Alaska Assistance Dog's mission focus is to use service dog-trained dogs in canine therapeutic programs for kids, teens and adults. The "trainees" learn healthy loving, touching and hugging while training the dogs up to 65 commands. The dogs provide the kids with self-confidence and self-esteem. For 15 years AAD service dogs-in-training worked with kids with needs such as autism, FASD, Reactive Attachment and many more trauma issues. Teens in residential treatment for mental health, developmental disabilities and co-occurring disorders plus
adults in senior homes and veterans also benefit from the programs. Now therapy dogs are the training focus. AAD is also present at many community events such as Homeless Connect and focused visits at Mat Su College Huggie Dogs (final exam week de-stressing). The dogs are also used to educate businesses, social service agencies and the general public about service dogs. AAD’s most recent programs are providing permanent therapy dogs for Mat-Su Borough Schools - four have been placed - and working with Palmer Animal Shelter’s dogs to help them get adopted. The dogs are trained commands and given loving and hugging. When with potential adopters the dogs love the attention and perform the commands taught to them.
How Pick.Click.Give. makes a difference
Pick.Click.Give. allows AAD to focus on the many small programs and contacts with the public that make such a difference. Funding allows us to provide therapeutic programs using service-trained dogs. Examples would be our newest program putting permanent therapy dogs in our Mat-Su schools to help destress all students. And the other new project training dogs in our Palmer Animal Shelter to increase adoptability. We continue to participate in Homeless Connect with our dogs and help relax students at Mat Su College during final exams with loving Goldens. PCG allows us to educate businesses, the public and potential service dog owners about the national standards that must be met.