ECAD is all about the money. First to ask for a $500 non-refundable deposit from someone who is disabled and probably on a limited income speaks for itself. The deposit is to show commitment from the client with no commitment from ECAD. They expect payment in full without a written contract with a specific scheduled training. There are inconsistencies with information in their documents. Their communication with a perspective client while the client is trying to raise funds is poor. Their lack of knowledge of fundraising resources to share with clients is poor as well. I cannot speak about how well their dogs are trained but I will not recommend this agency due to their lack of integrity.
I became aware of ECAD through the Explore.org live cams. It was just before Gucci gave birth to the Cheez-Its and I've been a fan and follower ever since! I have found this organization to be one that cares as much about the breeding and care of these magnificent dogs as they do to the future forever humans they match them with. The Picards, Lu and Dale, are truly dedicated to ECAD's mission and it shows by all the people's lives they have touched and made better, who would otherwise have become a statistic. My only disappointment is that I do not live close enough to be an ECAD volunteer.
ECAD is a wonderful, thoughtful organization that works tirelessly at training and providing service dogs to so many, particularly our returning soldiers that depend on these wonderful creatures to give them the freedom to return to live as it was or as close as it ever can be again. This service is invaluable to our veterans and the people that love them.
I volunteer with one of ECAD's dogs and visit patients, families and assist in many physical therapy groups in the hospital that I work for. The difference these dogs make in peoples lives is immeasurable. You cannot appreciate the value fully until you witness it first hand. Stroke patients are motivated to rehab, children with special needs open up as they never have before and provide an avenue for the therapist and parents to reach them. They bring a smile to every face the visit and for some patients that have been hospitalized for an extended period of time, it is an escape for just a short time and renews their hope and motivation to get better and go home to their pets. Thank you ECAD for all that you do.
This company is a major role to our society, ECAD is able to help and support many people with all types of disabilities. The animals they train are able to physically and emotions help their owners get through their different life situations. I have been to a CT facility and gotten to personal meet some of their dogs at different levels of their training. I have seen this company's employees and see them work with their animals and am proud to know that an organization like this is around.
An employee of yours, Rachel Southworth, noticed some of my Facebook posting regarding the need for a certified hearing dog. She reached out to me, and has spent considerable amount of time finding information and resources to help me in my quest, though ECAD does not train service dogs. Her education on the subject, including the importance of finding an organization that is approved by the service dogs accreditation program, has been instrumental. Rachel has been a fine example of everything ECAD represents, and though I am not an actual client, I am proud to have learned about what you do.
Review from Guidestar
ECAD is a wonderful program for not just the local community that is involved, but for the families whose life are changed. I am writing as a witness to this wonderful change in a family very close to me. ECAD has a very special way of working with their clients not only through the training program but also for the years to follow! They provide peace of mind and really set the families up for success!
Review from Guidestar
I first heard of ECAD from a friend who desired to have a companion dog for her autistic sons. As we were able to take part by assisting with the funds needed for the training and then partnering of the perfect dog for her sons, it became evident that all the staff were kind, professional and very supportive of the entire process. It was a match made in heaven and it has enabled this entire family to venture out into the general population with much more security and confidence and saftey with the assistance of their companion dog. Things that were not a reality if it had not been for the great team at ECAD.
Review from Guidestar
i have a family member who has a companion dog. The union has helped him tremendously. The change I have seen in his emotional stability, attitude and happpiness has been so positive. ECAD does great work, which I am grateful for.
Review from Guidestar
I am a co-producer of several projects dealing with the special needs of individuals who have experienced trauma (see truerep.net). Several of the veterans in our films have service dogs. I have also done theatre/film projects working the people who support children who have fallen through the safety net of the foster care system. I have worked with people with emotional illnesses including autism. I am completely astounded by how ECAD heals the people who train their dogs (from kids with emotional challenges to teens at risk) and then send those dogs off to support individuals with all different kinds of disabilities, while the kids/young adults involved in training the dogs move forward with their lives, knowing they have given to the world as they, themselves, were healed .
ECAD trains superb assistance dogs for disabled individuals as they benefit and transform the children training the dogs. I have had the privilege to attend classes and graduations, as well as knowing some of the great people served by these wonderful dogs. ECAD is a kind of MatchMakers for the Gods...they just take all the healing potential to the highest place...every dog/human pair, whether in training or in life/placement, are taken to a new level of fuller and richer living.
They run the gamit in the broad spectrum of disabilities they serve...physical disabilities of the blind and amputees to the emotional and phychological scars of America's heros...our military sons and daughters...to the young children suffering with islolating condition of autism....what better to bring these folks than the dignity of being self sufficant again, and even better the unconditional love of a dog!!!
I have had the unique opportunity to watch ECAD evolve from the stepping stones of two people with a dream in a garage wearing the hats of founders, trainers, marketers, operators and executors placing four dogs a year, to establishing themselves within alternative schools systems, with a team of associates to support the dream, placing 15 dogs a year and making more and more milestones everyday. From the sidelines I have watched ECAD overcome hurdle after hurdle with the drive to succeed and make a difference in the lives of those who society has forgotten. The miracle of watching a person regain their independence, or those who were deemed "trouble makers" flourish to graduate high school and college, all of which is attributed to the involvement with ECAD. What was once a dream of two people, a husband and wife, a mother and father, a sister and brother, has now taken on a life of its own. This dream has become the dream of everyone they encounter, which is solely based on their compassion for others, and their selfless ability to never say "it-can't-be-done". ECAD is noted for saying, "For every dollar donated, for ever hour donated, three lives are changed." I can speak from experience, ECAD changes the lives so many more then the client, the dog, and the student. Being part of this organization as staff, volunteer, donor, sponsor, regardless of the hat the encounter wears, they will walk away touched, inspired, and benefited by the experience.
I've watched the full circle of ECAD -- from the puppies raised by children with special needs to the people served by these incredible canines. I have seen how the program transforms the children and help them gain confidence as they are transformed from service receivers to service providers. And I've seen the children and veterans -- who have so many challenges that may appear unsurmountable, until an ECAD enters their lives. They benefit from a lives with more independence and confidence, thanks to the dogs trained by the children of Green Chimneys and their other training facilities. It's a magical and transformational non-profit organization. Lu and Dale Picard's passion -- and their dedicated staff -- have made this program a winner for everyone involved with it.
I work with wounded Soldiers and Veterans from the Army who have both physical and psychological wounds. I met with ECAD after first hearing about service dogs and how they can assist with independence and overall well being for Veterans. The ECAD staff has worked with us in not only providing dogs for many of our Veterans in an amazingly short time. They have also helped many re-integrate back into a non-military world by giving them a new purpose and goals by encouraging them with jobs, training and most importantly a safe place to be. This is a great organization that not only provides a great service, but does it with such a caring manner and with such passion!
This is a wonderful group that does as much as they can to help the disabled community by providing access to well trained service dogs. I went through a lot to get my service dog from another group. My friend found out about ECAD and got her dog much easier. Because of the demand for service dogs it can be a stressful time receiving the canine companion a person needs. From watching my friends I would say that ECAD does their best to streamline the process and get the dogs to the people who need them.