Therapy dogs. Service dogs. Search & rescue dogs. Bomb sniffing dogs. Police dogs. The Planet Dog Foundation celebrates all “working” dogs that are enhancing and saving human lives. We do this by supporting innovative, respected and effective non-profit organizations that work tirelessly to raise, train and place the dogs.
TEACHING OUR CHILDREN
Through structured reading programs in schools, libraries, and therapeutic learning centers, dogs help children to overcome difficulties in reading. Children are encouraged to read aloud to a calm, non-judgmental 4-legged teacher, who provides wags of approval and kisses for a job well done. Therapy dogs are also used in classrooms to learn compassion and empathy, as a reward for appropriate behavior, and as a potential career path for children with limited opportunity.
OPENING DOORS TO FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE
Service dogs offer skills and support that allow people to live be more active, overcome challenges, and lead their most independent life. Assistance dogs are trained to help those with limited mobility by opening doors, retrieving and fetching items, switching on the lights, helping to pay at retail outlets – and much more. Guide dogs help visually impaired people to safely and confidently navigate the world around them. Hearing assistance dogs alert to the sound of a baby crying, a smoke detector, or a doorbell. Balance dogs provide a steady support for people with balance issues, as well as a “leg up” should someone fall.
HEALING THE SICK
Therapy dogs provide visitation to people in hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. They provide gentle comfort to a patient and their family, while also offering a boost of joy to the committed staff. They can be employed as an assistant in rehabilitative exercises, turning a simple game of fetch into essential physical therapy. Medical alert dogs can be trained to recognize a diabetic’s drop in blood sugar, or an epileptic’s slight metabolic changes to prevent potentially catastrophic seizures and loss of consciousness.
LEADING THE WAY
Search and rescue dogs, police dogs, arson detection dogs, military dogs – all are trained in a variety of scents to lead people to safety. Tracking dogs assist police and rescue crews to locate people lost in the woods, escaped criminals, victims trapped in the aftermath of a natural disaster, or an Alzheimer’s patient who wanders away from home. These dogs can be trained to detect narcotics, explosives, arson accelerants, or, in a recent case, electronic storage devices as small as a thumb drive holding a cache of child pornography.