Putnam Service Dogs has dedicated its mission to providing free, highly trained service
dogs to people with physical disabilities, other than blindness. Why? Because we
passionately believe service dogs change lives. We’ve seen it, and have heard it from
many grateful recipients of service dogs.
How do service dogs make such a difference?
Many people with disabilities feel invisible in society. They tend to be avoided, and not
conversed with by many without disabilities. When they have a service dog at their side,
they’re suddenly more approachable. People approach them to talk about the dog,
admire the dog. Life opens for them, and they’re less isolated.
Americans with Disabilities Act – “This act is powerful in its simplicity…”
Before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into being, July 26, 1990,
people with disabilities were widely discriminated against in America. They were denied
employment, denied attending school, and forced to live in institutions away from their
families, where people with similar disabilities lived. At the signing of the ADA Law,
President George H. W. Bush said, “This act is powerful in its simplicity. It will ensure
that people with disabilities are given the basic guarantees for which they’ve worked so
long and hard: independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives, the opportunity to
blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream.”
Trained to Fit Your Needs
Putnam Service Dogs will be individually trained to do work or perform tasks, for the
benefit of the individual they’re matched with. Depending on the needs of their recipient,
they will be taught to retrieve items, pick up dropped items, push buttons to open
elevator or entry doors, operate light switches, and assist with daily chores, such as
laundry. Their quiet, steady companionship will support their handler in leaving their
home and exploring new horizons – attending college, sporting events, working,
shopping, enjoying a fuller, richer life.
Families with an autistic child will sleep better and longer and can take their child to
public places more easily, knowing the dog has been trained to attend to the child.
Families with a member with disabilities will find relief from their care giving and
companionship responsibilities because of the skills and training of the service dog.
The teaming of a service dog and their recipient is truly synergistic. Both the dog and
the handler are more because they’re together. The dog has a purpose, and someone
who loves him, and the person has a nonjudgmental, loving, and treasured helpmate.