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Working dogs make the world an even better place.
Check out these links to groups who are raising and training dogs
to change people's lives.

Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota

2537 25th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55406



Web Site:

Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or disabled by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs. As of December 31, 2005 and since its incorporation in 1987, HSDM has placed and trained 196 Assistance Dogs throughout Minnesota which includes 135 Hearing Dogs, 56 Service Dogs, and five Special Skills Dogs. Hearing dogs alert a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to sounds such as a doorbell, alarm clock, telephone, smoke detector, intruder, the person's name being called or a crying baby. In 2005, 45% of trained dogs at HSDM were Hearing Dogs. Service dogs are trained to assist a person with physical disabilities by picking up and carrying objects, pulling wheelchairs, retrieving a cordless phone, opening doors and other tasks. Some of our Service Dogs are also Seizure Response Dogs. In 2005, 50% of trained dogs at HSDM were Service Dogs. Special skills dogs assist individuals who have multiple disabilities, such as people who are deaf and have physical disabilities.

Helping Paws

PO Box 634
Hopkins, MN 55343



Web Site:

Helping Paws is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to further the independence of people with physical disabilities (other than blindness or deafness) through the use of service dogs. Founded with the help of the Center to Study the Human-Animal Relationship & Environment (CENSHARE) at the University of Minnesota, Helping Paws has been a part of the Minnesota community for more than fifteen years.Helping Paws service dogs promote self-sufficiency and empower people with physical disabilities. The dogs are not just companions; they are hardworking partners that allow many of our graduates to live more free, unconstrained lives both at home and in public. The dogs not only help with daily living tasks but also give added confidence and renewed self-esteem. The friendship and companionship of a Helping Paws service dog is priceless.

Minnesota Search & Rescue Dog Association (MinnSARDA)



Web Site:

The Minnesota Search and Rescue Dog Association (MinnSARDA) was established in 1981 as a nonprofit charitable organization. Since its inception, MinnSARDA has grown to be one of the most recognized canine search and rescue teams in Minnesota and the surrounding areas. The unit provides specially trained dog/handler teams to assist public safety agencies in lost person searches, drowning recoveries and homicide investigations. MinnSARDA is an affiliate of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division. MinnSARDA can provide free demonstrations of our capabilities upon request by any public safety agency.


National Association for Search and Rescue

P.O. Box 232020
Centreville, VA 20120-2020



Web Site:

The National Association for Search and Rescue, Inc., (NASAR) is a not-for-profit membership association dedicated to advancing professional, literary, and scientific knowledge in fields related to search and rescue. NASAR is comprised of thousands of paid and non-paid professionals interested in all aspects of search and rescue - the humanitarian cause of saving lives - throughout the United States and around the world. "...that others may live." Response to persons in distress has long been an honorable, charitable tradition. The professionals in search and rescue have carried on this tradition of helping others by dedicating time, information, skills, equipment and funding to the relief of suffering. We are actively working toward the development of improved coordination and communications among federal, state, local, and volunteer groups. Our primary goal is to aid in the implementation of a total integrated emergency response, rescue and recovery system.


National Disaster and Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF)

206 N. Signal St., Suite R
Ojai, CA 93023



Web Site:

The mission of the Search Dog Foundation is to produce the most highly trained canine disaster search teams in the nation. The job of these teams is to find people buried alive in the wreckage of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. To create these teams, SDF recruits rescued dogs from shelters and breed rescue groups, gives them professional training, and partners them with firefighters and other first responders at no cost to their departments. We ensure lifetime care for every dog in our program: once rescued, these dogs will never need to be rescued again. SDF receives no government funding and relies on our supporters throughout the country to provide these services.


Puppy Love Caring Canines

8224 165th St. North
Hugo, MN 55038


Web Site:

Puppy Love Caring Canines is a Minnesota nonprofit that places highly trained assistance dogs with disabled members of our community.

We are one of only a few organizations that will evaluate a person’s own pet to determine if it could be their assistance dog.

Puppy Love is volunteer based and was founded in 2001. We continue to help disabled children and adults gain independence and confidence through their partnership with an assistance dog.


Therapet Animal Assisted Therapy Foundation

15632 Hwy. 110 S. Suite 7
Whitehouse, TX 75791


Web Site:

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is the utilization of animals as a therapeutic modality to facilitate healing and rehabilitation of patients with acute or chronic diseases. A variety of Animal Assisted Therapy programs exist nationwide and Therapet recognizes the need for a more cohesive approach to optimize care and safety for all involved. Thus, Therapet has established a number of goals to achieve it's mission statement. Therapet wants to provide standards of practice which include education,training, and certification of health care professionals who provide Animal Assisted Therapy. Standards of animal evaluation which adequately test the animal's reaction to stress will be taught to individuals to ensure the safety of patients in Animal Assisted Therapy programs. Several certification programs exist which require little more than completion of basic obedience as a requirement for certification. This, by no means, adequately evaluates a dog's response to what they will encounter in therapy or visitation situations. Therapet hopes to educate facilities and volunteers on the need for proper selection and screening of animals to ensure the safety and well being of the patients or residents they are serving. Institutions wishing to establish Animal Assisted Therapy programs will be assisted with education, training, and equipment selection. Research on this growing field will be supported. The ultimate goal of Therapet is to perform our mission through education. Therapet is a volunteer only organization. All donations go to support the program. We have no paid staff members.


Therapy Animals Helping with Rehabilitation


Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) involves the use of animals to help humans deal with physical or emotional issues. While humans have enjoyed a long relationship with animals, it wasn't until the 1700s that an association with animals and therapy occurred. Therapists discovered that children were more responsive to treatment when an animal was involved. Over time, scientific studies analyzed the effectiveness of AAT, with startling results. Though AAT may not be as mainstream as some would like, it is much more common to see dogs, cats, horses, and dolphins serving in therapeutic roles.

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