Fallbrook CA— Good Dog! Autism Companions recently launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign: “Puppies Can Change the World” to raise $50,000 to place 10 puppies in their Autism Service Dog Training Program. You can watch their short video and contribute here-[www.gooddogautismgogo.org].
Good Dog! Autism Companions provides trained service dogs to children with autism spectrum disorders. Due to uniqueness of the service GoodDog! provides, there’s a rapidly growing list of qualified families waiting for a trained autism service dog. Until now, funding needed to be in place before puppy selection and training began, meaning it took anywhere from 18 months to two years for a GoodDog! to be delivered to a child with autism. Recognizing that this time frame is too long for a child to wait, Good Dog! Autism Companions has designed a new model of support to select and train puppies that can be closer to the completion of their training when a family is accepted into the program. Good Dog! Autism Companions knows this campaign will provide more trained service dogs to more families in need, with a much shorter wait time.
According to organization co-founder and Director, Laura Sylvester, “All families living with autism deserve to be accepted and connected. A service dog has the unique ability to be a bridge for a child with autism to connect with the world. Strangers, under-educated about autism and over-anxious about how it presents, can be judging and unkind in ways that don’t hurt just for a moment, but serve to keep autistic children and their families stuck at the periphery of community and culture. I have seen first hand how a service dog can open up the world for a family living with autism.”
The “Puppies Can Change the World” campaign has taken off quickly and has already raised over $36,000, or 73%, of its $50,000 goal. It is one of Indiegogo’s fastest growing Community Campaigns. The campaign continues through December 5, 2014 and features special promotions centered around the worldwide charity event “#GivingTuesday” that occurs on December 2, 2014. (www.givingtuesday.org).
Recently, Good Dog! Autism Companions brought a 12-month-old golden retriever, named Drake to begin her career as a facility dog at the Comprehensive Autism Center (CAC), in Oceanside, for local children with autism. You can read more about Drake and see her at work here [Link].
About Good Dog! Autism Companions
Good Dog! Autism Companions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Fallbrook, California. Founded in 2011, Good Dog! Autism Companion’s primary mission is to provide autism service dogs for children with autism spectrum disorders. The organization also actively educates the autism community, the canine training industry, and general public about the benefits of autism service dogs.
Good Dog! Autism Companions was founded by Laura and Rick Sylvester, whose son Elliot was diagnosed with autism at age two. After seeing the powerful difference a service dog made in their son’s life, they were inspired to create an organization that would allow other families to also provide their child with an autism service dog. GoodDog! has successfully trained and matched service dogs to 16 families and has a continuously growing waiting list of families waiting to be matched with a dog.