Happy Tails Service Dogs is a 501(c )3 nonprofit organization that teaches persons with physical disabilities and those who are deaf or hard of hearing how to train THEIR dog to be a service dog as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Students and their dogs come to class once a week for approximately 15 months. Besides the classroom, instruction is also provided to the students both during group outings in the community as well as one on one instruction in the student’s home. Students are required to pass the Canine Good Citizen test and the Public Access test prior to taking the test for certification. The test for certification requires two evaluators to test the student in his/her home, outside the home, during local travel and at a mall.
Once becoming certified, a student is given the opportunity of becoming a Peer Mentor to new students coming into the program. Through presentations, graduate students disseminate information on how service dogs assist persons with disabilities in becoming more independent both in their homes and communities.
Each year Happy Tails hosts a Christmas party for current and graduate students. The students look forward to the camaraderie, pictures with Santa, gift exchange and lunch. It is at this time that recognition is given to students who have become certified during the year.
Happy Tails was established in 1996. All services are free of charge to the students.
If you would like to learn more about Happy Tails Service Dogs, Inc. call Joyce Weber at (623) 580-0946.