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Independence Dogs, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Services

Mission: Independence Dogs, Inc. (IDI) teaches dogs to provide all the physical, psychological, and therapeutic support their human partners need to lead full, productive, independent lives. We provide dogs for children and adults with mobility impairments such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injury. In 1984, after spending 14 frustrating years being dependent on others, M. Jean King founded Independence Dogs, Inc. First she trained her own dog Shantih to help her in much the same way a Seeing Eye dog assists a blind person. When Jean realized that Shantih had given her life back to her, she knew that she had to share this wonderful gift with others. Our dogs pull wheelchairs, brace and support for transfers to chairs and beds, assist with walking, open and close doors, press elevator buttons, turn light switches on and off, bring telephone receivers, help with counter exchanges at banks and stores, and retrieve dropped objects. Just as important, they provide a constant source of unconditional love, support, and security. By freeing their partners from total reliance on other people, these dogs restore dignity, self-respect, and a return to productive life for people who might otherwise remain housebound and withdrawn. As an added benefit, working with, playing with, and caring for the Independence Dog provides daily physical therapy that often improves range of motion and muscle strength.

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Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Suzanne D.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received my service dog Dylan from IDI and he was the best part of my life for 13 years. Now seven years after Dylan's death I find myself in need of a new partner in life, to give me the hope, freedom, and dignity not to mention fun, that Dylan gave me for so long. Jean and the IDI volunteers and staff are to this day unbeatable in their training and equipping both members of every team. Thank you so much!