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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Service Dog Project Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Blind & Visually Impaired Centers, Disabilities, Human Services

Mission: Train great danes and other large breed dogs to assist people who have severe balance and mobility limitations.

Programs: Train great danes and other large breed dogs to assist people who have severe balance and mobility limitations.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 Cassandra19

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

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.