We’ve all seen the signs on the doors to malls and restaurants telling us that no animals are allowed other than service animals. Some specify simply “service dogs” while others are more generic. Then we invariably see people inside who are disabled or obviously having difficulties. Do you ever wonder why those people aren’t using a service animal to help them? Could it be they don’t know where to go to get that sort of assistance?
There are charities that do nothing but supply, free of charge or at reduced cost, service animals to help those in need. Too often a disabled person doesn’t know what charities are available. These animals are a blessing to the vulnerable and there are companies out there that can treat your loved one to a grooming session like blossoms dog grooming in Cheltenham
- Guide Dogs for the Blind. This charity bills itself as a community and is a leader in the training of guide dogs to serve as partners for people who are blind or have low vision. They offer their services free of charge and receive no government funding. They have two campuses for training their dogs; one in San Rafael, California, and one in Boring, Oregon. They are supported by a thriving network of trainers, volunteers to raise their puppies and perform other services, and donors to fund it all.
- Helping Hands Monkey Helpers. One of the most devastating disabilities are those resulting from spinal cord injuries. Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled, Inc., has been helping people since 1979. This charity organization provides, free of charge, a highly trained and unique service monkey to help with their needs of daily living. These animals bring a finely trained and nimble set of hands to those who have lost their ability to use their own. Along with the assistance comes invaluable companionship and a renewed sense of purpose.
- Paws with a Cause. This charity raises and trains its service dogs to assist people with certain disabilities to which other charities may not cater. Paws provides service dogs for those who are hearing impaired or deaf, as well as for those suffering from seizure disorders. Paws is also proud to provide service dogs for children with Autism. This charity is fully funded through individual and corporate sponsorship.
- Warrior Canine Connection. This charity is a bit different in that it makes use of the clinically based practice of Canine Connection Therapy to help wounded servicemen and women reconnect to their families, communities, each other and their lives. These servicemen and women raise and train puppies to be full service dogs which are then given to other veterans with disabilities who need the lifetime help of a well-trained service dog.
- Pets for the Elderly Foundation. This public charity serves two purposes: providing badly-needed companions for the elderly and life-saving adoption for animals in shelters that would otherwise face euthanasia. An elderly applicant can get help with adoption fees and veterinary services when the person adopts a companion dog or cat from a participating shelter. They have participating shelters in 30 states and have successfully placed nearly 57,000 animals.