It’s hard to find a better friend than one with a wagging tail. For thousands of years, dogs have provided humans with devoted companionship and have fulfilled various practical duties to complement diverse lifestyles. Retrievers, terriers, and every mutt in between: dogs have earned their reputation as “man’s best friend.” But throughout history, the beloved animals have also proven to be responsible, compassionate guardians. From emotional therapy dogs (some known as “mascots”) during the American Civil War, to the first Seeing Eye dog “Buddy” who was trained in 1929, dogs have evolved to serve physical, mental, and emotional needs of their owners. Today, service dogs are trained to comfort and assist individuals affected with autism, alert diabetic owners of blood-sugar insufficiencies, guide individuals with impaired visual or audio capabilities, and inform epileptic companions of approaching seizures.
Training for Success
Of course, no dog is born with the skills developed to serve disabled humans, though some are naturally inclined to a life of caring service. There are scores of organizations committed to connecting disabled people with the ideal service dog, and many also provide the necessary training. Four Trusted Partners of RedBasket.org are such establishments, and together, we strive to facilitate a healthy, functional relationship between those in need and their respective service-dogs-in-training:
- Disability Assistance Dogs – this organization provides dogs to aid with physical disabilities, emotional struggles, or simply to be a loving, calming companion for elderly residents in care facilities.
- Domesti-PUPS – based out of Lincoln, Nebraska, this group trains both service dogs and rescue dogs. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for persons with special needs and to promote awareness through education.
- Little Angels Service Dogs – Little Angels is committed to training dogs who will help in daily tasks and increase the independence of their disabled partner. They train service dogs to aid with autism, impaired hearing, reduced mobility, psychiatric issues, and to alert owners suffering from seizures.
- Retrieving Freedom – this non-profit focuses on training service dogs for veterans, children with autism, and individuals affected by diabetes.
Affording a Service Dog
The cost of training a service dog is extraordinary. It can range from $5,000 to $25,000 (not to mention any traveling involved). Given this substantial expense, RedBasket.org can be the best choice to help raise funds while seeking a service dog. With 100% tax-deductible donations and through cooperation with our Trusted Partners to ease administrative processes, Red Basket promotes an opportunity for success in the search for the ideal service dog.
In fact, Red Basket has hosted several successful campaigns focused on acquiring a service dog. To learn more, check out Tara’s fundraiser for a Hearing Assistance dog or Melody’s quest for a mobility assistance dog. If you or a loved one is considering a fundraiser to offset the costs of service dog training, let RedBasket.org advocate your cause!