What is Assistance Dogs of America, as you inquired?

Introduction to Assistance Dogs of America

Assistance Dogs of America (ADA) is a non-profit organization that provides trained service dogs to individuals with disabilities. These dogs are trained to perform specific tasks that assist their handlers in their daily lives. ADA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities by empowering them with the assistance of a highly trained service dog.

History of Assistance Dogs of America

The organization was founded in 1984 by Marcie Davis, a woman who was left paralyzed after a car accident. Davis recognized the need for individuals with disabilities to have access to service dogs that could provide them with the assistance they needed to live independently. Today, ADA is one of the leading providers of service dogs in the country.

Types of Assistance Dogs

There are several types of assistance dogs that ADA provides, including guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired, hearing dogs for the deaf and hard of hearing, and service dogs for individuals with physical disabilities. Additionally, ADA provides facility dogs that work in schools, hospitals, and other institutions to provide emotional support and comfort to people in need.

Training Process for Assistance Dogs

The training process for assistance dogs is rigorous and can take up to two years. Dogs are carefully selected based on their temperament and intelligence, and then trained to perform specific tasks that their handlers need assistance with. This includes tasks such as guiding their handler through crowds, alerting them to sounds, and retrieving dropped items.

Certification of Assistance Dogs

Once a dog has completed their training, they must pass a certification process to ensure that they are able to perform their tasks reliably and safely. This certification process includes a series of tests that evaluate the dog’s ability to perform specific tasks, as well as their overall temperament and behavior.

Benefits of Assistance Dogs for Their Handlers

Assistance dogs provide their handlers with a sense of independence and freedom that they may not have had before. These dogs can perform tasks that may have been difficult or impossible for their handlers to do on their own, allowing them to live more independently and with greater confidence.

Rights of Assistance Dog Handlers

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals with disabilities who use service dogs are protected by law. This means that they have the right to bring their service dog with them into any public space, including restaurants, stores, and other establishments.

Responsibilities of Assistance Dog Handlers

Handlers of assistance dogs have a responsibility to ensure that their dog is well-behaved and properly trained at all times. They must also keep their dog clean and healthy, and provide them with the necessary food, water, and exercise.

Funding for Assistance Dogs of America

ADA relies on donations and grants to fund their programs. They do not receive any government funding and rely solely on the generosity of individuals and organizations to support their mission.

How to Apply for an Assistance Dog

Individuals who are interested in applying for an assistance dog can visit the ADA website to learn more about the application process. The application typically involves filling out a detailed questionnaire and providing medical documentation to verify the need for an assistance dog.

Volunteer Opportunities with Assistance Dogs of America

ADA offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals who are interested in supporting their mission. This includes opportunities to help with fundraising, dog training, and outreach events.

Success Stories of Assistance Dog Teams

ADA has helped thousands of individuals with disabilities to live more independently and with greater confidence. Many handlers have reported that their assistance dog has transformed their lives, providing them with a sense of freedom and companionship that they may not have had before.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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