Name Change, Second Training Facility, and Program Expansion Fulfill Fiscal Year, While Mission Remains Constant

Photo: Nick Knight, Akery Construction, LLC

CENTRAL POINT, OR ‒ Dogs for Better Lives concluded its 2017-18 fiscal year at the end of June, having accomplished several major milestones. Last November, after 14 months of planning, Dogs for the Deaf officially began doing business as Dogs for Better Lives. The new name best reflects the breadth and diversity of the national nonprofits’ programs, while continuing with the same mission and focus on rescued shelter dogs.

For the sixth year in a row, Dogs for Better Lives has received the prestigious 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, highlighting the organization’s financial stability, accountability, and transparency. Further, Dogs for Better Lives was recognized by Oregon Business as a 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon 2017, and by Chamber of Medford/Jackson County as its 2017 Outstanding Corporate Citizen – Nonprofit.

Over the past 12 months, Dogs for Better Lives placed 61 dogs nationally, 18 of which were Assistance Dogs (Hearing – 17 and Autism – 1). These 18 Assistance Dogs were placed in 13 states across the country by professional Assistance Dog Trainers who worked with the dogs, traveled to the clients, and spent a week placing the dog with each new client. Aside from the $50 application fee and a $500 good-faith deposit (returned after one year), there is no additional cost for this $25,000-$45,000 dog.

In addition, the nonprofit has traveled to 17 states to conduct follow-ups with 35 dog and client teams, as well as traveled to 16 states and conducted 21 home interviews with prospective clients.

Not every dog brought in for training ultimately qualifies as an Assistance Dog. Of all the dogs brought in for training in 2017-18, 43 of them were placed as Career Change Dogs in forever homes. “Only after being carefully matched to applicants are these dogs adopted and placed.  Dogs for Better Lives has a lifetime commitment to every one of these dogs and their respective clients,” said Adoption and Foster Program Coordinator Sena Short.

Dogs for Better Lives continues to grow on several fronts. The Autism Assistance Dog program placed its fourth dog this fiscal year in Oregon’s Rogue Valley.  The Autism Program has now expanded across the entire state of Oregon and includes southwest Washington (Vancouver) as well. Further, in order to support this anticipated growth into Autism and Program dogs, Dogs for Better Lives broke ground in November 2016 on a 18,900 sq. ft., 40-kennel Second Training Facility, which is in full construction mode and will be completed later this summer.

“We have outgrown our current facility and can change the lives of many more families with our new training building. The training staff can’t wait to move in and start training dogs. With new larger kennels and open training areas, more dogs can be trained for all three of our programs,” said Training Director John Drach.

Dogs for Better Lives continues to grow on several fronts. The Autism Assistance Dog program placed its fourth dog this fiscal year in Oregon’s Rogue Valley.  The Autism Program has now expanded across the entire state of Oregon and includes southwest Washington (Vancouver) as well. Further, in order to support this anticipated growth into Autism and Program dogs, Dogs for Better Lives broke ground in November 2016 on a 18,900 sq. ft., 40-kennel Second Training Facility, which is in full construction mode and will be completed later this summer.

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Dogs for Better Lives is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focusing on the training and placing of Hearing Assistance Dogs, Program Assistance Dogs, and Autism Assistance Dogs. Accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and recognized by Charity Navigator as a 4-star nonprofit, Dogs for the Deaf has been rescuing dogs, bettering lives, and providing assistance dogs since 1977.