About Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc.
There are over 52 million people or approximately 20% of our population in the United States that are mentally and/or physically handicapped and those numbers continue to grow significantly each year. It is estimated that with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that there is an additional 25% to 30% increase in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). There are over 11 million people who require assistance with one or more daily activities such as walking, picking up dropped items, answering the phone, etc. Roughly 12 million others require a wheelchair or some other ambulatory equipment such as a cane, walker or crutches. The assistance these disabled people require not only strips them of their individual freedoms and quality of life, but also, often creates an enormous burden on the caregivers and community.
It is our goal, that by combining our business skills and specialized training abilities that we can bring dignity and independence to many of these disabled people through the use of our specially trained service dogs. For that purpose, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. was founded in north central Florida. Though the southern United States has the highest numbers of disabled people, we are improving the lives of special needs individuals everywhere and have paired dog teams from Florida to California.
Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc., specifically chose to become a 501(C)(3) corporation in an effort to make as many of these dogs available to the disabled as possible.
The cost of raising and training one of these dogs from start to finish is about $20,000 to $25,000. This is cost prohibitive to most people and especially to someone living on limited disability income. Thus, the only answer was to donate these dogs and secure funding for this project through private foundation grants, fundraising, sponsors, donations, public paid training services and our medical service dog training program that we have developed to teach others how to do what we do.
Although Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc., has been established primarily to do advanced, customized training for service dogs, we have developed multiple programs allowing us to provide excellent service to our recipients and a top quality, dependable service animal that can perform daily functions that his recipient cannot, such as opening and closing doors, refrigerators and drawers, turning on and off lights, retrieving dropped items or the phone, alerting for help or prior to a seizure, providing emotional support for depression, anxiety, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), autism, etc.
These parts of the programs include:
- Rescuing, raising and training puppies/dogs for service dog work.
- Foster training family homes for future service dogs
- Evaluation processes designed to hold our training program to the highest standards
- Extensive evaluation of the prospective recipient to determine the right dog for their personalized needs. This includes applications, letters of reference, pre home and post home inspections.
- Training and education of the recipient prior to, during and after receiving their assistance dog.
- “Passing of the Leash” ceremonies
- Re-homing program for the service dog should the recipient’s condition or environment deteriorate to the point that the dog’s welfare becomes threatened
- Retirement program for the service dog that can no longer perform his required skills
- Medical service dog training program created to teach others to train assistance dogs
We have taken on a monumental task with great passion, skill and determination. It is our hope that by joining forces with those that are selfless, compassionate and generous in supporting our efforts, that our dogs will be instrumental in restoring the dignity and independence of hundreds of deserving individuals.
Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc., was created for the charitable purpose of rescuing, raising, training and then donating medical service/assistance dogs to mentally and/or physically impaired individuals to provide assistance, independence and improve the quality of life of both the recipient and the dog.
In addition, it is our goal to promote education and pioneer research studies to further advancement of service dog training, raise public awareness regarding the laws pertaining to service dogs and lessen the dependency of the handicapped on government, communities, caregivers and families.