Since 1995, ECAD’s core program, Open Doors, has directly served the needs of over 200 disabled clients and has helped thousands of distressed individuals. Every Open Doors Assistance Dog receives two years of education to prepare them for their career. These purpose-bred, hand-raised dogs learn specific behaviors to serve people with physical needs or to support those in challenging circumstance with a wet-nose nuzzle, an extended paw, and a wagging tail.
Variety of Assistance Dogs ECAD Places:
- Service Dogs- A dog that works for individuals with disabilities other than blindness or deafness. They are trained to perform a wide variety of tasks including but not limited to; pulling a wheelchair, bracing, retrieving, alerting to a medical crisis, and providing assistance in a medical crisis.
- Facility Dogs- A specially trained dog that is working with a volunteer or professional who is trained by a program. The work of a facility dog can include visitations or professional therapy in one or more locations. Public access is permitted only when the dog and handler, who is a trained volunteer or professional, is directly working with a client with a disability.
- Skilled Companion Dogs- A service dog trained to work or perform tasks with an adult or child with a disability under the guidance of an additional person, a facilitator. A facilitator is typically a parent, spouse or caregiver who handles and cares for the assistance dog, encourages and is responsible for the customized needs of the placement.