Canines for Disabled Kids is a small non-profit located in Princeton, Ma. We raise money to provide disabled children ages 6-18 with "scholarships" for service dogs. These dogs are generally worth between 21 and 24,000. The wait list for a service dog can be up to 5 years. By providing these scholarships, our kids get on a much shorter waiting list and receive their service dog more quickly. We sponsor social dogs for autistic children, balance/walker dogs for mobility impaired children, hearing dogs for deaf children and general service dogs. In some cases we will also sponsor therapy dogs used specifically for children. Parents are encouraged to call if they are interested in a service dog for their child, and we will work to make a sure a dog is useful in their situation and also to find the correct training organization for their family.
We also work to enhance public awareness by traveling around the country talking and giving demonstrations to students of all ages, civic groups, religious groups, and businesses. Most training organizations are too busy to provide these services for the general public, and yet, many people are interested in hearing about what they do and seeing a demo dog perform a variety of skills. This is especially useful when a school is going to have a child with a service dog in the building. We are able to provide the schools, teachers, and students with the information needed to make an easy transition. As an independent organization CDK has credibility that is important when helping a family to determine if an assistance dog is right for their child and if so which training organization to apply to. CDK is able to talk about all the options a family has; about what age might be best to apply for a dog, about what things a dog could really help the child with to expand independence, about how this new tool is going to be in the family unit - all the pros and cons that come with the expanded independence.
If you want to read more information regarding this wonderful charity, check out their website at http://caninesforkids.org/