Press Release


Kristen Smith (207)761.1515 ext. 101

Westbrook, ME (May, 2015)The Planet Dog Foundation (PDF), Planet Dog's non-profit grant-making organization, is proud to announce the recipients of $60,000 in new grants awarded to twelve canine service organizations throughout the country. The PDF grants will help fund service dog, therapy dog, police dog, and K-9 search and rescue programs and support a wide variety of non-profit programs that are helping children and adults in need.

The Spring PDF grantees are: America’s VetDogs in Smithtown, NY; Assistance Dogs of the West in Santa Fe, NM; Canine Therapy Corps in Chicago, IL; Embrace A Vet in Harpswell, ME; A Fair Shake for Youth in New York, NY; The Good Dog Foundation in New York, NY; Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, NY; OccuPaws Guide Dog Association in Madison, WI; The Other Paw Assistance Dogs in Fairbanks, AK; Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia, PA; Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto, FL; and Youth United for Survival in Hartford, CT.

America’sVetDogs – The Veteran’s K-9 Corps, Inc. Smithtown, NY

The $5,000 PDF grant to America’s VetDogs will support the training and placement of dogs for veterans being trained through their Massachusetts Prison Puppy Program. Collectively, inmates from local facilities along with local volunteer weekend puppy raisers will train 40 future service dogs per program cycle to assist our nation’s veterans with disabilities. The program not only raises the quality of life for wounded veterans and keeps them active in their communities, but also has a positive impact on the inmate population involved in the training.

Assistance Dogs of the West Santa Fe, NM

Assistance Dogs of the West teaches students of all ages to help train service dogs and provide dogs to people with physical, psychological, and developmental disabilities including assistance dogs, medical alert dogs, autism assistance dogs, classroom and therapy dogs, PTSD relief dogs, and more. The $5,000 PDF grant will specifically support their work with Court House Dogs, who accompany and support victims of crime, primarily children and victims of domestic violence, to foster a safer and more comfortable environment as they provide depositions and give testimony in court.

Canine Therapy Corps Chicago, IL

PDF has awarded a $2,500 grant to Canine Therapy Corps, which develops and operates goal-directed, interactive animal-assisted therapy programs in physical and psycho-social rehabilitation for special needs populations. Working in partnership with medical and social service professionals, each operating program is tailored for children with pervasive developmental disabilities, including autism; adults and teens in substance recovery programs; children and teens who are victims of abuse and neglect; children with chronic illness and other disabilities; and adults and children in rehabilitation from accidents, surgeries, and illness, including spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. They have 60 volunteer teams in service, and provide more than 1,400 service hours each year.

Embrace A Vet Harpswell, ME

Embrace A Vet provides direct and supportive services to Maine veterans and their families living with the symptoms and effects of PTSD and/or Traumatic Brain Injury. The $5,000 PDF grant will fund their Paws for Peace program, which assists in locating and training dogs to mitigate the symptoms of PTSD for veterans. The dogs used in the program are primarily adopted from Maine shelters, and trained in a group setting with the veteran and a professional trainer. This grant will aid in the placement of 12 dogs with veterans in need.

A Fair Shake for Youth, Inc. New York, NY

A Fair Shake for Youth is a New York City-based non-profit youth-serving organization using therapy dogs to help vulnerable, underserved young people develop and expand their lives. This $5,000 grant will facilitate partnerships with at least twelve schools and youth service organizations, to reach a minimum of 200 young people through 10-12 weekly program cycles. The program targets children ages 11-14 in schools serving some of New York’s poorest communities. The curriculum combines social exercises with concrete skills to open the perspectives and opportunities for at-risk kids.

The Good Dog Foundation New York, NY

PDF has awarded the Good Dog Foundation a $7,500 grant towards the provision of therapy dog services at select locations throughout the Good Dog Foundation service area. The Good Dog Foundation is a leader in therapy dog service, known for developing best practices in training, certification and quality controls for their nearly 1,000 dog/handler teams. Good Dog teams visit hospitals, trauma centers, education facilities, nursing homes and disaster sites helping thousands of people through the stresses of disease, injury, aging, learning disorders, disabilities and other life crises.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind Yorktown Heights, NY

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is an internationally accredited nonprofit guide dog school with a 60 year legacy of providing the blind and visually impaired with superior Guiding Eyes dogs, training and lifetime support services. The $5,000 grant will support their Kennel Enrichment Program, providing guide dogs in rigorous training with generous doses of stimulation, ample outlets for their energy, and professional nurturing and training. The enrichment program includes exercise and play time, a variety of indoor stimuli to desensitize dogs to common real world scenarios, and specialized volunteer socializing and tactile intervention. The PDF grant will provide toys and financial support for this critical component of the dogs’ overall training experience.

OccuPaws Guide Dog Association Madison, WI

OccuPaws places guide dogs with visually impaired Wisconsin residents at no cost to the individual. Dogs are placed in the client’s home, rather than a “campus-based” program, allowing the individual to continue their normal routine while incorporating a guide dog into their lives. Dogs begin their training at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution before undergoing advanced and specialized training with OccuPaws trainers. The $2,000 grant will fund the training of dogs, and supplies for the prison program, with the aim of increasing their percentage of successful guide dog puppies.

The Other Paw Fairbanks, AK

The Other Paw therapy dog program provides a Pet Partner Course and Evaluation to allow volunteers and their pets to become registered Pet Partner therapy dog teams. These teams provide canine-assisted therapy to youth in residential treatment homes, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and other residential and institutional settings. This program helps provide critically needed certified therapy dog teams in an area that has been traditionally underserved. The $1,000 grant will specifically cover the costs of materials, facility rentals, and services of qualified instructors to certify 10 more dogs to serve the greater Fairbanks region.

Penn Vet Working Dog Center Philadelphia, PA

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center is part of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and serves as a national research and development center for detection dogs. They work to train elite detection dogs to assist in medical research, national security, and finding victims of disasters. PDF has awarded a $10,000 grant in support of Punches, a female Labrador Retriever named in honor of Jack Punches, a victim of the attacks of 9/11. Punches is training to detect explosives, explosives residue, and post-blast evidence. Trained explosives detection dogs can also detect firearms and ammunition hidden in vehicles and containers, on persons, or buried underground.

Southeastern Guide Dogs Palmetto, FL

Southeastern Guide Dogs provides guide dogs for people with visual impairments, and a variety of assistance dogs for other populations. The $5,000 PDF grant will support their Paws for Patriots program, defraying the costs of their Guide Dogs, Service Dogs and Facility Therapy Dogs that are trained to work specifically with veterans. Each dog entering the program is assessed for their best strengths, and directed to training for where their strengths are. The program trains and places roughly 100 dogs each year, with the majority of them placed with veterans in need.

Youth United for Survival Hartford, CT

Youth United for Survival helps youth who have experienced trauma develop healthy mechanisms to deal with the negative socio-economic challenges they experience including poverty, unstable family life, high violent crime rates, and trauma. The Buddy Project works with Our Companions Animal Rescue to identify homeless dogs suitable for training to increase their chance of adoption. The Buddy Project teaches these high-risk children how to train homeless dogs using positive training methods to increase the dog’s adoptability, while offering the children real life skills in an environment of compassion, responsibility, patience and success. The $5,000 PDF grant will support a year of classes for 150 at risk children.

The Planet Dog Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Planet Dog, the globally recognized designer and developer of innovative, high-quality and award-winning dog products that enhance the lifestyle people share with their canine companions. Planet Dog is proud to donate 2% of every purchase of Planet Dog products to PDF, making every customer a donor. PDF provides cash grants and in-kind product donations to exemplary canine service programs nationwide. To date, PDF has donated more than $1 million dollars to canine service and philanthropic organizations. To learn more about PDF and the programs the Foundation has supported, visit

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