invaluable.
I would get dissapointed and other recipients would get me to chill out.
I would keep in contact with Deborah Foor and other staff and not once was I made to feel I was being a pain.
I have had my Nina home a week now and her and Piper are doing better each day. Nina and I are bonding much better each day and I have had her at a meeting, out to the mall for lunch and she is doing outstanding.
GAMSD has a unique blend of staff, trainers (which I found out have a multitude of training backgrounds), volunteers, foster families and even the board of directors are made up of God given talents.
Nina and I are new to each other and she is already alerting me for my specific needs, but the way she is adjusting and they are training me I feel the future will give me a quality of life , the likes I haven't seen in years. Thank you Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, and the sponsors to make this a "new normal".

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

They work very hard to provide people with disabilities a proven management tool to make our lives easier. My dog lets me know when my PTSD is kicking in and to use the dog to help manage my symptoms.

2 Robert B.9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been paired with my service dog for 3 years now. Through the 3 years the staff at Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs has helped with follow up training, and currently we are in ghe process of new training for new medical conditions. We have never been charged for anything related to the Service dog training.
This organization really cares for peopke with Disabilities and it shows.

Review from Guidestar

3 Jody S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being medically separated from the military, I am riddled with issues. I had bi lateral adrenal failure/cancer. This needless to say has caused my blood sugar and blood pressures to become uncontrolled, volatile/lethal.

As you can imagine, my life became that of a non stop pharmacy. Evry pain, headache etc became "is this it, I'm about to die."

Suicide became an option, but to the point that I welcomed death. Social anxiety and PTSD then ensued. Working wasnt viable, leaving the somewhat comforts of my home became a battle with my family.

Finally, at work, having a conversation with a co worker about my most recent episode of PTSD, we discussed a dog (option given many times by my DR, but my wife has allergies, etc) and this was overhead by a co worker who happened to be a chair person for PNC Bank and thier fund raising event Mutt Strut, they immediately TOLD ME I was getting a dog. They didnt ask. They informed me of other employees at PNC who have recieved dogs and the benefits to thier lives.

I must admit that I was skeptical, nervous and excited. Through the vetting process, as not everyone is eligible for a dog, I felt at ease that the right decision was being made. The staff, the volunteers the facilities are ultra reflective of their passions for ME and my new battle buddy Nick.

I will tell you that the bonding process is not only with your dog, but it will also be with everyone involved. Leaving g the farm and its inhabitants was super hard.

Finally, one week after returning, I had a MD appt. My blood pressure was HALF...sugar was way better. My coworkers whonhadmt seen or talked to me for months were amazed at the change on me. My nurse who has known me for 8 years said I was way different, my head wasnt on a swivel,I talked slower, I wasnt high strung... I OWE IT ALL TO GUARDIAN ANGELS.....thisbisna life I never thought could happen...yet here I am.

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Marine veteran and began a teaching career as a High School Asst. Band Director/Band Director immediately upon returning to WV. In the spring of 2015, I sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury in a motor vehicle accident and was subsequently permanently disabled from teaching 6 months later.

After teaching for 20 years and the last 5 working a part-time job, I had also become an empty nester at the same time I became disabled. Recovering from a TBI requires a lot of rest—that’s when the PTSD crept in because I no longer had anything to keep my mind busy.

I finally (after 20 years) sought help at my local VA—and they have been great. But when you live with chronic pain, major depression, PTSD, TBI—it became too much for me on 26 Dec 17.

I walked into my VA’s Mental Health lobby and swallowed an undetermined amount of muscle relaxers. Ended up in ICU and landed myself in a lockdown unit at another VA.

I have been in residential treatment, outpatient treatment, in addition to my standing weekly therapy appointments. It was helping, but just wasn’t enough. And then....

A good friend of mind told me our local cable company Armstrong had raised enough money to give 5 local vets service dogs and encouraged me to apply. I am so glad I did.

Before I came to “the farm” at Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs and was paired with Yogi—my life was going to the VA Monday-Thursday. I couldn’t go to any store independently, I wouldn’t even step outside.

Yogi is giving me my life back and there really are no words to express the gratitude I feel for everyone having a hand in this amazing pairing.

The bonus of this experience was leaving with 4 lifelong friends. I knew I was going to be paired with a service dog but that’s about as far as my thought process allowed me to go. All veterans have an instant connection regardless of branch, we all miss the commraderie. What’s so extraordinary about “The Fab Five”—the fact that we never had to have the “what are you in for talk”. There was an unspoken, sincere, respectful understanding of where we had all been and that we were moving forward together.

There is zero chance I’ll be part of the 22 a day with Yogi by my side. We are a team and I will never let him down.

Review from Guidestar

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough about GAMSD. They paired me with my Super Service Dog Angel on January 24th 2019. She has already changed my life in just this short time. The experience I had with GAMSD has been absolutely amazing. They truly are the best at what they do, and they are worth the wait it sometimes takes to be paired with a dog. So glad I found them! I dont know what I would've done without them! Thank you GAMSD. Thank you so much.

Review from Guidestar

5 GinaJ

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a First Responder during the OKC Bombing on 04/19/1995. I have suffered a traumatic brain injury and Epilepsy that has been difficult to control. Guardian Angels paired me with a very special Seizure Alert and Response Animal last month. He has already been alerting me and has prevented multiple falls for me. Although we are still in our honeymoon period- he has already enriched my life and made my world a safer place.
The trainers and office staff showed such patience and empathy- thank you seems inadequate. My family and I will be forever grateful.
Gina and Rhino the “Apache” Warrior

Review from Guidestar

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would like to thank the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Inc. for the Opportunity to train my dog Rocky. Both of my trainers were excellent and knowledgeable and very helpful. Rocky makes my life so much easier on a daily basis. This organization does a wonderful job.

Review from Guidestar

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. truly unleashes the power to heal! As an employee at Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. I get to witness first hand all the hard work that goes into each and every one of of these dogs. As a participant in the fostering program, I also get to experience how much patience, dedication and time it takes to train one service dog. Fostering a service dog was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had here at GAMSD and I look forward to doing it again in the future!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hi,

I work for Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs and I can say first hand that this company walks the walk when it comes to giving everything they have to serve those with disabilities and it doesn't stop with just our recipients either. I myself suffered Traumatic Brain Injury in a car accident approx 3 years ago and Guardian Angels gave me a shot at having as normal of a life as possible by hiring me. They have been amazing!! And it has been amazing for my recovery and my family. They know I have certain limitations and most importantly work around them with me to help me succeed. When Guardian Angels say they care about helping people with disabilities, they mean it and they prove it on daily basis. I am but one example of this among the many and I look forward to giving that same gift back to others and I am proud and grateful to be able to do that alongside such a heartfelt and honest company like Guardian Angels.

Thank you ,

Chris

5 Andrea G.2

Client Served

Rating: 5


Haylee unfortunately was in the 1200 building at MSD on, February 14th, the day of one of the largest mass school shootings. On the day of love, she heard and witnessed 17 friends and staff members shot and killed before her eyes. Since then she has been suffering with anxiety attacks, terrifying nightmares, and the fear of being alone. However, Spree instantly put the smile back on her face, the ability to sleep soundly, and to know she’s never alone. Spree is giving her the strength to move forward, one day at a time, with the same determination and confidence she had prior to this horrific day. We are forever grateful to all the hard workers at the Guardian Angels medical support dogs that make this even possible. From the moment we stepped on the farm we were treated with nothing but love and support. Each one, of the many, who touch our lives, will be in our hearts forever. With all the hate we see around the world these days, it’s amazing to feel the love!

Review from Guidestar

7 markamis

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I would like to thank everyone involved in my pairing,Miranda who helped me with my application ,the persons who approved my application,Debbie for arranging all of my travel, there was so many, TOM , James, Jena ,
Christine, Julie , and so many more, I felt so privileged, and was one of the happiest days I've had in a long time when i met Thor for the first time, they made us all feel at home and they made our training fun,
also I have made such great new friends, Thank you all from the bottom of my heart,

Review from Guidestar

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have recently been paired with Kash at GAMSD and am already seeing a difference in my life. I have not been able to walk in five years and had surgery to help me walk again; however, I still lose balance frequently. Kash helps me balance and get up (when I need assistance). He has an amazing personality and everyone just loves him. I feel safer having him near me and have been able to go to stores without assistance. My parents said that they can see my self confidence rising and that I seem to be glowing. I have never slept better and feel that my life has already tremendously improved. I can never thank the sponsors or GAMSD enough for helping place this amazing Service Dog in my life. I cannot imagine how I ever got along without him.

Review from Guidestar

7 gobronto

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a recipient of one of their service dogs at "Guardian Angel Medical Service Dogs." The staff is absolutely wonderful, and I could not be happier with my service dog. I really hope that GAMSD grows, and are capable of offering this opportunity to even more veterans. It is amazing the positive impact this has made in my life, and I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone involved with this program.

Review from Guidestar

7 CnDVitale

Volunteer

Rating: 5

On Monday 19, February 2018 we got Rhino. He will be the 20th dog that we will work with as foster trainers. Our volunteer "job" is to take a trained dog, usually around a year old, that has very little exposure to dealing with everyday life and take them everyplace you go, shopping, movies, doctors, etc. Let the dog meet people and experience so they will be ready when paired and not require their partner to deal with some of the surprises of life that can be upsetting for a dog.
One constant refrain we hear is how well behaved and gentle they are. To me a significant difference is that they do all the training keeping it consistent. We as fosters attend a weekly meeting to keep these skills, report progress, and advise of any difficulties that may arise. And yes, they have their own personalities.
We continue to do this and enjoy seeing updates on Facebook, webpage, and their newsletters. If you've ever wondered if you make a difference for others this leaves no doubt.

5 Ann_125

Board Member

Rating: 5

I wish I could convey all that is good about this organization in one post. I can't. It is such an honor to be a part of the Board of Directors for such a trust-worthy and progressive organization. People who are in need of a medical service dog need not worry about paying for one of these specially-trained dogs. They may have to wait awhile, but they are never charged a fee for their dog. True, mostly Veterans and First Responders are on the waiting list because most of the donations received are earmarked for helping them, but that doesn't mean that civilians aren't also helped.

Complaints are few, but when they are received, they are treated with the utmost respect and transparency. It would not do any good for us to engage in a back-and-forth repartee. Instead, we do our own internal investigation and if a grain of truth can be found anywhere in the complaint, we resolve to make any change needed to do better. That is a duty we have to our sponsors, to hold ourselves accountable for those things we could be doing better. Honesty and openness are rooted deeply in our philosophy and the people we have employed are hard-working and professional.

So much has happened in just this past year to make it clear that we are doing what we should be doing in a most responsible and cost-effective way. So many people have been helped and so many more are awaiting the help that we can give. There is no better place for me to be spending may volunteer hours at than the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc.

Previous Stories
21

Board Member

Rating: 4

In answer to Amber82: The wait times for the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs are described as follows:

1) With our original program we will fully train the dog for you and once it is ready, we will have you come spend a few days training with your new dog. Currently, the wait for this program is one year or less for a PTSD dog and one to two years for other disabilities such as mobility and hearing impairment, etc.

2) Our “Foster Pairing” program allows you to take a dog home within the first month. The wait for this program is about 6 months.

Please contact "Debbie@MedicalServiceDogs.com" to see where you are on the waiting list, if you'd like. Thanks.

8 Harley R.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1



WHY WOULD THIS ORGANIZATION FIRE AN EMPLOYEE WITH A SEIZURE DISORDER, THIS IS ONE OF THE DISABILITIES THEIR DOGS ARE TRAINED FOR.

MY DAUGHTER HAD BEEN EMPLOYED THERE SINCE NOVEMBER. THIS PAST WEEK SHE SUFFERED A SEIZURE AT WORK AND WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL.TODAY SHE WAS CALLED BY A SUPERVISOR.....SHE WAS FIRED. OF COURSE OTHER REASONS WERE STATED, TOO MANY SICK DAYS....HER SEIZURES INCREASE WITH STRESS AND SHE ALWAYS HAD A NOTE FROM HER DOCTOR OR THE HOSPITAL.

HER STRESS LEVEL HAS BEEN THROUGH THE ROOF LATELY. HER DOCTOR HAD TO PUT HER ON ANXIETY MEDS TO TRY AND CONTROL THE SEIZURES. MANY TIMES SHE HAS COME HOME CRYING AND MOSTLY IT'S FOR THE DOGS. SHE LOVES THOSE DOGS AND FEELS THAT THEY'RE NOT PROPERLY CARED FOR. SHE HAS BROUGHT UP ISSUES REPEATEDLY ON DOG SAFETY THAT ARE ALWAYS IGNORED.

MOST RECENTLY THEY HAVE BEEN PUTTING UP NEW FENCES. MORE FENCES MORE DOGS, MORE DONATION SPONSORED DOGS, ONLY THEY ARE BEING RUSHED THROUGH LEAVING ROUGH AND SHARP EDGES IN THE CHAIN LINK EXPOSED. THE DOGS ARE BEING CUT CONSTANTLY AS WELL AS THE EMPLOYEES. MY DAUGHTER HAS COME HOME WITH MANY MANY INJURIES. NOT ONLY THE FENCE BUT DOG BITES AND NIPS AND SCRATCHES NOT TO MENTION FOOT INJURIES. SHE ACTUALLY TOOK IT UPON HERSELF TO START FILING DOWN THESE SHARP EDGES ON HER BREAKS, BECAUSE SHE FELT SO BAD FOR THE DOGS AND MANAGEMENT COULDN'T CARE LESS. I'VE ASKED HER SEVERAL TIMES IF SHE REPORTED THE INJURY....APPARENTLY THAT IS NOT ENCOURAGED.

CONTAMINATED PREMISES.THE YARDS ARE ALARMINGLY INFESTED WITH HOOK WORM. THEY DO TREAT THE DOGS BUT THE INFESTATION IS SO SEVERE THAT THEY ARE CONSTANTLY REINFECTED AND THE HOOK WORM HAS NOW ENTERED THE MUSCLES OF MOST OR ALL OF THE DOGS, MEANING THEY WILL NEVER GET RID OF IT. IT WILL LAY DORMANT UNTIL TIMES OF STRESS OR OTHER FACTORS. HUMANS CAN AND DO BECOME INFECTED BY THEIR PETS AND THE HEALTH RISKS TO HUMANS CAN BECOME PROBLEMATIC ESPECIALLY IF IT IS NOT DETECTED EARLY OR IF THE HUMANS IMMUNE SYSTEM IS COMPROMISED AS IS THE CASE OF MANY HANDICAPPED PERSONS. IF YOU HAVE A DOG FROM THIS FACILITY I STRONGLY SUGGEST TO SEARCH OUT AVAILABLE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PARASITE. THESE DOGS ALL LIVE OUTSIDE THEIR ENTIRE LIFE UNTIL THEY ARE PLACED, THEN, OFTEN TIMES THE DOGS DO NOT TAKE WELL WITH LIVING INDOORS AND STRESS IS PRODUCED SETTING OFF A NEW HOOK WORK PROBLEM IN THEIR NEW HOME. MY DAUGHTER WAS WARNED NEVER TO WEAR THE SHOES OR BOOTS INTO OUR HOUSE THAT WERE WORN AT WORK BECAUSE WE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE CONTRACTED THE HOOK WORM. IT IS SPREAD THROUGH THE ANIMALS FECES, EVEN IF YOU CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG IT CAN REMAIN IN THE SOIL, WALKING BAREFOOT THROUGH THAT AREA IS ALL IT WOULD TAKE OR WEARING THOSE SHOES INDOORS.......PLEASE TAKE PRECAUTIONS AND HAVE YOUR ANIMALS TESTED.

UNSANITARY CONDITIONS... THE HOSES AND AREA USED TO WASH THE DOGS WATER AND FOOD BOWLS IS THE SAME AS WHAT IS USED TO CLEAN FECAL MATTER. THIS IS 3RD WORLD SANITATION AND PURE LAZINESS....THEN WHEN IT RAINS THE MUD CREATED ALONG WITH THE INFESTATION BECOMES A HEALTH HAZARD, IF IT SPLASHES ON YOU OR GETS IN YOUR EYES AS IT HAS DONE WITH ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES AT SOME POINT THE HEALTH RISK CAN BECOME CRITICAL ....THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.

THE VISITORS AND VOLUNTEERS ARE NEVER EVER SHOWN OR MADE AWARE OF THE MANY INFRACTIONS. THEY ONLY HAVE ONE BATHROOM FOR 20+ EMPLOYEES. WHEN THEY HAVE DONATION DRIVES THEY SHIP IN TOP OF THE LINE, "DONATION PROVIDED" BATHROOMS, AIR CONDITIONED WITH ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES, PROMPTLY REMOVED WHEN THE FUNCTION IS OVER.

EMPLOYEES ARE NEVER GIVEN PAY STUBS SO THEY CAN NEVER VERIFY THE ACCURACY OF THEIR AUTOMATIC DEPOSIT PAYCHECK. THEY ARE NEVER TOLD AT HIRING THAT THE FIRST FEW DAYS THEY WON'T BE GETTING PAID, THEY ARE ON VOLUNTEER STATUS .EMPLOYEES ARE NEVER GIVEN ANYTHING IN WRITING INCLUDING MY DAUGHTERS VERBAL TERMINATION SO THEIR "SHAKY POLICIES" CAN NEVER COME BACK AND HURT THEM.

I DON'T HAVE ALL OF THE LEGAL STATUTES FOR" NON PROFIT" STATUS FOR ORGANIZATIONS BUT FROM WHAT I'VE BEEN TOLD MONEY IS THE FIRST AND FOREMOST CONSIDERATION FOR THIS ORGANIZATION. THEIR "ANIMAL CARE SPECIALISTS" MAKE 9 DOLLAR AN HOUR AND THE WORK IS EXHAUSTING.THEY HAVE AN EXTREMELY HIGH ATTRITION RATE, VERY FEW EMPLOYEES LAST MORE THAN A FEW MONTHS, THEY DON'T CARE, THEY'LL GET NEW ONES. THEY DON'T EVEN CARE IF THE NEW EMPLOYEE LIKES DOGS, THERE HAVE BEEN CASES WHERE EMPLOYEES HAVE ABUSED THE DOGS. INSTEAD OF PAYING VALUABLE EMPLOYEES DECENT WAGES AND FAIR WORKING CONDITIONS NOT TO MENTION SIMPLY ADHERING TO FEDERAL ACTS REGARDING EMPLOYMENT OF HANDICAPPED PEOPLE, IT'S EASIER FOR THEM TO JUST BE REPLACED. THE DOGS SUFFER FROM THIS THE MOST.
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8 Randy R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Life has changed so much and has become livable again. All because of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs and their donors. The compassion they have for the recipients can not be compared to any other Non-Profit Service Dog agency that I have tried to deal with. Their love for Veterans and EMS workers hands above the rest. So I thank you all for helping me get my life to a "new" normalcy. Thanks

Review from Guidestar

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Rodolfo Lorie, I am a disabled veteran who is a 2 time recipient from Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc at www.medicalservicedogs.org They are a 501c non profit. Each dog costs between $20,000 and $22,000 dollars to train and at no expense for the veterans, like myself, who receive them. They stepped up where the VA wouldnt. There are 22 veterans who commit suicide on a daily basis and I was almost one of them. My dogs name is Rocket. He helps me with all my medical conditions wether they are visible or invisible wounds. He warns me, shields me, alerts me to my medical needs and is the equivalent of my 4 legged nurse. He loves me unconditionally. I was lost but I was found, twice. He is my Guardian Angel. With Rockets help I have felt a new lease on life and I wanted to pay it forward, I wrote a song about Rocket, available thru their website with 100% of all donations going to them and you also get a cd in return! #winwin, theres also a music video of the song on youtube

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love the fabulous team and trainers at GAMSD. They have changed our life and even become part of our family! Our dog Maci has helped stablize my husband in a way that medication never could. He is able to do so much more than before because of what a wonderful helper she is. We get compliments on her behavior everywhere we go, even when other dogs in public act up she is a perfect assistant who always keeps her focus on him. I don't know where we would be without her and the incredible training she has had. Their program is second to none and we recommend them to anyone we know who truly needs a service dog. I was nervous taking on this journey as a family but Maci fits with us as if she was always meant to be part of our family and that's thanks to Carol's team of trainers. They have been wonderful at assisting us even after we brought her home as well.

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3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Chloe and I was paired a year ago, This organization has stood by our side the last 365 days! What a change in my life it has been! Carol and Cody are the best in the business!!

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4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I truly believe that Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs saved my daughter's life by pairing her with a wonderful service dog who is always by her side. With multiple medical issues, and after 7 years of therapy and medications, my child had lost hope. She was unable to go anywhere independently and panic attacks were the norm. One year later, the difference is miraculous. She was able to socialize at the weekly training sessions in Williston, and she's progressed to being able to drive around town with her dog and do the things that so many of us take for granted. I've seen so many people have a second chance at life with the help of GAMSD. Carol and the staff are always eager to help and encourage. Honestly can't describe how a well-trained and loving service dog can be all the difference in someone's life. I can't thank GAMSD enough.

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5 Conrad2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Guardian Angels. Words cannot express my gratitude.

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4

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a recent recipient of a GAMSD i can personally attest to the difference my service dog has made in my daily life struggles. First off, i want to acknowledge the staff that put in the countless hours that molded my service dog into the companion he is today. The trainers were unbelievable. Justin and Meg were extremely knowledgable and supportive in our training while at the facility. Dustin, Carl, Debbie, Chris, everyone on the team was extremely helpful and supportive in the pairing and training process. I cant thank the staff of Guardian Angel Medical Service Dogs enough. You truly have made an everlasting impact on my life.

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4

Client Served

Rating: 5

GAMSD helped me to live a normal life..I am a Desert Storm Veteran and have PTSD from my service. I had become reclusive and only left my house to go to work or grocery shopping. Thanks to GAMSD i am able to do and go everywhere and feel secure going.
Thanks for giving me my life back

Review from Guidestar

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Phenominal organization! First class and above board all the way. It is a mission, a calling, to everyone involved.

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5

Donor

Rating: 5

My loved one's super GAMSD service dog has been a blessing since she became part of our family awhile ago.

And, our family became part of the GAMSD family.

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is a great 501(c)(3) non-profit that performs a labor of love in their dedicated training of service dogs for veterans and people with disabilities.

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6

Donor

Rating: 5

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs (GAMSD) provides an immense service to people with disabilities. They are quite special in how they specifically train service dogs for each disabled handlers' specific needs and disabilities. GAMSD service dogs are "guardian angels" for the disabled veterans and disabled people they assist with their disabilities. When people meet GAMSD service dogs, they know first hand how unique and extraordinary these service dogs really are. Please help GAMSD with donations and volunteer services because GAMSD truly deserves all this support.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best organization, best people, unreal results. Guardian Angels makes the impossible possible, and teaches those of us who forgot how to live in peace, find our zen again. Nowhere else do you have the chance to save someone's life so directly, then shake that persons hand. I know this to be true because they saved mine.

Review from Guidestar

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9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Guardian Angels is a magical, wonderful organization which changes peoples lives for the much better, forever. They have helped me a disabled combat veteran, through their truly SUPER SERVICE DOG Ranger whom I was paired with, overcome six years of progressively more and more debilitating depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.

Prior to pairing with Ranger, my life was in shambles. I did not sleep more than a couple hours a night and when I did sleep I would have awful nightmares, I would be so overcome with anxiety and panic during the day that I would find myself locked in a bathroom stall terrified, then when I would return home I would isolate myself out of depression. Most seriously I was in constant deliberation about taking my own life, something that I considered every single day. I had lost sight of the worth of my own life, and could not even describe what happiness was or could be. I was a walking dead man.

Within the first hours of pairing, Ranger was waking me up from nightmares, shielding me in public, and out of absolute necessity sleeping on top of my head in bed to make sure I knew he was there. He lifted every fear, anxiety, and depression from my shoulders with ease. We are really in tune with each other now, he catches my anxiety before I even know it is there, and delivers calm in life 24/7. I still struggle with PTSD, it will always be there waiting for the opportunity to jump into my life, but as long as I have Ranger around I know that we will meet whatever it throws at me head on, together, as a team.

Bottom line: I would not be alive today without them. They literally saved my life, and in addition gave my wife her husband back, and my son his dad back. They WILL change your life, so the real question is why aren't you calling them right now to allow them to change yours.

Review from Guidestar

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I researched several Medical Service Dogs (MSD) before applying with Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. I was immediately impressed with the level of personal care I received to all of my questions during the process, and the world class level of documented, repeatable training this agency's MSD's receive, especially when compared to others. I was pared with MSD over a year and a half ago. I can't praise GAMSD enough for the after pairing care they give their clients. They deeply care that the pairing is the right fit for both client & MSD, and always give immediate response & help with any questions or situations that I have had. They make you feel a part of the GAMSD family, not just a client. I recommend them highly every time I am asked about them while in public with my dog, and have received compliments on how well my MSD is trained v. other MSD's the person has had visit their establishments. Having a MSD from GAMSD has improved my quality of life in so many ways. I am confident that not only do I have an amazing teammate in my MSD but with the entire GAMSD team!

Review from Guidestar

3 Laurie58

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received my medical service dog, Twinkle, from Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. over 6 years ago. In my opinion, this organization provides outstanding training for their digs and recipients. Even six years later, their customer service and follow up is top notch. They do everything they can to help with training, medical and behavior questions. I can't say enough wonderful things about them.

Review from Guidestar

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7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Two and a half years ago, I was paired with a medical service dog, Twinkle, with Guardian Angels Medical Service dogs. In February 2007 I began experiencing severe headaches which eventually lead me to quit working as a paralegal, a job which I absolutely loved. As my health continued to decline, my seizures returned and then on March 2009 I was assaulted by two people who broke into my home. After that, I refused to leave the house by myself. My husband and two teenage sons became my caregivers. While I was afraid to leave, I was also fearful to be in my home alone. My husband and sons took turns taking me to the doctor, shopping and other activities. In addition to the PTSD, I went into a downward spiral of depression.

When I received Twinkle on Mother's Day of 2011,,my family as well as I noticed an instant change. I now drive myself to appointments, go to the grocery store and other places on my own. Having Twinkle has saved my life. I was able to attend my son's high school graduation and visit him at college. I truly don't feel freightend by the world with Twinkle at my side. I'm no longer on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications and I have not had a seizure in two years. While I still have down days when my pain gets too much, Twinkle does her best to comfort me and make me laugh, which is really the best medicine.

Do to Twinkle's presence, I am confident to travel in my own which is a positive with my hudband's current work situation. We will be relocating every 18 months and I would fold under the anxiety of this without Twinkle by my side. Without GAMS, I don't know what my life would be like but it would not be as good as it is now.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is MIke, last month I received my Service dog Julie from GAMSD. I spent 5 years in the Marine Corps, and following was diagnosed with PTSD and Dysthemia. My life was in similar shape as so many other of the below reviews. I was not sleeping, not social and bordering suicide. It wasn't til i Met with Jolanthe and the people of GAMSD, for the first time in a long time i had the first glimmer of hope that things would get better! After many long months waiting, i was paired with Julie. I cannot describe how much my life has changed since Julie has entered my life. I am able to finally get back to living a normal life, i'm being social again and for the first time in years i'm actually sleeping thru the night, my panic attacks are down to almost zero. For the first time in a long time I am excited for the future, and it's all thanks to Julie and the wonderful people at GAMSD. Everyone involved truly cares for each and every dog and recipient, it's amazing their dedication to helping and without them and their dedication i doubt i'd be here today!

Review from Guidestar

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

In May of 2013 my loving husband Bill became a man I didn't know. He was angry and hateful and I struggled to figure out what had caused this sudden change. You see, we had a perfect marriage. Oh I know a lot of people say that, but we truly did. We had waited 21 years to be together again and we loved each other immensely.
In August of 2013 Bill was diagnosed with PTSD. It was a horrible blow. Two tours in Vietnam as a Pararescue and 35 years in law enforcement and it all came crashing in. He was placed on medication and sent to therapy but it did little to help. He was a broken man, experiencing terrible depression, horrific night terrors, and a lost interest in life.
I spent many nights awake watching over him so he could try to get some sleep. The nightmares were relentless. The demons came out to play in his mind at night. He withdrew from everything and everyone he loved. I feared I was losing the man I loved. I feared he would never again enjoy life.
In the fall of 2014 Bill began researching Service Dogs for people suffering with PTSD. The results were not promising. Few agencies even dealt with dogs for PTSD, and those who did wanted more money than we could come up with. He finally found an agency in North Dakota where he could get a dog and he began the process of filling out endless papers and sending them in. We went through highs and lows as we waited for an answer. Then the call came that he had not been accepted into their program. Again the bottom fell out.
Determined, he returned to the internet and found an agency called Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. The best part, they had a Michigan division. So he called the number and left a message and waited for someone to call him back. That night he received a call from Jolanthe Bassett, his new guardian angel. She listened to his story and told him that she could help him. And help him she did. She put him in touch with the Florida office and we began our journey to get him a dog. In July 2015 we met with Jolanthe and the founder of GAMSD, Carol Borden. They spent time over lunch listening to Bill's story, getting to know him and his needs. We parted company with the hope that Bill would soon have his dog.
On October 9, 2015, while we were celebrating at the rehearsal for our daughters wedding, he got a call from Jolanthe. Bill had been picked to receive his dog.
So on November 1 we set out for Florida. On November 5 he was paired with his Super Service Dog, Fancy. It was hardly love at first sight but it was a partnership worth working on. But Bill still had doubts about having a dog. He spent the first night trying to get to know Fancy and get to know his new life. The next morning Bill told me that he was taking Fancy back and we were going home. He just couldn't wrap his head around life with the dog. But I told him this life change was no longer about him. It was about us. It was about our life together. It was about our future.
I'm proud to say that he finished his training with Fancy. And on November 5, 2016 he celebrates his one year anniversary with Fancy. And what a tremendous year it had been. A year of firsts: trips to the mall, trips to the grocery store, even hockey games for the first time in years. Bill had finally found a life outside of our home. We celebrated our 13 year anniversary with Fancy by our side. We held hands, we planned our future. We had our life back.
To say that Guardian Angels saved my husband is not an exaggeration. Carol Borden, Jolanthe Bassett, and all the angels in Florida gave Bill his life back. Thank you is just not enough to express how I feel. I love them all from the bottom of my heart. They are my heroes. They gave me my husband back. They gave him a new life. They gave him a four legged angel named Fancy. They are Angels on earth.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

GAMSD have paired me with an awesome furry friend and I couldn't be more satisfied and happy! From start to finish everything was awesome from the entire staff to my new friend for life! The wait was well worth it! The entire staff was very friendly and knowledgeable with everything and has even answered my questions every day since I have left there with my furry friend. The care and patience with their training is evident and since I have returned home I have received nothing but compliments on how well trained my furry friend is and how they conduct themselves in distracting areas. If I could give more stars I would!

Review from Guidestar

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GAMSD are the best!!!
I received Sirius from Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs on April 28 2016. My life is nothing like it was before that day. My word consisted of work, home ,grocery store and Lowes. Now I am out and about a lot more. I am able to go to more stores, and lots of different restaurants. I don't fear meeting people anymore and am able to control my anger.
Thank you Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs for giving me my life back

Review from Guidestar

11 Paula85

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot tell you how thankful I am for Guardian Angels and their staff. I was paired with my dog, Edge, one month ago. He is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I'm happier and have more freedom. I never would have been able to afford other service dog services, so Guardian Angles donating the dog is a miracle!

Review from Guidestar

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband is a disabled veteran who was recently paired with his Guardian Angel Medical Service Dog. She helpes him by alerting him, emotional support, and mobility. We spent a lot of time researching other service dog organizations, and we are so pleased with our decision to move forward with Carol and her staff at GAMSD. Since discovering this organization, we have also referred other army veteran friends in need to their organization. Carol and her team produce highly trained service dogs, and they are truly gifted at getting to know the recipient, understanding their needs, and finding the perfect match for each individual. They take in to consideration their personal needs, as well as making sure the match will be cohesive with the entire family. I've witnessed this first hand several times over now with my husband, and other recipients. Personally, I couldn't have wished for a better dog for my husband. It was as if they were destined to be together. The bond was instant. And I have seen a significant improvement in my husbands mental and emotional well being already, since being paired with his service dog. We are so thankful for this blessing bestowed to us, and for the caring and supportive staff at GAMSD.

Review from Guidestar

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a 100% disabled veteran. I have had three back surgeries due to injuries from Iraq and my military service along with being diagnosed with PTSD. My VA doctor recommended me for a service dog and soon after I was in contact with Guardian Angles Medical Service Dogs. I cannot speak highly enough about Guardian Angles. They are a great organization . GAMSD from the top down has understanding, caring, respectful, and highly skilled professionals in their organization. I was recently paired with my amazing service dog. She is a beautiful shepherd that has changed my life. She does not leave my side. She has a calm relaxed demeanor and is a loving part of our family now. Since my last surgery a year ago I have felt very weak and paranoid in public, therefore I haven't left my house much. Since being paired with My service dog, a large female around 75lbs I can go out with more confidence. Having her also forces me to get out and take her for walks and do training, which is getting me to exercise too. She has already improved my life in a number of ways all of which are positive . Once again I would like to say Thank you to Carol and everyone at GAMSD. You are a great organization, thank you for what you have done for me and all the other veterans you have helped.

Review from Guidestar

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer/fundraiser for many years, I've been involved with a number of organizations. To date, one of the most impressive is Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. Without a doubt, the relationship between a service dog and a Veteran is one of the most special you'll ever find. It is heartbreaking to see how many of our Veterans suffer after returning home from service to their country. But their lives change dramatically with a Guardian Angels dog by their side. Helping raise funds to provide these dogs to our Veterans is one of the most rewarding opportunities I've ever had.

Review from Guidestar

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is an honor and privilege to be a volunteer for such an amazing organization. In the two years, I have been volunteering I see first hand how GAMSD is helping our Veterans live a better a new normal. Once paired with a medical service dog, Veterans who previously had shut out the outside world and lost hope are now enjoying life again. Becoming the spouse, the parent , and community member they wanted to be but were afraid to step out. GAMSD has given them their lives back and I couldn't be prouder to play a small part. I am grateful to all who support our work.

8 Christine149

Advisor

Rating: 5

In the nearly three years I've worked with this organization, I've never seen a more dedicated group of individuals committed to doing everything in their power to make a difference in the life of someone struggling with a disability. Does being paired with a medical service dog require patience? The answer is "Yes". But the results are life-changing, and life-saving. I could not be prouder than to be a part of this organization, and all it accomplishes.

Review from Guidestar

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14

Advisor

Rating: 5

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is an amazing organization. Not only do they train incredible service dogs, that do so, so much to change the lives of their recipients; but they become almost a "second family" to those who receive their magnificent dogs. I've been involved with this organization for over 2 years - and the love, caring and closeness that comes from the pairings is real, tangible, and nothing short of incredible.

14

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Disabled Veteran who was part of the Veterans Administration Service Dog Pilot Program in Florida, like myself and counless others, we had the rug pulled from under our feet, myself after between 4 to 5 years of waiting on the VA powers that be. I was then contacted by Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs and became a recipient of Xena and as Xena became ill with time and age and had to be retired, I was then and to date the recipient of Rocket, a black German Shepperd, that is about 4 years trained at the expense of aproximately $22,000.00 at no cost to me. Both dogs have been a lifesaving blessing. Rocket allows me to navigate the minefield that are my physical and non physical or invisible wounds on a daily basis as hes aware of my hormonal imbalances that at times paralyze my limited day to day activities and has allowed me to try to be able to function better. Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs set me and others like myself to be able to succed where the VA, meds and other methods have failed. There are 22 veterans that commit suicide on a daily basis. Its not a quick process to get a Medical Service Dog as the animal goes thru early training, then placed in a foster home while still getting individual training for a future recipient and this didnt happen overnight but what did when its was all said and done was the mutual bond between (then Xena and now) Rocket and myself as they started to save my life from day one.
I have found myself wanting to spread the word about not only this great organization and what these wonderful animals do but in the hopes of reaching others like myself who might not be aware that theres hope and its just a bark and a kiss away.
I am living proof that Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs works and can not thank them enough.

Review from Guidestar

12 Jon_33

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I was LIED to by these people. They told me it would only be a couple of months to get a new dog since I already had one who died of old age and I would fly thru the training process since Ive already gone thru it before. I called them today after waiting 3 months only to be told I have to wait a couple of YEARS on a list. They got my 25$ application fee and that is all they will get from me besides bad reviews for out right lying to me.

10 Amber82

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Can someone please tell me how long you were on the waiting list before receiving your service dog? I've been on the list for about 5 months now...I don't want to get my hopes up if this is going to be years of waiting.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

One of the directors, Ann Larkins , informed me she thought my dog who came from the pound was a trained service dog We rescued him AGAIN as the new owner was being abusive. He is a pure rat terror She put me in contact with Guardian Angels He WAS all trained, I was not They taught me all the commands and he is a wonderful sweet dog. I am disabled and use a walker or wheelchair, recently developed RA in m y hands I don't know what I would do without the dog and the help of Guardian Angels. My doctor says he is perfect and what I needed to get through my rough days. Ruth Parker

25

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a Veteran of combat in Afghanistan.
After coming home, burying my problems deep and learning to mask my symptoms of PTSD even excelling for a number of years, including college. The effects took their toll and I began to self destruct. Depression, substance abuse, dangerous behavior- Looking back, I was basically trying to destroy everything good in my life.
I had read about GAMSD's and decided to apply because the VA was having one of their many on-again, off-again, service dog trial studies. Fast forward 3.5 years. The VA had terminated the program and although it was their responsibility to inform me of its cancelation, they never did. One day my wife called and talked to GAMSD's Director Carol Borden and asked her where I was on the waiting list. Carol was furious and abhorred this had happen, and made me a promise. Give her 6 months, and travel down to Florida, she would get me a dog.
I was pretty much at the end of my rope when I arrived at their facility. I was respectful for this opportunity but was HIGHLY skeptical of this whole "service dog" thing. Then I met Blitz. Blitz was a four year, old almost all black, female german shepherd from the Czech Republic. From day one she followed every command to the letter. From the first night together at a local hotel, Blitz was waking me up from nightmares.
In the 3 years since my situation has changed dramatically. I was able to go outside with an extremely relieved level of hyper-vigilance, for the first time since leaving the Army. I slowly began to make progress. With Blitz around I could hang out with friends again. I re-kindled friendships I'd destroyed. I made real progress in therapy. I was beginning to think to see that I had a future still to live. I've taken Blitz on trains, aircraft, the NYC subway system at rush hour where it was so packed we couldn't even see each other. She has never failed to be anything but perfect.
I owe so much to GAMSD, to Carol Borden for making me a promise and keeping her word.
I can not speak more highly of this organization and all the members of it. I owe them my life.

21

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a former Marine . Vietnam era . I was injuried in the Corps . It seems that I was always falling between the cracks ! It was recommended that a medical
service dog would probably be beneficial ? I wasn't ready and didn't have the money . The VA kept prompting me . I was tired , heard it might take three years from most schools ! I wasn't about to go through anymore VA hassles !
Then I ran accross a pup ! Very sweet . I call her Peaches . I started reading and begining her basic training , but I knew this wasn't going to be enough . So next , I had to seek out a school . I looked for the best , didn't know about any cost , just the best !
Then I made contact . The cost was just hard work . Just come to class , a free scholarship , but not only for me ! Any Vet or civilian that had a genuine need was welcomed .The environment was open and relaxed . A Place for the handler to learn and the dog to be properly trained . Peaches and I finally completed what turned out to be one of the best Medical service dog Schools in the Nation . Peaches and I both got lucky this time .

22

Former staff

Rating: 5

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is one of the most incredible organizations that I have ever worked with. I worked in the role of administrative coordinator. Spending time with recipients and volunteers I got to be involved in all aspects of this organization. To see a persons life change before your eyes is one of the most awe inspiring thing you can witness.
Working with GAMSD has also helped me realize my own problems that I am facing. Interacting with people with anxiety disorders and who experienced great loss brought to the surface the a lot of issues I was suppressing. I lost my sister 1year and a half ago. I was in my final semester of grad school of educational leadership. When I lost her my world changed and I essentially ran away. I finished school but decided I didn't want a career that had anything to do with what I had just worked so hard to accomplish. I took a series of odds and ends jobs and had a constant fear of staying in one place to long.
And then there I was unemployed and unsure of where to go. That is when I found GAMSD. Carol hired me to do this role and help people. I love helping people. But this role really made me start to think about what it is that I was trying to do with my life, where I want to be, what field I wanted to work in. My thoughts always came back to education. So that is what I am doing. I am heading back to school to start my P.hd. Most importantly I am finally starting to heal. I am starting to recover from the loss that I was ignoring.
I owe this to Guardian Angels. The property in Williston is like magic. It allows for broken hearts to mend. I am grateful for GAMSD and although I am leaving my position, I will continue to be a friend of this organization help move it forward to change more lives.

Review from Guidestar

25

Board Member

Rating: 5

My father is a recipient of a medical service dog from Guardian Angles. It is amazing the change it has made in his life. Sleeping through the night is very helpful for maintaining a healthy life. His dog keeps him calm and focused. Thank you.

Because of the wonderful changes I have seen these dogs do with their recipient, I decided to make this my charity of choice and volunteer as much time as possible to this worthy organization.

Review from Guidestar

17 KESG

Board Member

Rating: 5

I can't thank Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs enough for changing my husband's life as well as mine. My husband was paired with a dog from GAMSD nearly four years ago and since that time his world has broadened! He is able to go out to crowded stores and to restaurants whereas before he just couldn't . He tells everyone he meets how great Guardian Angels is and how his dog has improved his life. He has referred others to Guardian Angels so they may be paired with a service dog and have the help he has received. I have been volunteering with GAMSD as a way to thank them. Over the years of being involved I have become President.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
20

Board Member

Rating: 5

My husband is a Vietnam veteran with PTSD. He received a service dog from Guardian Angels in September 2011 and his life has changed dramatically! We are so impressed with Guardian Angels facility and ethics that we began to volunteer there in late 2011. I am now a board member and we still volunteer for weeks and sometimes months at a time even though we live over 5 hours away. We love what they do and want to help them to help others.

Karen Galmiche

Review from Guidestar

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Guardian Angels for 8 months and can't begin to describe what an amazing organization it is. Staff and volunteers alike are sincerely compassionate and understanding. The Williston facility simply feels like home and the effort put into ensuring that our Veterans are able to receive a service dog at no charge is humbling. A frequent comment is, "Guardian Angels was the only one that returned my call."

Review from Guidestar

29

Client Served

Rating: 5

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Inc is a godsend! I am a disabled combat veteran whom has been dealing with disabilities that have overtaken my life and I could not see my health getting any better. When I contacted a representative with GAMSD I could immediately sense the passion and care that she had for helping people like me. From the application process to receiving the dog I was thoroughly informed of every step of the way. They also went out of their way to make me feel more comfortable about traveling to Florida which was out of my comfort zone.
When I arrived there, I was greeted by Carol and she made me and my family feel warmly welcomed, which was a huge relief for me. Their facility is so peaceful and calming it actually felt like home, making it really easy to focus on my training with the dog. The time I spent there was amazing and everyone I met was so nice, courteous, and knowledgeable. I couldn't thank Guardian Angels enough for what they have done for me and my family, I've been paired with Trooper, my service dog, for about a month and things are going so well and getting better everyday. I owe them so much; they truly are a real life saver. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

Review from Guidestar

11

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this amazing organization for six years. This organization is life changing for our disabled friends and neighbors. Everyone works hard day and night to assure our dogs are healthy and very well trained so that our disabled can have a new, freer life. Gerry Petrone

Review from Guidestar