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Assistance Dog Resources

Service dogs have been found to be very beneficial for some children and adults with autism. Autism Speaks has put together a list of resources to help you learn more about service dogs and connect you with organizations that may be able to help you and your family find a service dog that is right for you.

Service Dog Organizations

4 Paws for Ability
4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of children with disabilities and veterans by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs. This provides increased independence for the children and assistance to their families. 4 Paws for Ability also helps with animal rescue and educates the public regarding use of service dogs in public places.

Autism Service Dogs of America 
Our mission at Autism Service Dogs of America (ASDA) is to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals living with autism, and their families, by providing exceptionally well trained service dogs. Our service dogs provide physical safety and an emotional anchor for children with autism.

Assistance Dogs International
Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a coalition of not for profit assistance dog organizations. The purpose of ADI is to improve the areas of training, placement, and utilization of assistance dogs, staff and volunteer education, as well as educating the public about assistance dogs, and advocating for the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with assistance dogs.

Blessings Unleashed
Blessings Unleashed is a national life-changing program that turns rescue dogs into heroes for children with autism. Our mission is to enrich the lives of individuals with autism by training and placing highly skilled service dogs. We accomplish this by properly training select rescue dogs for their future individualized task and educating recipients to utilize and care for their service dog.

Canine Companions for Independence
Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA, Canine Companions is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs, and is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. The result is a life full of increased independence and loving companionship.

Custom Canines Service Dog Academy
Custom Canines Service Dog Academy is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization of volunteer professionals and individuals who embrace the endeavor of creating and supporting lasting partnerships between highly skilled service dogs and the community of mankind with diverse impairments and disabilities, thus greatly enhancing their quality of life. The dogs of Custom Canines are placed with their human partners at no cost.

North Star Foundation 
North Star Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization (EIN # 06-1589586). Our mission is to help children who face social, emotional or educational challenges with the help of animal assisted therapy, school visits and assistance dog placements. We have been incorporated for 15 years and have created over 250 assistance dog partnerships with children all over the world.

Autism Speaks Resource Guide
You can also find many local service dog organizations in our online Resource Guide. Click the link and select your state, then scroll down towards the bottom of the page and look under the category “Services” to find a link to service dog organizations. 

Autism Speaks Resource Library
Autism Speaks also has a list of family grant opportunities available in our Resource Library that are designed to help families pay for various costs associated with autism treatment and care. Each has different eligibility requirements, so look through each description to see if any could help your family obtain a service dog. 

Informational Blogs and News Items

7 tips for getting a service dog for an autistic child
from Autism Daily Newscast

4 reasons why service dogs are awesome
from Autism Speaks

Service dog or therapy dog: Which is best for a child with autism?
from Autism Speaks

Autism service dog program provides support for our community 
from Autism Speaks

Student with autism gains legal win to use service dog
from Autism Speaks

Autism and pets: More evidence of social benefits
from Disability Scoop

The Therapeutic Power of Pets for Children with Autism
from Stages Learning

Lending a paw: 'Chester the Super Hero Dog'
from Arkansas Online

Autistic child's family raises money for service dog
from the Natchez Democrat