History

Our History
Canines for Disabled Kids works to support the creation of child-canine service dog teams to promote independence and social awareness. Offering free services to families and communities across the United States, Canines for Disabled Kids helps connect children with the service dog that can best help them overcome limitations caused by a variety of disabilities while helping communities to be welcoming and supportive of the special canine tools being used. Scholarships to help cover the training costs are offered, another way Canines for Disabled Kids helps to bring these teams together.

A 501C3 non-profit organization, Canines for Disabled Kids work to support children and service dogs on their road to being as independent as possible. Your support is critical in helping us to help them.

Canines for Disabled Kids (CDK) began in 1998 as an offshoot of the NEADS, Dog for Deaf and Disabled Americans training program. Very few service dog programs were willing to provide trained service dogs for children. CDK believed it was possible to train dogs to help autistic children, children with hearing impairments, other physical disabilities and set out to help families find the best training programs for their children.

In an effort to enhance the education and independence of children with disabilities across the USA, we started to provide scholarship help cover some of the training cost. Soon, many families were coming to the program. Since 1998; CDK has sponsored over 130 service dogs, dogs that can help children with different disabilities; some with their parents as facilitators, or supervisors, and others independently.

CDK used scholarships to encourage the placement of service dogs with children. By providing needed funding to the training organization, CDK was able to increase the number of children being accepted for service dogs and has been able to reduce the wait time for many of these children to between 3 months and 1 year, rather than 2 years or more. Over 200 training programs are eligible for the scholarships offered.

CDK also developed a strong educational presentation program to provide information to the public about service dogs, public access and their role with individuals overcoming limitations of a variety of disabilities. These programs are offered all over the country to schools, civic groups and businesses.

Advocating for individuals with service animals became a natural extension of these education programs. CDK staff now works with families across the country helping to determine if a service dog is the right tool and which training organization is the best match for the needs of the individual.

Educational presentations, advocacy, and consulting are offered to all nationwide at no cost. CDK is not a “fee for service program”
Children must be under the age of 18 years old at the time of placement with their service dog to be eligible for scholarships offered by CDK. Details of scholarship requirements are available on line under Scholarship Requirements or by contacting the office.