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Assistance Dogs of the West

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Cause Description:
Assistance Dogs of the West (ADW) builds successful working partnerships between clients and dogs that empower people and open doors to new opportunities. Assistance Dogs of the West was founded in 1995 by Program Director Jill Felice with the core value of respect for the unique abilities found in humans and dogs. The union of the two working together to enhance the quality of learning, to find creative solutions to problems and to improve the quality of challenged lives has been successful for 20 years. Using a unique model in which diverse student populations support professional instructors with the dog training process, ADW has attained a record of stellar client placement success and an assistance dog student training program which builds community, compassion and youth leadership. To date, ADW has provided highly trained assistance dogs to more than 300 client recipients ages 5 to 95. Qualities of kindness, gentleness and respect in training dogs to assist humans define everything that we do. ADW dogs promote greater client independence and self-reliance and offer unconditional love and companionship. Our dogs provide support to children and families challenged by mobility impairments, autism, developmental disabilities, seizure disorders, diabetes, and psychiatric/emotional issues. We also train and place facility dogs that assist occupational and behavioral therapists in their practices, and in courtrooms and other judicial settings.

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