Press Release


PDF Awards $66,000 in New Grants to Eleven Canine Service Organizations in 10 States

Kristen Smith (207)761.1515 ext. 101

Westbrook, Maine (October 22, 2013)The Planet Dog Foundation (PDF), Planet Dog’s non-profit grant-making organization, has awarded another $66,000 in grants to continue to support canine service programs across the country! The pet industry’s socially responsible leader is on their way to achieving another million dollar milestone. Earlier this year, PDF announced it had given over $1 million dollars since 2006 to help dogs help people in need.  Planet Dog is proud to donate 2% of every purchase of its award-winning products to PDF.

“We are thrilled to announce new grants to eleven exemplary canine service programs in ten states across the country,” says Kristen Smith, the Executive Director of the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF). “Establishing these new partnerships is a great way for us to embark on our next million dollars of giving and we look forward to learning more about our new grantees and seeing the grants in action,” adds Smith.

The new grantees may be from Arkansas, Baltimore, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Texas, but the reach of their programs goes well beyond their borders.  The PDF grants will support Service Dog, Therapy Dog and other canine service programs from the following canine service organizations: A Fair Shake for Youth, Inc. (New York, NY); American Scent Dog Association (Little Rock, AR); America’s VetDogs – The Veteran’s K-9 Corps, Inc. (Smithtown, NY); Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (Whiting, NJ); Detroit Public Safety Foundation (DPSF) (Detroit, MI); Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. (Bloomfield, CT); HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (Eugene, OR); MedStar Union Memorial Hospital (Baltimore, MD); New Horizons Service Dogs, Inc. (Orange City, FL); Paws for People – Pet-Assisted Visitation Services, Inc. (Newark, DE) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (Dallas, TX).

The mission of the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) is to promote and celebrate programs in which dogs serve and support their best friends.  PDF is funded primarily by Planet Dog’s contribution of 2% of every sale to the Foundation’s grantmaking fund. Planet Dog’s contributions are augmented through private donations and the proceeds from local fundraising events as well as the Orbee-Tuff Glow for Good Ball, a best seller that donates 100% of its sales to PDF.

"There is an overwhelming need for funding to support canine service programs and the amazing ways dogs are helping people in need," says Smith.  "We are thrilled to have donated over $1,000,000 in support of over 100 exceptional programs and are proud to continue to romp the romp and provide PDF with resources to keep having a real impact on the working dog community,” adds Smith.

Grant Amounts and Program Descriptions

A Fair Shake for Youth, Inc. (AFSY) – the $7,500 PDF grant will help this New York City-based non-profit youth-serving organization continue to demonstrate the efficacy of using therapy dogs to help vulnerable, underserved young people develop and expand their lives. By partnering with at least twelve schools and youth service organizations during the 2013-2014 school year, the program will reach a minimum of 200 young people through 10 to 12 weekly program cycles. This small program with a big reach is successfully “offering a helping paw to improve the lives of young New Yorkers.”

American Scent Dog Association (ASDA) – the $4,520 PDF grant will meet two needs for ASDA. The first piece of the grant will cover the educational costs associated with having their 15 member team SARTECH II certified by the National Association of Search and Rescue. Topics for certification include survival and support, search, and rescue. The second piece of this grant will fund canine participation in two cancer research studies being conducted at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Their efforts have successfully transitioned the dogs’ alert capabilities to cancer detection and have clearly demonstrated their ability to discriminate between cancerous and healthy body fluids.

America’sVetDogs – The Veteran’s K-9 Corps, Inc. – the $7,500 PDF grant will support the Massachusetts Prison Puppy Program. Collectively, inmates from local facilities along with local volunteer weekend puppy raisers will train 40 future service dogs per program cycle to assist our nation’s veterans with disabilities. The program not only raises the quality of life for wounded veterans and keeps them active in their own communities, but also has a positive impact on the inmate population as a whole.

Caregivers Volunteers of Central Jersey – the $3,500 PDF grant will support this free volunteer-driven program that brings together those who love both dogs and people for visits to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and homebound, frail, isolated senior citizens in their own home through long-term one-on-one matches. They are working to replicate Caregiver Canines throughout New Jersey and train other nonprofit agencies and businesses such as hospices and home health care agencies how to begin a home-based therapy dog visitation program.

Detroit Public Safety Foundation (DPSF) – the $7,500 PDF grant will help meet the demand for explosive sweep requests by creating a Detroit Community Safety Sniffers program and covering the cost of acquiring one dog and training that dog and its handler to detect explosives as well as maintenance training to ensure effective performance. The grant will enable the program to double its explosion-detection capacity and increase its community outreach.

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. – the $5,000 PDF grant will support the Fidelco Guide Dog Life-Changing Partnership Program and help create a life-changing partnership between a Fidelco German Shepherd Guide Dog and an individual who is blind.  The grant will cover the cost to breed, train, and place a Fidelco German Shepherd Guide Dog and provide follow-up services for the 10+ year working life of the dog.

HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response – the $4,500 PDF grant will assist in recovery from crises and disasters, and assist mental health and emergency response professionals on location throughout the United States. HOPE teams work on the sites of natural disasters, mass shootings, public events recognizing rape, sexual assault or other traumas where victims may gather, or other traumatic events that have a negative emotional impact on many people at once. HOPE AACR has provided comfort and encouragement through animal-assisted support to individuals affected by crises and disasters in the Pacific Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Eastern United States and the Southeast Region. The all- volunteer organization hopes to provide the healing benefits of their services across more of the country.

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital (MUMH) – the $7,000 PDF grant will help establish a Hospital Security Canine Program. The dog will assist hospital security personnel to reduce the rates of assaults against employees, elopements from the Emergency Department and Behavioral units and the number of calls for security assistance from the Emergency Department and Behavioral units. Studies of the efficacy of security dogs show that the presence of dog can de-escalate a potentially violent situation more quickly and more effectively than a gun. The hospital believes that the dogs will become a valuable asset to make MUMH a safe place and create good will for their associates, patients and visitors.

New Horizons Service Dogs, Inc. (NHSDI) – the $6,500 PDF grant will help one of the first ten organizations to receive accreditation through Assistance Dogs International, support their four Team Trainings and benefit 8 canine-client teams. Now in its 19th year, NHSDI has served over 290 clients throughout the state of Florida. In 2012, they placed 42 service dogs with Florida residents with physical or developmental disabilities. In the upcoming year with grant assistance, they expect to place over 50 dogs with human partners in need.

Paws for People – Pet-Assisted Visitation Volunteer Services, Inc. – the $5,000 PDF grant will help train 13 new volunteer teams for their pet-assisted therapy program for children. PAWS for People is the only organization in the Mid-Atlantic region dedicated solely to animal-assisted therapy.  With 350 active animal-assisted therapy teams, this organization provides one-on-one pet therapy and comfort to children and adults with physical, social and emotional challenges in Delaware and three surrounding states. The 13 new teams will each make 2 – 8 visits a month so the grant will generate 1,000 hours of help to people of all ages.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation – the $7,500 PDF grant will support the establishment of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s first-ever K-9 team, who will serve and protect Texas communities and promote the conservation of the state’s natural and cultural resources for the benefit of current and future generations. The new Texas Game Wardens K-9 Program will serve as conservation education ambassadors and offer unique skillsets to conduct search and rescue missions, advance investigations and apprehend violators.

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