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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Medical Mutts Service Dogs Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Training, Animals

Mission: Training rescue dogs as service dogs and promoting collaboration between dogs and people through science, education and ethical training.

Target demographics: People with diabetes, seizures and other conditions as well as dogs in need

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 100 dogs and 50 people with disabilities

Geographic areas served: Indiana and serve all 50 states in the US

Programs: training diabetes alert dogs, seizure alert dogs, and other service dogs and helping owners train their own dogs as their service dog saving dogs from rescues and shelters and training them as service dogs

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had taken my service dog Paeris to a few trainers before Medical Mutts, but she still wasn't fully trained in some aspects. Melissa has been amazing for us both. She has given me a new found confidence with Paeris and the skills necessary to train her in a positive way. Paeris is well on her way to learning new tasks and for the first time in her life, I feel like I am learning the tools to properly train her for lasting effects. Melissa is there for me every step of the way and has answered my many questions. She has always been very gentle and understanding when I make mistakes and she compassionately guides me in the right direction. I speak very highly of Melissa and my experience at Medical Mutts. I highly recommend their services to anyone seeking a service dog. This nonprofit has made a positive difference in my life and I support everything they stand for and practice.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We would like to thank Medical Mutts for the Service Dog Training received over the last 2 years. It has been quite the journey, the interaction with other Service Dogs in Training and their owners has been fun and assisted the process greatly. It has been beautiful to see how much Luna Ray has progressed from a young puppy to nearly an adult, a dog with sound temperament, confident, loving, wanting to serve and be with me on my journey. Medical Mutts provides a service that made it possible for me to afford and receive the necessary professional training so that I can leave the home and navigate life with more confidence and happiness. We would like to share our gratitude and encourage anyone who may be considering working with Medical Mutts to do so. Thank you for your work and for all the dogs and people you have helped . All our love, Katie and Luna Ray xox

Barbara B.11

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts has been a life-saver. We live in Michigan and have been trying to find someone to help us with a service dog for our adult autistic daughter. Unfortunately, there aren't many agencies that help her "category of disability." I don't even remember how we heard about Medical Mutts, but we were ecstatic when we found they would work with us remotely to train our own dog. It has been a fabulous experience. Melissa meets with us remotely every week to help get us started on tasks for the week. She then sends detailed instructions that explain the entire process for each of the tasks we work on. Each week we evaluate our dog's progress and determine the next step(s). Melissa is very patient with me; some weeks life gets in the way and we don't get much done. She explains things very clearly and seems to be able to "read" our dog even remotely.
I wish we lived closer as I think we would move even faster in the training program if she actually did the training, but we are getting there and I can't say enough good about Melissa and the whole program.

Hannah S.6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts is a friendly, reliable source for service dogs, and your new partner. They helped me by giving step by step instructions, giving a new leash on life and a new companion for me. Charlie, the dog I will be getting, has been trained for many tasks and since the whole Covid thing happened and I don’t live in Indianapolis, they set up a zoom call for me and my family to see him in action. I can’t wait to meet my new partner and the Medical Mutts staff that helped and practically raised him. I could not recommend another place that is so forthright and all around perfect for service dog raising and training.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts is helping me train my psychiatric service dog and I have already learned so much in a few short weeks! The trainers are informative and helpful, and always answer questions. I can not recommend this program highly enough!

1 ProfMom

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts changed our lives. This organization trains and matches service dogs to adults and kids with medical needs and disabilities. Earlier this year, our son, C, was matched with Darcy. Darcy is a psychiatric service dog, and helps C navigate the world and collaborate the participate fully in school and our community. Not only did Medical Mutts spend more than six months fostering and training Darcy, they trained C and our family in person to learn to help Darcy help him. Our time learning with Medical Mutts is one of the highlights of everything we've experienced as a family. I have recommended this organization to multiple other families of kids with special needs and special educators. Medical Mutts combines exceptional research-based experience with animal training and understanding dogs with care for their clients and a commitment to creating relationships that change lives for their clients. I am grateful every day for Darcy, for Medical Mutts, and for all of their staff and volunteers. My son's ability to move through the world and grow as a successful, happy, and confident young adult is so enriched by Darcy and their collaboration.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The staff at Medical Mutts are highly trained, experienced, and committed to changing lives with their work. We are working with Medical Mutts to help place our special needs son with a psychiatric service dog that will give him access to many more opportunities in life. From our first communication, Medical Mutts administrators and trainers are thoughtful, responsive, educated, mindful, and compassionate. They work to make sure the placement is a good fit for the dog and for the client, and exhibit a high degree of ethics, kindness, and professionalism in all aspects of their work. We are very grateful for their work and commitment to all members of their wider communities (animals, clients, and their families).

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a great organization! Nothing could be more exciting and worthwhile than saving a dog and having the opportunity to have a special bond with their new home. I've only worked with Medical Mutts a short amount of time, but the reward of working with such a great group is incalculable.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts is an awesome non profit organization. Jennifer, Melissa and their team are dedicated and passionate in their work. We are in the 3rd level of group training with our dog Luna. We are in the process of training her for our special needs great grandson.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts has actually trained two balance service dogs for me. My first one was a 4-year-old DEAF Dalmatian. Buster was the most amazing partner anyone could ask for. He interpreted every tip, every toe drag, every hip collapse and never once let me fall. Then the worst day of my life happened. My precious teammate died suddenly from an aggressive cancer. I was crushed and lost and embarrassed to have to start using my walker again. So the journey began again. Finding the perfect dog that’s the perfect size and the perfect temperament. Then one day a friend sent a picture to my phone of a 10-month old (hearing) Dalmatian sitting in the Humane Society for the SECOND time. They evaluated Nash and assured me he would be a good choice to follow in Buster’s footsteps. So Nash began his six months in their board and train program. There were times when I was simply amazed at some of the tasks they had trained him to do and there were times when I thought they were crazy for training this wild horse because I was ready to sell him to the Gypsies! But now he has officially graduated and gets to live with me so the bond is beginning to grow. For the first time I feel like I can move forward, both figuratively and literally. Thank you Medical Mutts for giving my life back to me.....again.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts has been amazing to both me and my dog!

I searched a lot to find out where to get a service dog trained. Every training place I spoke to said that Medical Mutts was the place to go!

We are still in training but about to start our last class.

Everyone here is wonderful at not only the training aspects but also the reasoning behind it. They make it very easy to understand what and why we are doing certain things.

I’ve also been able to reach out about behavior issues I’ve had and how to fix them. They are very willing to help! They want your dog to succeed!

I am very grateful for Medical Mutts and I highly recommend them to anyone who is need of a service dog.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were able to adopt one of their rescues who wasn’t cut out to be a service dog. Her name is Aspen. We absolutely love her, and our German Shepherd does as well. I’ve never seen dogs connect so quickly as these two did. They’re inseparable now, and Aspen adds so much joy to our lives

2 Gabby W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of successfully completing all of the group courses offered by Medical Mutts (Level 1, 2, 3, and the public access course) with my service dog, Oliver. He just graduated from their program on June 20, 2020, meaning that throughout the courses he has passed the AKC Puppy Star test, AKC Canine Good Citizen test, AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen test, and the public access test.

I was originally going to get a service dog fully trained from an out of state organization, but decided last year that I wanted to owner train with the help of Medical Mutts instead. I am so grateful that I made this decision! It has been a fantastic bonding experience for my dog and me, plus I now know how to train things in order to keep up with his training throughout his career and add new tasks if needed. It's a lot of work, don't get me wrong, but personally I believe that it is worth all of the time and money.

Their pricing is fantastic and very reasonable. For all group courses combined, it costs $2,000 and that is spread out throughout the year. You cannot find a better price than that for so much training. Though they were group classes, I never once felt that we received less or inadequate attention and assistance. They are sure to keep an appropriate number of trainers available for the course depending on size, so it is not just one trainer teaching the session. With the coronavirus, we had to have the first half of our Level 3 (Advanced) course online via Zoom. Honestly, it was fantastic! We still got a lot of focused attention and assistance and I did not feel that we lost anything by having to adapt due to social distancing and the quarantine.

I have a bachelor of science in animal science with a minor in biology from Purdue University, so I am familiar with various aspects of animal behavior, health, nutrition, etc. With my knowledge and our first-hand experience, I fully support the training methods used by Medical Mutts. Their positive reinforcement methods and decision to not use prong, choker, or e-collars does work well if you, as the dog's trainer, put in the required time and effort. The reasoning and logic behind their training methods is all very solid and effective. They also have various ways to teach things for those dogs who may struggle with some things along the way.

They make themselves very available for help and advice, and I know that if Oliver and I run into any issues in the future that we will be able to come back and brush up on anything we may need help with or even train more tasks.

Overall, I am very pleased with our experiences with Medical Mutts and am very grateful to the trainers, especially Jenn and Melissa, for everything they have done and continue to do!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts staff have been great to work with. We did owner training classes, and they were more than helpful. I highly recommend MM if you are a person in need of a service dog. After completing all courses I feel very equipped to handle our dog (trained to help my daughter)! Thank you again!

3 Dominique W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I needed a diabetic alert dog. I was no longer able to feel the dangerous highs and lows. I researched many places who claimed to train diabetic alert dogs. I found less than reputable places and bad places and then I found Medical Mutts! I knew after a phone conversation with Jack and a video conference (Skype) with Jennifer, that this was the place for me. After saving and raising money for quite awhile I was ready to make the plunge. While on Skype with Jennifer I met Harley Quinn, a unique chihuahua rescue, She was going to graduate before I was able to get a dog so I just followed her on the website. I got an email from Eva at Medical Mutts asking me if I was still interested in Harley Quinn, she had become available about the time I was ready after all. Heck yes! So, I went to Indianapolis for a week of training with HQ and she became my girl! She was quick to do live alerts and has saved my life at least a hundred times in the two years I have had her. We have to train together often and ensure she stays on top of her game, My service dog does not let me down. And my trainer from Medical Mutts stays in contact with me often via text, email, and Skype. She was there for the transition at the beginning and she is always available to me to this day, when a new question comes up or anything I want to ask or review. I have never waited more than 24 hours for a response even though she is so very busy. Medical Mutts has been there for me and Harley Quinn and I could not ask for any more of them! I recommend them and brag about them any opportunity I get.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I now have a psychiatric service dog that is a life saver for me thanks to Medical Mutts. The staff there is great, they explain anything you need to know to you as well as let me watch some of the taring sessions before they found the dog for me. I surfer from bad repression and relay bad anxiety. Before I got my service dog from them i would not go anywhere or do anything even with my kids or wife, but now we go all kinds of places and do all kinds of things.
Me and my family are grateful for them and Sera has help me though so-much that I do not even know how to put in words. I can say this though i shire if i did not have her i would not be here today.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts brought me and my beautiful Emma together. I am a Type 1 diabetic for over 30 years who came to a point in my life when I could not longer feel highs or lows. For a diabetic that is a dangerous place to live from, not only for me but also for my family. Once I made my decision to obtain a diabetic alert dog I knew Medical Mutts was the one for me. A major decision was the fact they use shelter dogs and not pure breed dogs. We are a family that has only had "mutts" so the was a perfect choice.
The process of application, interviews and sharing with Jennifer the ins and out of our lives so that we would be matched with the right dog for us was easy. After meeting Emma for the first time until now Medical Mutts has always been there for all my questions and needs.
Emma has not only changed the landscape of my diabetes by giving me more stability in my blood sugars but also a security for my family that is priceless.
I am grateful to Medical Mutts for the service they provide.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this organization and our trainer Melissa. She has helped me to increase the number of services that my husband's service dog can provide to him including medical needs for him. This company is so compassionate about what they do and want you and your dog to be successful! Melissa even helped to identify services that we had not thought about that made it so much easier for us. Our dog loves the training and was always so excited to learn something new. The training is such a positive style. Everyone feels good! I highly recommend
Medical Mutts to everyone i know! They are absolutely wonderful!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Two years ago, my sister's beloved service companion died. As my sister was researching options for a new diabetic alert dog, she found Medical Mutts. Her 1 year old miniature golden retriever, and my sister, are now fully trained. I've seen the results, and they are amazing.
Medical Mutts is literally a life-saving organization.

3 Melissa R.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts is wonderful. We had such a great experience finding the perfect dog for our daughter. Our Daughter, Moriah needed a seizure alert dog and we were paired with Fina!
Moriah was very anxious during the training. Her seizure activity increased because of the stress that she felt trying to bond with Fina and learn the commands. Jennifer and Jack were so patient with her (us) and helped us over every hurdle. We are so happy to say that Fina has been a part of our family for almost 4 years. Moriah and Fina are now the best team and seem to speak their own language. Fina not only alerts us of a seizure, she also comforts Moriah when she is anxious. We feel very blessed to be a part of the Medical Mutts family.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts is AMAZING at what they do! My daughter needed a service dog to help with a medical condition called POTS. We couldn’t afford to get a fully trained dog. But Medical Mutts has an amazing program where they teach you how to assist with part of the work of training and it saved us thousands of dollars! The staff were all so helpful in every way. Every person made us feel comfortable and ‘part of their family’. We were even able to do some of the final ‘tweaks’ in the training via FaceTime which saved us hours of driving time too. (We drove 2-1/2 hours each way for this training for about 40 weeks. It was entirely worth it. )
I cannot say enough good things about Medical Mutts. They changed my daughter’s life by helping us have a well trained service dog for her. And we feel like they trained us well to help her dog Ayla to be the best she can be. Thank you Medical Mutts!

2 Louise Mike B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am forever indebted to Jennifer at Medical Mutts for helping me and my so sweet Mobility Assistance Service Dog Gretchen. The level of knowledge and professionalism that Jennifer displayed in some really difficult situations was bewildering. Jennifer never lost patience with me, was extremely positive, supportive and always available to answer my questions even to this day 6 years later. The staff’s level of canine knowledge is absolutely astonishing as well as their ability to put themselves in the shoes of their disabled clients. There is no way that Gretchen and I would be the team that we are today if it wasn’t from Medical Mutts. Thanks a million again!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got my diabetes alert dog through Medical Mutts and they were so professional and helpful throughout the entire process. They were always available to answer questions and problem solve. I have had him for almost three years and he has been a life saver and also become part of our family.

3 Kathy H.7

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is a Type I diabetic and she was fortunate to receive a Medically Mutts trained service dog. Liberty (Libby) was more than a blood sugar alert dog - she served as her best friend and chief comforter during her first year in college - giving her confidence in managing her blood sugars and constant love and companionship.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts has been an AMAZING experience. My dog has learned so much from our group classes. We also have done one-on-one training and the trainers are patient, knowledgeable, and go above and beyond.

3 Livy C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical mutts has been an a wonderful experience and has changed my life for the better. Dublin my now fully trained epilepsy service dog has given me my life back because of medical mutts and their wonderful trainers and staff. I highly recommend them to anyone asking for help when needing a service dog!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife is a type 1 diabetic and when I met her she had a full-size Golden Retriever who we trained to serve as her Diabetes Alert Dog. After he died, we located a reputable breeder and purchased a Miniature Golden (Comfort) Retriever and hoped that we could work with a reputable organization to help train this puppy as a new Service Dog. Both the dog and Medical Mutts have turned out to be stellar choices. Our Journey has taken well to MM’s positive training methods, and altho not perfect at her alerting skills (no dog is ever perfect), it gives me peace of mind to know that my wife has a back up for her Continuous Glucose Monitor. In fact, our dog has even alerted to lows even before the CGM registered that my wife’s blood sugar was falling. The challenge of training a puppy was not easy for us, but Medical Mutts provided all the support and education we needed, and we are quite pleased with the outcome. The world of Service Dog training has it’s charlatans and it’s scammers, and it’s so gratifying that we found and were able to use the REAL thing — Medical Mutts delivered on it’s promises and by helping us appropriately train our DAD we feel more relaxed about managing the challenges of Type 1 diabetes.

2 Kirstie W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts is amazing! We have a son with multiple disabilities and also has anxiety. We've been going to Medical Mutts for a year with our Goldendoodle and when we pull in to the parking lot he gets excited! They are very knowledgeable and professional Melissa is awesome. She really knows how to help train and is very patient and compassionate. Love how you can train at your own pace. We would definitely recommend Medical Mutts to anyone looking to have their dog trained for any disability!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Medical Mutts was wonderful! Our son was diagnosed almost 3yrs ago with Epilepsy. We decided to find a local, reputable business that offered classes that were affordable and successful with their training. Raina has had some issues with anxiety in public, however the trainers were GREAT to help us with her. She knows when “her boy” is about to have a seizure and let’s us know! The training is intense, but it’s so worth it! All of the trainers are DEDICATED to helping you and your dog to become successful!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have used Medical Mutts for a variety of services. I bought a puppy and went with her to their self-training puppy class. And then I did the board and train with this same puppy since I was traveling a lot at that time and they took great care of her and continued with her training while I was traveling. She is now a little over a year and is a fantastic companion and Service Dog. She can alert to my low blood sugars (I'm a type 1 diabetic) and she can retrieve a bag of glucose tabs for me. We are working on her being able to retrieve my phone. Her public access manners are very good, and we are bonding tightly as a team. We are working on polishing her skills -- a Service Dog's training is never over and done as it's important to reinforce (daily!) the tasks they learn. Altho I didn't obtain one of their rescued dogs (I chose to get a specific breed of dog), I love that they get dogs from shelters to try to see if they can help them successfully become Service animals. I feel they emphasize the importance of learning about and knowing your dog and the way it communicates. I love that they use positive training methods. I cannot say enough good things about Medical Mutts. Their staff are knowledgeable and caring, good teachers of humans and canines, and are professional in their approach.