The Good Dog Foundation is on a mission to use Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Assisted Education to help improve lives. The mission involves volunteers who use animals to help people in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and more. It also funds scientific research to advance Animal-Assisted Intervention.
The Good Dog Foundation supports causes that involve using service dogs to help improve the lives of adults and children and help them heal from trauma suffered through disease, disability, and disaster.
The Foundation's History
The Good Dog Foundation was launched in 1998. Since its inception, the organization has become a leader in the field of animal-assisted intervention.
Some of the Good Dog Foundation’s most significant projects are:
Good Dog Volunteer Services
The foundation trains and certifies hundreds of volunteer therapy dog teams every year. Applicants are screened and qualified for a therapy skills class.
Good Dog Volunteers in Care Facilities
Teams then start serving hundreds of partner facilities like trauma centers, hospitals, and nursing homes. The people served by the initiative include those with PTSD, those recovering from illness, and those with disabilities, dementia, disease, and extreme stress.
Volunteer teams visit facilities that cater to cancer patients, people who have suffered from strokes and cardiovascular problems, those with HIV/AIDS facilities, and special needs populations. They also visit mental health facilities, geriatric units, and US veterans. Over 100,000 people benefit from this annually and enjoy reduced loneliness, anxiety, and increased verbal engagement.
Good Dog Volunteers in Schools
Volunteers in schools work alongside teachers in supporting students who struggle with literacy or English as a second language. They also work with students to improve social and emotional skills. They help improve confidence and literacy. The schools’ program also involves anti-bullying and abuse programs with a strong focus on empathy, kindness, communication, and responsibility.
Good Dog Helps Those With Autism
Good Dog closely works with The Anderson Center for Autism and Rebecca School, both of which are centers that work with people on the autism spectrum. Regular visit outcomes include significant improvements in verbal abilities and marked reductions in disruptive behavior.
Comfort Dog Program
Good Dog started a professional services division for healthcare and education professionals. The Comfort Dog program involves working with the NY City Department of Education to build a national academy to expand its professional services activities.
Good Dog works with academic partners to conduct vital research into the effects of therapy dog interventions. Partners include Mount Sinai Medical Center New York, Pfizer/Zoetis, Yale University Innovative Interactions Lab, Pace University Department of Criminal Justice, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and the American Correctional Association. Studies and their findings are widely shared and published in peer-reviewed journals.