THE PLANET DOG FOUNDATION CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF GIVING
Planet Dog's Non-Profit Awards Grants to Ten Canine Service Organizations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kristen Smith (207)761.1515 ext. 101
Portland, ME (October 11, 2011) - The Planet Dog Foundation (PDF), Planet Dog's non-profit, is thrilled to announce the recipients of $68,580 in new grants. In honor of 10 years of giving, PDF has awarded grants ranging from $2,500 - $10,000 to 10 assistance dog, therapy dog and other canine service programs across the country.
The PDF grants will support a wide variety of non-profit programs that rescue and train dogs to help: children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities; incarcerated men and women; injured service members; at-risk youth; natural disaster survivors and many more people in need.
The ten grant recipients are: Freedom Service Dogs of Lakewood, Colorado; Guiding Eyes for the Blind of Yorktown Heights, NY; Home for Life of Stillwater, MN; Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN) of Indianapolis, IN; Maine Medical Center of Portland, ME; Prison Pet Partnership Program of Gig Harbor, WA; READing Paws of Ocoee, FL; Search Dog Foundation (SDF) of Ojai, CA; Sherman Health Foundation of Elgin, IL; and Tender Loving Canine Assistance Dogs (TLCAD) of Solano Beach, CA.
The Planet Dog Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Planet Dog, the globally recognized designer and developer of innovative, high-quality and award-winning dog products that enhance the lifestyle people share with their canine companions. Planet Dog is proud to donate 2% of all purchases of Planet Dog products to PDF. PDF provides cash grants to programs throughout the country that train, place and support dogs helping people in need. Since 2006, PDF has contributed over $800,000 dollars in cash and in-kind product donations to exemplary canine service programs.
"There is a great need for funding to support service dogs and the amazing ways they are helping children and adults across the country," says Kristen Smith, the Executive Director of the Planet Dog Foundation. "We received high caliber proposals from over 100 organizations and although we cannot fund all of them, we are proud to be able to donate $68,580 in support of ten exceptional programs," adds Smith.
In addition to awarding grants, PDF also extends its support to non-profit organizations nationwide through product donations. "Unfortunately, we cannot meet the financial needs of every grant applicant so we are thankful to be able to support them in other ways," says Smith.
Below is more information about the latest PDF grantees. To learn more about PDF and other programs the non-profit supports, visit www.planetdogfoundation.org.
Freedom Service Dogs rescues their dogs from shelters and trains them to assist people with disabilities. All dogs are provided free of charge to their partners. Dogs that cannot be placed as service dogs are utilized as therapy dogs, and others are prepared for successful adoptions through the training process. The $7,500 PDF grant will help them rescue over 150 dogs within the next year and place more than 30 with a disabled partner. PDF also gave grants of $10,000 and $5,000 in the spring of 2008 and 2009.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind is committed to to giving their students the gift of greater personal freedom, independence and dignity by providing them with the finest bred and trained guide dogs in the world. They depend on a broad network of volunteers to raise and provide preliminary training for their pups. They will use the $10,000 PDF grant to fund the provision of products and Guiding Eyes training materials to assist volunteers in their role as puppy raisers. PDF also gave a grant of $39,000 to build an Outdoor Recreation Area in 2008/2009.
Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN) trains and places skilled service dogs for people in Indiana who have physical or developmental disabilities, while also promoting job and life management skills to offenders who conduct the dogs' training in Indiana correctional facilities. The $7,500 PDF grant will fund the expansion of their pilot program to place 5 diabetic alert dogs in the upcoming year. It will also enable them to provide educational presentations to health care professionals and diabetes support group programs about the role and value of diabetic alert dogs.
Prison Pet Partnership Program rescues dogs from area shelters and rescue groups, brings them into a women's prison and pairs them with an offender who trains the dogs for service or therapy work. They are the first program to do prison partnership work. They also operate a boarding and grooming facility to provide vocational education for female offenders. The dogs are placed at no cost to the recipient. "Paroled Pets," dogs that do not succeed in service or therapy work, are placed as family pets in loving homes. The $7,000 PDF grant will support this program that benefits homeless dogs, incarcerated women and people with disabilities. The recidivism rate for the program graduates is 2% compared to the institutional rate of 35%.
Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs (TLCAD) trains and places service dogs in San Diego County to individuals with limited abilities. All trainers are volunteers and their one-on-one extensive training is conducted in a wide variety of settings with the client. The $6,500 PDF grant will help support the Leash on Life Program, developed to assist children and families impacted by autism; and the At Ease Program, created to serve the needs of Wounded Warriors.
Home for Life pairs teenage boys who have been adjudicated to residential juvenile detention homes for felony level offenses with dogs from the Home for Life Animal Sanctuary. They choose younger dogs with disabilities or behavior issues who have been rejected from shelters and rescue programs. The boys participate in a 10 week program to train the dogs so they become certified therapy dogs. The $5,000 PDF grant will help at risk kids train at risk dogs to help at risk people of all ages.
Maine Medical Center has an active team of 31 nationally certified volunteers and 38 dogs visiting most units in the hospital including the Children's Cancer Center. The $10,000 PDF grant will fund the program for 3 years, providing materials for the existing teams and expanding to 50 dogs. The program is managed by the office of Volunteer Services and without the PDF grant, it was slated to be de-funded in the next budget round.
READing Paws utilizes nationally registered therapy dog teams to increase children's literacy in schools, libraries and bookstores. This program supports and trains chapters in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. The $2,500 PDF grant will fund the training and certification of 50 new therapy dog teams with the potential to serve an additional 2,750 children each year.
Sherman Health Foundation has 20 active therapy dog teams, all trained and certified. Each team visits the same unit repeatedly for continuity for the staff. The program partners with a local Animal Hospital to provide volunteers wellness visits and updated shots. The $2,580 PDF grant will support the ongoing activities of the program. PDF also gave a grant of $2,500 in the Fall of 2010.
Search Dog Foundation (SDF) strengthens emergency response by partnering rescued dogs with firefighters, and training them to save lives in the aftermath of disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, building collapse, floods and vehicle accidents. Their teams deploy nationally and internationally as needed. All of their dogs are rescued - previously deemed un-adoptable, but trained to harness their high energy and play drive to save lives. The $10,000 PDF grant will sponsor a new team and help a rescued dog become a rescuer. In the spring of 2010, PDF raised and donated $8,000 for SDF's disaster relief efforts in Haiti.