This is a tragic story that has effected my life in just ONE visit to the service dog project. The owner of this non-profit could not have been more cruel and discriminatory if you had looked for someone to be. So, about two summers ago I visited SDP after a severe case of Lyme left me with flare ups that go from ok to terrible with my mobility. I showed up with a box of dog bones and, a bag of chips n dip for the ussual meet n greet. It was pouring rain and my pain level was VERY high. The owner said that I needed to write down my personal info on a paper for consideration, then she tossed it aside telling me as I was not a veteran I would not get a dog. If you volunteer you can get a dog. But she said she didn't need me to volunteer despite the fact that I worked with dogs for a living before I got ill. I was a dog groomer. I was told by the owner/trainer lyme is no big deal that she has arthritis oh and "the many of the dogs have Lyme too). I am on daily IVs and have a heart condition that effects my gait stability as well. It gets MUCH worse. So, I was told by this kind man that ussually the owner would interview the potential handlers. But I had been their being shown many dogs and, I was chemically sensitive to the Amonia, and chemicals they use to clean the kennels. I had to breath through my mouth because I am chemically sensitive to chemicals and my ears were getting very hot and, my throat hurt. But I had to impress these people that I can brave this incredebly rainy uncomfortable time (I was in pain super sensetive to the cold due to my disease and their chemical cleaner). Then at the end of the nightmare I met this really lovely dog and I felt hope you know that maybe she (the owner might realize that ok I NEED this and I would be an awesom handler)...but rudeness ensued. I have autism so being plunged into this social meet and greet was TERRIBLE with this unsupportive dismissive cruel lady owner. At the end she IGNORED me without even thanking me, stopping in or even any consideration(ignored). But, after my mom died suddenly I decided "ok I have nothing to lose." I called the owner offering money and she said dogs are free and I could not have one unless I gave her a milion dollars. It was maybe said in Jest. She told me to go to a shelter get a dog and, train it myself. She said at 5'7 and 150Ibs I do not need this big of a dog. So, after fighting to get on the list, I was being "considered" but I did not think after such a loss of my mom I could handle the emotional push me pull you games of the owner and decided ok, if she said "train your own dog." how hard could it be? Well, IT IS VERY HARD! So, I got a puppy to train that fit the bill. And guess what? I am SICK. LIke BEDRIDDEN ill. And, I cannot believe the irresponsible advice the owner offered in what may have been sarcasm but IDK as I am autistic. SO, here I am with this wonderful dog who I am super confused as to how to train. And, one day I had had it. BTW it takes TWO years to train a dog to brace and for mobility because the first year the growth plates are not even formed yet and, PS Just really do NOT pay any attention to her if she says it is EASY to train your own dog and all the rest. Do not do this without help of family, or a spouse, and at least TWO trainers, I kid you not. It will be a nightmare. I tried to enlist her help in maybe taking him because he wants to work but I do not know how to train him correctly. That was my breaking point the week where he went through his "naughty phase" after I had potty trained my beautiful guy to open doors and, stop peeing inside despite needing a wheelchair to do so. I was hooked to an IV pole and cried my eyes out when he entwined his leash around it and the IV fell and my blood crept up into the IV line. I just wiped my eyes off and, said "one day at a time you love him, you commited to him, he is a loving great dog." She said "I won't take him, curtly, you shouldn't listen to me...just give him up, sometimes it just doesn't work out! Find another dog to PLAY with!" I said "but I LOVE HIM NOW!" LIke it just wasn't her issue (and it isn't) she said "my dogs don't open doors." he can brace now...you know she is right that is the EASY stuff to train them. It's the cross training like...open the door (I thought she trained them this), and cross train a comand like "interupt" when I am crying. Or, stimming from autism. Or, to not chase the cat and stop barking. LOVELY year it will be I tell ya' but hey, what a LOVELY learning experiece she has caused. Maybe I will go into buisness doing this and responsibly doing so. She may have inspired me.
Service Dog Project is a non-profit that truly is making a difference in the world. Breeding, raising, and training Great Danes for service to people with mobility issues was the beginning. But the Project's availability to view on-line 24/7 has been an inspiration to seniors who are homebound, students in school, and those who want to contribute in some way to make life a little better for their fellow humans. Awarded the Service Dog of the Year in 2015, fully vetted and certified by ADI, the project is run by Carlene White, her highly trained staff, and a team of volunteers. Hundreds of people "stop by" via camera each day to check on the dogs' progress, as well as view the donkeys that have been rescued by the Equine Rescue Network, run by Ms. White's daughter, Dr. Janine Jacques. Ms. White has built not just a stunning service organization, but an online family who care for and support each other. SDP lives on donations from both its loyal supporters and businesses who recognize the value of the service that is being provided.
This program does not only train great danes, they also breed them for the program. There breeding program is horribly unethical and they have produced numerous deaf puppies. They do absolutely no health testing and cross danes together that they admit they know will produce impaired dogs only to get one or two puppies that may be good for training. While their training program is of quality and they provide good dogs to people in need, they have lost my support due to their unethical and poor breeding practices. They are bringing special needs dogs into this world that could easily be avoided by spending a few dollars for health testing and common knowledge in the practice of breeding danes. They have been informed of the cause of the disabled puppies over and over and over again by knowledgable breeders and rescues and their response is "if one good dog comes out of the breeding that produces 4 disabled puppies in a litter of 9, it's more than worth it."
SDP is a wonderful organization that makes an enormous difference in the lives of people living with mobility and balance disabilities. Although the primary goal is to help those with mobility issues, the live broadcasting of the puppies' progress and training has made a large difference in the lives of many more people. The care and training of the dogs and puppies prior to their placement is handled through donations of time and money. Recipients are not charged for the dog. Through the wisdom of its founder, Carlene White, the success rate of partnering service dogs with their recipient is above average.
I started out watching the BPs (big puppies) on the hill when Explore.org came online in August 2012. I feel as if Carlene has invited us into her home with all the cameras and we have come to know all the volunteers and Carlene herself. I had the privilege to go to the farm in October 2013 and found it full of love for both the dogs and the people. Every penny raised goes to the breeding and training of great danes into phenomenal service dogs. I have personally watched litters grow from birth to being placed with persons with mobility problems which truly make a difference in their lives. It just gives you chills. God bless Carlene and each and every single one of the volunteers. I wish I lived closer to spend more time at the farm volunteering. PLEASE DONATE TO THIS WORTHY CAUSE. EVERY SINGLE PENNY HELPS.
There are quite a few service dog organizations out there. They all are doing great work. Service Dog Project is different in a few ways. First they are completely non profit, running entirely on donations and almost all volunteer efforts. They place their dogs at no charge. They breed and train their own Great Danes and have 7 generations of dogs in their program. They breed a large, sturdy dog that is more suited for people who have balance and mobility issues. Returning veterans with brain injuries often need a larger dog to help be the rock beside them. Great Danes are well suited for this and it is very rare to find Dane service dogs. They train all their dogs themselves, no volunteer puppy raisers. Dogs do go home with volunteers for occasional overnights as part of training. There are about 50 dogs on site at any given time. They take back retired dogs, dogs who lose their service partner, and they care for dogs temporarily whose partner is sick. They have placed about 100 dogs in their 10 year history, and have made a commitment to increase their graduates from about 10 a year to 30 a year. Right now there are 16 puppies at the house and another dozen on site that will graduate in the next year. This is a huge endeavor and the volunteers and donors have really stepped up to fund this effort and contribute in other ways. Right now you can watch 3, 24/7 puppy cams on explore.org It has been fantastic, educational and inspiring to watch a litter of 8 born live on the cam. The cams will follow this litter from birth to graduation, which is about a one year process. SDP invites people to come visit (and work) on Sundays. It's pot luck and a great way for people to interact, meet the dogs, volunteers, and clients, become part of the SDP family, and learn more about the program. SDP is a working farm and also rescues donkeys and horses from kill pens. Every month they have a fundraiser just to pay the food bill. This is a truly worthy program.
This wonderful non profit organization, SDP, is run by Carlene White and a staff of 40 volunteers. Carlene raises, trains and donates these service dogs. The Service Dog Project is a registered 501c3 and is fully accredited by Assistance Dogs International. Located in Ipswich, Massachusetts on a 12 acre property with heated kennels, fields and a large arena, these areas provide the necessary space to raise the dogs from birth to graduation and even back for retirement if needed. There are live cams set up by explore.org to watch 6 week old pups and 6 month old pups. Live cam of the smaller pups, http://explore.org/#!/live-cams/player/great-dane-service-puppies-indoor-puppy-room To visit and learn about this group, http://www.servicedogproject.org/
A wonderful & unique organization that provides Great Danes as service dogs for a better quality of life for the mobility impaired. They have a very caring staff & volunteers that take care of over 45 Great Danes on the property.
This is a great organization with people who have big hearts, for people and the Great Danes they raise and train for those with mobility and balance issues. They have placed 45 dogs with people who have needs. They are the only ones I know who place a dog with someone who has MS. They help veterans also.
Service Dog Project goes above and beyond any non profit I have ever seen. They have opened their home and their hearts completely for one purpose to provide mobility assistance dogs to those in need. This requires 24/7 diligent care and training not only for the dog but the new owners as well. They also take back retired dogs and babysit placed dogs if their owner is in the hospital or unable for any reason to care for their dog temporarily. The love they have for these animals and all the hard work they do definitely should make them a top rated non profit. Who else would have over twenty great danes in their house to help those in need ? Explor.org has allowed us into this project via 24/7 live cams and it has been amazing to watch from one traumatic birth and rescue to hernia surgeries and the constant cleaning of the puppy pens. As it costs about 14 thousand to raise and train each service dog and the dogs are placed free to the owner they need all the recognition they can as they exist on donations and volunteers and fund raisers.