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Community and Internet Resources

Independent Living: Service Animals and Hearing Dogs

New Horizons Un-limited is not endorsing and assumes no responsibility in guaranteeing the products, services, programs or conditions as described. If you are interested in a resource listed below, call or contact the resource to verify the current situation. Evaluate the information, analyze your unique circumstances, use your best judgment and make your own decisions when using the information. Before making any change, consult your health care professional.
State Listings: AZ / CA / MD/DC (District of Columbia) / MA / NY / PA / WI // (Official USPS State Abbreviations)
Country Listings: Australia


4 Paws for Ability provides service dogs worldwide. Their mission is to

For more information, contact 4 Paws For Ability at 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385, Phone: (937) 374-0385 or send email to 4 Paws For Ability

Assistance Dogs International, Inc. is a membership organization for providers of assistance dogs. Assistance dogs are classified as guide dogs, hearing dogs, or service dogs for people who have other kinds of disabilities. The purpose of ADI is to improve the "training, placement, and utilization of Assistance Dogs." Its goals include educating the public about assistance dogs and the legal rights that people have with their assistance dogs, and setting standards for training and providing assistance dogs. The website includes a search for assistance dogs programs throughout the US and the world. The website includes a short description of each type of dog (guide, hearing, service) and information about standards for providers (clients), for those who have an assistance dog (dog partners), and for assistance dogs in public. The website includes a model assistance dog law, an online video called "We Welcome Service Animals," and information about ordering a "Guide to Assistance Dog Laws" (international in scope). The website also includes a list of its members (with links), and organizations that train and provide assistance dogs. The listings include the types of dogs each organization trains. Besides providers, this website would be helpful to someone wanting to obtain an assistance dog or wanting to know more about assistance dogs. The list of standards for providers would help a person evaluate a provider before getting a dog. The lists of standards for dog partners and for dogs in public would help a person to evaluate their own ability to meet the responsibilities of having an assistance dog. The listing of member organizations would help a person find an appropriate provider. This website could be very helpful to anyone considering getting an assistance dog. For more information contact Assistance Dogs International at the link above, or write P.O. Box 5174,Santa Rosa, CA 95402 or send e-mail to: info@adionline.org

Delta Society is an organization about service and therapy animals that studies the role of animals in "people's health and well-being" including the use of service and therapy dogs to improve people's lives. For more information, see this resource under "National."

International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) is an organization that provides information and support to people who own assistance dogs and others interested in assistance dogs. Membership categories include Partners, Friends, and Providers. A Partner membership is open to a disabled person working with an adult dog with at least six months of training meeting minimum training standards for public access. A Provider membership is open to professional individuals and organizations that train assistance dogs or assist disabled individuals to train their own dog. A Friend membership is open to a disabled person with a puppy or dog in training, health professionals, individuals raising a dog to become an assistance dog, and other interested individuals. The mission of IAADP is stated as "(1) provide assistance dog partners with a voice in the assistance dog field; (2) enable those partnered with guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs to work together on issues of mutual concern; (3) to foster the disabled person / assistance dog partnership." IAADP links members together with an annual meeting at the Assistance Dogs International Conference and publishes a quarterly newsletter. These programs tie people together from the different categories of guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs. IAADP offers a lot of information about veterinary care programs, access issues, disaster relief, advocacy, air travel with an assistance dog, selecting and training an assistance dog, assistance dog laws, and links to dog resources "Canine Corner" and "Disability Resources." Also see "Partners Support System" on "A Brief History and Special Projects" page about a program designed to see that an assistance dog is cared for and returned to its owner if lost or united with an emergency caregiver if the owner becomes incapacitated. The website also has information about joining on-line (see link above) or by mail at IAADP PO Box 1326 Sterling Heights, MI 48311. There are several phone numbers and e-mail addresses listed under "Contact Information." Phone: 586-826-3938, National Helpline (access issues): 513-245-2199, International Helpline: 586-826-3938 or direct general questions can be sent via e-mail to IAADP@aol.com


Canine Companions for Independence provides trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities and to professional caregivers providing pet assisted therapy. There are various locations in the Midwest area, including Delaware, Ohio, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and Glenview, Illinois. There are also volunteer groups in several locations. To learn more about this program, see the link above or send e-mail to: info@caninecompanions.org

Delta Society is an organization about service and therapy animals that studies the role of animals in "people's health and well-being" including the use of service and therapy dogs to improve people's lives. The Delta Society does not train service dogs, but it does offer information on its website about service dogs and how to find service dog providers and trainers. To learn about service animals, click on "Service Animals" on the drop-down menu under "Learn." The information available includes information about service dogs, who can be helped by a service dog, and information about a curriculum for training service dog trainers. A number of topics are also covered under "Frequently asked Questions" including general information about service dogs, how to find a service dog and trainer, and questions about access issues. To find lists of service dog providers and trainers, click on ""Where can I find a service dog?" under "Frequently Asked Questions." Trainers can be found by state, by providers that cover the entire U.S., and by providers that provide dogs internationally. Under "FAQs", "Where can I find a service dog?": Lists of Service Dog Trainers and Training Programs (3 lists, by state, national, international) Service Dog Related Organizations Service Dog Equipment Suppliers (vests, harnesses, patches, assistive devices) The Delta Society also has information about pet partners and animal assisted therapy programs (animals that visit people in hospitals and nursing homes, etc.) and the health benefits of companion animals (everyday pets). Contact the Delta Society at 875 124th Ave NE, Ste 101, Bellevue, WA 98005-2531, Phone: 425-479-5500 and Fax: 425-679-5539 or send e-mail to: info@deltasociety.org

Dogs for the Deaf takes dogs from shelters and trains them to be Hearing Dogs to alert people who are deaf to sounds that they need to be aware of such as fire alarms, ringing telephones and door bells, knocking at the door, oven timers, alarm clocks, or a baby crying. Dogs are evaluated, receive necessary shots and veterinary care, are given obedience training and socialized, and are trained as Hearing Dogs. Those dogs that are not suited to be hearing dogs are trained as Special Needs dogs for people with a variety of disabilities such as cerebral palsy, seizures, and depression; as Dogs for Seniors to provide companionship for a senior citizen; or as Career Change Dogs that are placed into loving homes. No dog is returned to a shelter. Dogs for the Deaf, located in Central Point, Oregon, finds its dogs in shelters in Oregon, Washington, and California. Services include placement training in the client's home and follow up support, including in-home visits, for the "life of the team." This website includes a resource list on organizations about disability and organizations about dogs. Contact Dogs for the Deaf at 10175 Wheeler Road, Central Point, OR 97502 or Phone: 541-826-9220 or Fax: 541-826-6696 or send e-mail to: info@dogsforthedeaf.org

New Sign Pet Dental Care -from Emergency Dentists USA, this website is for taking care of your pet's dental needs too. Why it's so important? The article explains the importance of pet dental health to the overall health of your pet, easy ways of cleaning pet teeth, best tools to use and available pet dental care products.

Vets Helping Heroes a nonprofit dedicated to providing assistance dogs for active duty military and retired personnel veterans recovering from the physical and psychological challenges they suffered as a result of their service to our country. This organization raises funds for assistance dog programs and offers information about assistance dogs for veterans with disabilities.

Winter Safety for Dogs: Five Cold-Weather Concerns is an article on Rover.com that covers Fur Isnít Enough, Stay Close, Vehicle related Hazards, Paw and Pad care and Frost bite and Hypothermia. Keep your dog safe in winter.

State Listings


Handi-Dogs To promote independence, freedom, health, & dignity for seniors & people with disabilities through the use of trained dogs.75 South Montego Drive Tucson, Arizona 85710, or Phone: (520) 326-3412, or Fax: (520) 319-8186 or send e-mail to service@handi-dogs.or


Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. The assistance dogs they breed, raise and train aren’t just the ears, hands and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often, their best friends. They open up new opportunities and new possibilities, and spread incredible joy. CCI unites people with dogs in a powerful program that leads to greater independence and confidence.

Sam Simon Foundation takes dogs from shelters and trains them to be Hearing Dogs for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and are residents of California. Hearing Dogs are trained to alert their owners to sounds in the home such as a ringing doorbell, someone knocking at the door, a telephone, an alarm clock, an oven timer, or a smoke alarm. Dogs are evaluated, checked for good health, spayed or neutered, given necessary shots, and socialized and taught basic commands. Dogs can be trained to only work sounds in the home or also be certified to work in public places. See the Sam Simon Foundation website for a description of the difference between a dog working at home and in public. Those dogs that are not suited to be hearing dogs are called Career Change Dogs and are placed into loving homes. Services include orientation training in the client's home and follow up support. The Foundation also has a program that takes dogs in training to visit people living in assisted living facilities and a mobile spay and neutering program for dogs and cats that belong to low-income people living in Los Angeles. Contact the Sam Simon Foundation at 30765 Pacific Coast Hwy #113, Malibu, CA 90265 or Phone: 310-457-5898 (voice/ TTY) or Fax: 310-457-9312 or send e-mail to info@samsimonfoundation.org

Maryland/Washington, DC

Fidos For Freedom, Inc. is an organization in Laurel, MD that provides hearing, service, and therapy dogs in the Baltimore, MD-Washington, DC metropolitan area. Hearing dogs are trained to alert a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to important sounds such as door bells, smoke/fire alarms, telephones, a baby's cry, or an alarm clock. Service dogs are trained to assist physically disabled people in a variety of ways. Therapy dogs are trained to visit patients in nursing homes and hospitals with their owner volunteers and brighten a patient's day. Fidos' website offers information about these programs, answers some common questions under "FAQ", and offers links to dog related resources and disability resources under "Links". To find out how to apply for an assistance dog (within 75 miles of Laurel, MD), click on "Application Information" on the Assistance Dogs page. This website has canine resources under therapy and assistance dog organizations, dog rescue organizations, service dog equipment, & other dog related organizations and disability resources under local & national disability organizations and service dog related organizations. For more information contact Fidos for Freedom, Inc.at P.O. Box 5508, Laurel, MD 20726, Phone: 410-880-4178 or 301-490-4005, TTY: 301-570-7570, Fax: 301-490-9061, or send e-mail to office@fidosforfreedom.org

K9 navigators Assistance Dogs provides service dogs to active duty, retired military personnel, first responders, including fire, police and emergency personnel and their families who have been injured or experienced trauma while honorably serving our country. They also place service dogs with families who have children with a variety of special medical conditions including cerebral palsy, autism, seizure disorder and diabetes. What makes them different from other service dog organization's is that they provide customized K9 selection for temperament and workability, then tailor the dog's task training to meet the individual needs of the applicant.


Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers Established in 1979, Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled is the only non-profit organization in the world that raises and trains capuchin monkeys to provide daily, in-home assistance to people living with spinal cord injury or other mobility impairments. For more information contact, Helping Hand Monkey Helpers, 541 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02134.

New York

The Guide Dog Foundation Mission is to improve the quality of life for people who are blind, visually impaired, or with other special needs. Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc., 371 East Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787-2976, 1-800-548-4337, Fax: 631-930-9009 or send e-mail to info@guidedog.org

New Sign Freedom Guide Dogs non-profit organization based in Upstate New York, which breeds, raises, trains and places guide dogs with the blind and visually impaired through a distinctive program called Hometown TrainingTM. Freedom Guide Dogs' services are available to people in the Eastern United States at no cost. To learn more about their veterans program, please call 315-822-5132.


Canine Partners for Life (CPL) is a non-profit 501©(3) organization dedicated to training service dogs, home companion dogs, and residential companion dogs to assist individuals who have a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities. Physical Address: 334 Faggs Manor Road, Cochranville, PA 19330, or the Mailing Address, Canine Partners for Life, P.O. Box 170, Cochranville, PA 19330. Tours of our facility are available by appointment. Please call (610) 869-4902, ext. 221, to schedule.


Capable Canines of Wisconsin, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that trains and places service dogs. We are dedicated to providing assistance and support to children and adults living with autism, seizures, hearing impairment, and physical disabilities. For more information, visit their website or sign up for their newsletter or contact Capable Canines of Wisconsin, Inc., P.O. Box 34, Onalaska, Wisconsin 54650, Phone: (608) 561-2269 or capablecanineswis@gmail.com

Saving Paws Animal Rescue Inc. is a 501(c3) non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing homeless, abandoned and special needs animals and finding new adoptive homes or providing a lifelong sanctuary for them; to train and provide service dogs to children, adults and Veterans with disabilities to help with both physical and emotional independence. We also seek to educate the public regarding animal responsibility and the use of service dogs in public places. For more information, contact Saving Paws Animal Rescue by
Mail: PO Box 0362, Appleton, WI 54912-0362
Rescue: N3141 Meade Street, Appleton, WI 54913
Phone: (920) 830-2392
or send email to: info@savingpaws.com

Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service Dogs, Inc. began in 1987. Their mission is to promote functional independence and improved quality of life for persons with physical mobility impairments through partnerships with highly skilled service dogs. They are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization which depends on donations, contributions, and grants from foundations, businesses, and individuals to fund its mission. WAGS raises and trains service dogs to increase the ability of individuals with disabilities to independently execute functional, daily living skills, increase attendance in daily life events, and improve outlook on life, with the aid and support of a highly trained service dog. WAGS, Inc. has facilitated the partnership of over 100 service dogs with people with disabilities of movement such as: Multiple sclerosis, Spinal cord injury, and Neuromuscular disease. For more information, visit Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service Dogs (WAGS), 1338 Dewey Court Madison, Wisconsin 53703, 608-250-WAGS (9247) (phone and fax; please call before faxing) or send e-mail to: info@wags.net

Country Listings


Assistance Dogs Australia was established as a non-profit organization in 1996 with a committed Mission: to enhance the quality of life for people with physical disabilities Assistance Dogs Australia obtains, trains and maintains dogs in community settings to assist people with their disabilities, to give them more confidence and to help them achieve a greater level of independence. The Assistance Dogs are fully trained to specific standards and provided to disabled recipients free of charge.

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[Originated February 29, 2008, Updated October 31, 2017]
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