Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc. (TLCAD)

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: Our mission is to transform lives with Service Dogs. TLCAD builds bridges to independence by transforming the lives of Wounded Warriors and individuals with autism in San Diego County, their families and their communities, as well as dogs at risk of euthanasia and the prison inmates who train them.

Results: Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs (TLCAD) is a nonprofit organization of dedicated service dog trainers for the autism and wounded warrior communities. For more than 15 years, TLCAD’s volunteer trainers have built bridges to independence for dozens of individuals in San Diego County. TLCAD is an Assistance Dogs International accredited organization that prepares dogs to meet the unique needs of each individual, which results in a 96% placement success rate. TLCAD partners with individuals, correctional facilities and dog rescue organizations to train service dogs to meet the growing demand in San Diego County.

Target demographics: individuals with disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 100 individuals with autism and Wounded Warriors by placing custom trained Service and Facility Dogs

Geographic areas served: San Diego County

Programs: At Ease and Leash-On-Life, that place custom trained Service Dogs with Wounded Warriors and individuals with autism.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Jess22

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jessica Hargis and I'm a medically retired Marine. I was stationed in the Wounded Warriors Battalion West as a paitent and thats where TLC saved my life. TLC is an amazing organization. They do not just give out a service dog by going down a list. They find the best match for every service dog they place. Every person I have ever met that works with them have been nothing but amazing, genuinely caring and would bend over backwards to do everything they can to help. My life was completely turned upside down from my medical disabilities. The first day I met with TLC I asked for the biggest scariest service dog to be paired with me. But they decided to try me with the sweetest smallest golden I had ever seen. I was relunctent but TLC was right with putting us together. The longer we trained together the more I saw a change in myself for the better. She was slowly giving me the ability to have my life back. I'm now able to leave my house! I can complete normal day to day functions! I do still have problems but at least I get to live my life how I want to live and its all thank's to TLC. My service dog Sasha and I are inseparable. She's my best friend and their really are no words to express how thankful I am for you guys pairing us together. All I can say is thank you TLC!!!

Elisa O.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I was given a Chihuahua after I fell into a coma around 5 years ago. Because I had time on my hands and I needed to walk, I would take my new companion to the park and began to train him under the guidelines of the "Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test". The test is extensive but quite simple and as is mandatory, that he be able to perform 80-100% of the required commands stated in black and white on the test. He has also been assessed by a dog trainer in a public park and she was more terrified than he was,,,,it was very strange, but he passed the test??? He was a most important part of my recovery from 2 open heart surgery's (the second of which he spent time in hospital with me to serve as pain management), stents, visits to the ER, visits to various doctors etc. Neither my doctors or myself know what my future is so I live day to day. My service dog will be on alert if I take ill, he will lay on the part of my body and identify the illness, he gives me relief when there is no pain management (like in Garfield Hospital) yet Assistance Dogs International refuses to either train him because he is an OUTSIDE DOG or assess him under their guidelines? I am pointing this out because Assistance Dogs International make it impossible to get your dog accredited, that is why most people turn the "fake id's for EMOTIONAL and SUPPORT" animals. I have been legally been registered as Disabled by the Department of Social Security and my dog has been Designated as a Service Dog by the USDA which is a body of the Federal Government. So you ask why so many people are breaking the law, well here is your answer!!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Tender Loving Canines was absolutely wonderful to work with. Their team of trainers and staff members are extremely passionate and knowledgeable and went above and beyond providing us with the support, training and education needed for our facility dog placement, Stevie.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We at Hospice of the North Coast and Pacifica House are so thankful that we were introduced to TCLAD earlier this year for the incredible opportunity to have a Facility Dog to offer as therapeutic intervention to not only our patients and families but to staff as well! We are very unique in that our facility is a home-like setting that provides critical care to the hospice patient. In a space where emotions run high and patient's are very sick, the ability to offer the tender, loving presence of a canine staff member is above and beyond any other intervention. The environment having a dog creates is so peaceful, light and joyful. Dogs are sensitive to people's needs and add that extra special touch of compassion and care that cannot be achieved any other way. Stevie has already made such an impact in the short time she has been here. Now that she is certified we are ready to put Stevie's skills to work purposefully for the effect of lessening end of life anxiety and agitation with our terminal patients as well as hoping for distraction therapy to help ease physical pain, and even reminiscing on pet experiences to ease psycho-social pain.
TCLAD has been an amazing partner training Stevie through the POOCH program and then transferring her skills and training methods to PH and to our staff who handles her on a regular basis. The impact Stevie will have will be exponential because of how many patients and families we see come through our doors- She will have an incredible working life with us providing love and companionship to our population.

Charmaine H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Karen,

Has been so supportive and amazing to work with - this is not an easy process and can be an long road to travel finding the best and most reputable k9 service organization. The compassion and kindness that has been extended to my family with 2 disabled twin son's has been so refreshing. I really appreciate all that Karen and her organization has provided me and my son's

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

TLCAD is an amazing organization that gives back to the San Diego community in many ways, not only by providing service dogs to individuals with disabilities but by helping to rehabilitate inmates and giving a second chance to shelter dogs. Their professionalism and dedication to best practice methods in training and placing service dogs helps to raise the standards of the field.

Rachel173

Client Served

Rating: 5

The mission of this group is amazing and simple--provide highly trained dogs to people in need to change their lives!! My son, Cameron is 9 years old. At 17 months of age he was diagnosed with Autism. Since that time he has been diagnosed with Apraxia which makes it almost impossible for him to speak. Cameron is currently severely impacted by his autism and pretty much nonverbal. He fortunately has children at school who care for him but he doesn't have any real friends. Cameron is also very active and is not afraid of cars. He could run into the street at any time. Our house is kept locked up tight just to keep him from escaping. If he left our constant supervision he could not survive. Our family divides up most of the time to attend activities because it isn't safe for Cameron. Movies, sporting events, parties,walks in crowded places or fairs, are next to impossible with Cameron. And then comes Star. Cameron was chosen to receive Star as his companion to allow him to do some of the things that have been unsafe for him up until now. She will also provide him companionship and hopefully encourage other children to be near Cameron. We are still in the process of training to be with Star but I know when she moves in with us it will be life changing for all of us! We are so grateful to Tender Loving Canines for this amazing gift!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

TLCAD is an invaluable organization which helps Veterans regain their independence, as well as helping to empower children with Autism. TLCAD has recognized the needs within its community, and strives to help those in their community to lead independent and happy lives, with the help of one of their specially, extended customized-trained service dogs. It is in this partnership where people can thrive in their daily lives. These service dogs have helped to save lives, as well as returning families to their family unit, helping to give people a big part of their world back, or introduce people to new experiences.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

It was a pleasure working with the TLCAD team as we worked closely on the organization's rebrand efforts. The leadership takes their role in the community very seriously and is always looking for ways to extend their reach to have the most positive impact on individuals who would benefit from having an assistance dog. They truly are transforming lives.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

They work great with us as a govt agency and their clients. Very professional and compassionate organization.

1 Linda387

Client Served

Rating: 5

I retired from the military after 20 years of service. I had difficulties after my deployment to Iraq. Willow, my service dog from TLCAD, helped me reintegrate back into society, helped me with my triggers, and improved my overall quality of life. I continue to serve by working with veterans with Willow by my side. Thank you TLCAD. Please support them.

2 Phillip G.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am the local chairperson for Tee it Up for the Troops and have been our charities internal champion for Tender Loving Canines. Karen and her team of talented trainers are simply one f the finest groups of people that I have ever been associated with and I am proud to be their representative within my organization.

At Tee it Up for the Troops our mission is to focus our fund raising efforts toward having an immediate and personal impact for veterans and their families at both the local and national level. Tender Loving Canines exactly meets that goal by providing service dogs that help our wounded military veterans cope with their wounds both seen and unseen. The dogs that they train and provide to our warriors help them manage daily issues that they face (mobility related issues as well as PTSD).

The training team takes great care to match dogs with veterans based upon their needs, but it doesn't stop once a dog is placed. TLC works with each veteran to understand how the dog can assist them and teaches each of them how to continue to re-emphasize the training that the dog has learned. When dogs grow to old to continue their work, TLC works closely with that veteran full the rest of their lives to make sure that their needs continue to be met.

Karen and the entire TLC team are simply the very best and I am lucky to have gotten to know each of them ad count them as friends.

1 dcornsweet

Donor

Rating: 5

Our foundation has been funding this org since our inception. in addition to providing service dogs, they also do a lot of consulting and training with other organizations. Wed efinitely are pleased with the "bang" we get for our buck.

Previous Stories
3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a professional who has worked with PTSD for many years both in and out of the military, I've been deeply impressed with the work that TLCAD does with those who are or have served our country. The impact of the service dogs cannot be overstated as i have had the honor of talking with the recipients who shared their experiences and both heard and seen the profound difference.
As an investor in charitable organizations, i, along with the co trustee/director of the foundation i work with, carefully review each potential investee and their work. TLCAD has demonstrated fiscal responsibility, program efficacy and administrative excellence in a way that guarantees them to be an ongoing recipient of our support.

Marianne15

Board Member

Rating: 5

TLCAD takes a personal and dedicated approach with its clients and their dogs. The clients' needs are continuously monitored in order to ensure that the service dog meets the clients' needs. TLCAD staff members follow the client and the dog for the life of the client ensuring that they are able to maintain the quality of life and independence that the client deserves. Great organization that wants to serve as many clients in San Diego county as possible! The dogs are changing lives! Thank you for your support in the past and most appreciated in the future.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 4

Our organization is highly accredited by Assistance Dog International (ADI) and services Wounded Warriors with the sole diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and individuals on the autism spectrum with service dogs. Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs (TLCAD) is extremely dedicated to those in need in San Diego County, changing lives through service dogs that are trained by well trained volunteers. They successfully place dogs that allow for greater security and independence for those that currently are not able to live their lives to the fullest. I have seen the TLCAD Service Dogs change lives of both children and adult soldiers first hand.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs is a great organization that places working dogs with folks who need them the most; our wounded veterans and people with autism. Seeing how a dog can make such a huge difference for someone with mobility issues or allow an autistic child to experience life better makes volunteering more than worthwhile.

Client Served

Rating: 1

This organization has been instilling my family and me with false hopes for nearly 6 years now. Notice how only 2 of TLCAD reviews are from dog recipients. The rest are from volunteers, trainers, etc. The sad truth is that TLCAD rarely places dogs at all as far as we can tell. Nobody in our special needs community has ever received one from TLCAD. Nobody seems to ever get rejected either--you just languish on the wait list with no estimate of how many months or years you might still have to wait. What's more, they've at least once asked us if we'd consider paying the full fee for a service dog (around $20K), claiming they were short on funds and trying to "weed out" their waiting list. Desperate, we actually said yes we would consider paying $20K. That was 3 years ago. No word from TLCAD since except to send us automated fundraising requests. If TLCAD service dogs are so scarce, we're in no position to judge. But don't put families through hours and hours of your exhausting application process if you don't anticipate placing any service dogs for some years to come. It's ok if your waitlist is forever closed--just say so!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Tender Loving Canines back in March, after meeting the staff and trainers I was hooked!! Just the name of the organization says so much. The tender loving care that goes into training these dogs to serve our wounded warriors and children with Autism is just heart warming. Positive loving and gentleness to bring out the best in these dogs. I've learned so much through the trainers allowing me to watch and attend some of the training sessions. Their passion for these animals and the clients they serve is overwhelming. I feel very blessed and honored to work with such fine loving and enjoyable people. I encourage those who want to volunteer for an organization that not only steals YOUR heart but will show you how you can make a difference in transforming a life of our dearly loved wounded hero's or a child with Autism. I LOVE what TLCAD stands for, their passion and dedication to transforming lives and being around such a loving and fun group of people.

1 Karen352

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Tender Loving Canines as a volunteer for over 11 years, as a board member and volunteer dog trainer. After placing my first service dog and witnessing the immense impact on the life of a gentleman who was paralyzed, who was able to hold down a full time job, go to sporting events and concerts, and spend most of his time helping others improve their life - through the use of his custom trained service dog - I was hooked. Making the world a bigger and happier place for individuals on the autism spectrum and our wounded warriors, positively changing their family as well as their community - is now my passion.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for TLCAD I see the result of the collective efforts for each recipient of those services provided. Not only does the person benefit, but so does the family, in many cases the dog (particularly if a rescue), the community and the inmates who are training the dogs. For me, this organization touches on three very important and personal goals; give back to our wounded warriors, assist families touched by autism and nurture and enjoy the amazing bond between humans and dogs. My life has also been enriched through the volunteers I've met and work with.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a clinical psychology doctoral student currently working with TLCAD on a research project that will bring awareness of the benefits of service dogs among veterans diagnosed with PTSD. TLCAD has gone above and beyond in their partnership with me and the rest of my research team. It was apparent quite immediately how committed and driven the staff are at TLCAD; these are a group of individuals who truly care about and believe in what they do. I am honored to be working with this organization on our research to help make service dogs a more recognized option to our service men and women who are currently struggling with symptoms of PTSD.