LBISD LittleAngelsServiceDogs

Friday, October 27th


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego public service presentation of the and a count San Diego radio stations and Gary league. Little Angel service dogs is changing lives one dog at a time. Little angels is local nonprofit organization of trainers and volunteers. Who worked to provide highly trained dogs to assist disabled children and adults throughout the United States. Dogs are trained to assist in a variety of ways to help with daily tasks and to increase independence. Joining us this morning as little angels service dogs director Katie Gonzalez and trainer in approve them welcome Katie welcome Dana. Think they're athletic they can't carry KD it's been awhile since a senior accountant and a pleasure to finally meet you. I'm having little Angel service stocks tells a little bit about little angels Katie. How many years now have you been around we started in 2006. And started placing dogs with disabled children and adults and the words spread. There is such might need for it and more housing market eleven. Now I first met you that it was soon after you started the ruling to thank you working out of your home in blossom valley yes. And after that you moved to see antique. And you offered when humans Indiana of course a much bigger location yeah how he thought it would do great. We thought we would never brought about space. But he did an idea and you offered a boarding at that time to just relax service that you had there right trying to help pay for the nonprofit. Right of the program and then as she continued to grow you moved to humble he's now got a ranch there and humble. Unfortunately I've yet to be there. Few people these huge and if I'd be out soon of all these years I've known you and set out yesterday well in Amman the air ounce at. They have all the years I've known you and and have doesn't work for you have yet to be out too humble location but I will soon. Tell us about that property because it. It's ten acres we have lots of space lots of green training fields and several buildings. Okay and ended you have the classrooms that don't you rightly have a big classroom. So that we can have large groups of people and then we also have individual recipients and just a couple people at a time when aren't teaching them how to work with their service Suggs. And so there's it's big enough them any room for the dogs and a two run around and yes. We a lot of space they ran in Iran and penetrate the what is the mission and little Angel service dogs. A lawyer I know one C three nonprofit and our goal is to play service dogs with disabled children and adults. I would give out all across the states. We train a variety of different types of service side is basically every type of service stock except for blindness. So we trained autism assistance dogs psychiatric service dogs. Mobility assistance. I would change a lot dogs are people that have PT EST so that would be either for veterans or civilians. We also train seizure alert dogs diabetic colored dogs and hearing dogs. Okay not and I do want to talk a little bit about. About some of those dogs and what process is as far as training goes we'll do that he just little bit what it what is your background KD. Well I aids. Went to school actually to train police dogs and found I was a little more aggressive than I was in fear and of course I mean these are working dogs. They have a lot of energy. But when I was going to school. I started working a lot with assistance dogs for the disabled and I had such a passion for it that. I decided she starts. My own nonprofit because there's just this growing need. Mourn our people find out all the different ways that service dogs can assist it's not just if you're blinded not just if you're in a wheelchair. So it's just they are such a need for it and even as we're going. We're trying to I'm train more and more students to be service dog trainers because we really well I don't I don't think we really will ever meet that need. That you have you've also written some books to help people treat their own dogs energy that's right yeah. If every one that needed a service dog. Work to get one most people would have to self train to make that happen. But there are also a lot of difficulties that come along with that because. It did it very rare dog that can be of service side and the dog has to be extremely well behaved. It has to be friendly towards everyone and everything. And most. Dogs are going to me be bark when gas enters their home and a service on cannot. You got because they can't bark when someone walks into a waiting room at a doctor's office they can't bark when someone walks and few. A classroom they have to accepts. I am man woman or child reaching down and wrapping their arms around the dog's neck. And so with a lot of people I'm self training their own dog feeling like that's the only way for them to get a Dodd. There are some steps that are being missed Horry mean Nissan some dogs being used that would be better off. Being a dog or maybe even a pet dog should not be out. And public so that book really helped to guide people through that. And insurers that people understand responsibility. That they have when they take a dog in the public and gives them the stats. To locate the right dog and then train to assist them to. How do you determine then what what dog. Is going to via a good serve style one that skinny make it into your training program. It is about one in 300 dobbs that can be of service stock at all and then the dog needs the right type of training on top of it. So let's say the you do have this one out of 300 dogs can be asserted it still may not be the right dog for years. Because we're looking forward different personalities. And certain propensity and a dog to make any good fit for. Not only age specific disability but also. The family dynamics in the home environment and the hobbies that the person. And is involved in of course we also have to match the dog to the personality of that individual. Recipients that there are a lot of different. Not only good service on what a good match for not recipient. And a lot of people I think when when they think of service dogs they think of Goldman traders and ranks as the best poetry is Labrador is right but but but there are other breeds that are are good as well right. Right we do use poodles standard poodles because their heads while botanic. We try to brainwash them into thinking that they are laboratories angled energy and he's. The little bit of a running joke we don't let them in the Mir we don't want them to discover the good CAF. But now that they are actually really good dogs. And we also. Were rescue partners with our shelters. So Ecevit's Suggs does not have to be elaborate or Golden Retriever. It can be any breed as long as it has eight temperament that usually fines and laboratory or a Golden Retriever. Thank you mentioned down. That you work with a rescue agencies so you get some of your dogs from them. Yeah whenever we can he rescue. We are firm believer is that you should not be breeding dogs and if there's nowhere for them to go there are plenty of dogs in the shelters that. Someone needs a pet dog that's on the first places that say. We'll send them. But when a dog is and a shelter. We're looking at very very scary specific criteria famine that rescued dog because we don't have background on it. And we can't temperament test that dog's parents they're usually not at the cell there. So we needed dog is between one and two years of age and we do a variety of temperament test on them at that time and if they pass those temperament test. And we put them through full medical screenings make sure that they do house. All the health to have a long working ice. And then on top of that after we've done that we still have maybe sixty to 70% of those dogs that do not graduate. Service side so we just rely on. Some purpose bred dogs. And we we have some reputable breeder is that we used but always liked rescue and weekend. So the rescue dogs there's there's a lot more involved in the testing. Process with them because you don't know the history. And it actually isn't having expensive most of the time to rescue dog than it does to purchase aid you know 2000 dollar puppy and every. Now you have your own breeding program right. Tell us about that. So we use that our reserve the best of the best of our dogs out for the breeding program because it's more likely that they will have copies of a similar temperament. On breeding stock have their full health clearing sand. Make sure they have good showings and healthy hearts and create ice site we don't want any problems to come down the road later. And one. Great benefit to that is that we can start that training of our own puppies eight weeks of age with a lot of handling socialization starting. Pat Day won the dated Serb armies are handling a certain way and and to do CNN two different things and so the training starts earlier we can usually placed those dogs earlier as well. What's what's the average length of time that it takes to train service daughter Emma Allen assume that it depends on the type of dog that you training with the tasks are. Yes of the different and disabilities require different tasks among them mark complicated. Like it is more complicated to training aid dog to do your injury then sue. Performed the pressure therapy. And Doug do you actually do laundry is suited them to do it they don't act humor anything. Must that includes signature is under the dining room table. There's any dog and every thing. Training needed for the there right. So and it it's intake and usually between one to two years to train a dog through. Completion. Dogs are breeding program they usually to land and gradually add around one year because we started their training so early date. Didn't have the chance to. Develop any bad habits. And with being a part of our breeding program we have a lot of greetings rosters and so these are individuals who take the dogs. The breeding dogs into their homes we get them out of the tunnel environments their loved and cherished and spoiled rotten in a home. And that's where they have their puppies that because they are not professional. Breeders'. We have any wealth being coordinator. Dana does it mean. Today I am and she will help them. Liking and monitored Hariri said the putt these hearings the well being processed and she'll show up I mean it's on us again CNET. That dogs are gonna have their puppies admin ninety. So yeah saint. C does that colleague now. Not only turn and then you know she hustled out there and garbage Amazon. Of them through the whole process of bring those sweet little puppies and the world. What's what's the application process to get a service dog Ellis and pretty extensive. Yeah it is it's it's a lot we do wanna make sure that our dogs are cared force we want to make sure that the recipients can care for. The dogs throughout their whole life and we wanna make sure that our dogs can call them. With some disabilities there iron and variables like in the functionalities sometimes it's more severe for an individual and for another. And there are times when someone is actually too disabled to be held by a service side. And other times are just a really perfect fit silly signing sure that they're both cared for Ecstasy situation and that. They're both gonna benefit from that relationship. And you make sure that the the AM recipient. And the dog that's that's a perfect match. Yes that's really important it's a really hard part of the weeding process. Because with the with most programs that are out there they don't trained ate a lot of different types of service times. So as an example if someone were to get immobility assistants. And if they're going through a program that only places mobility assistance dogs and the program does not allow recipients who have other pets in the home they do not allow them to have children under twelve. LV can very streamlined because any of the dog that didn't work as mobility assistance stock. Are released from that programming given to other nonprofits that carrying different types of service dogs are there releases pets. So that's pretty streamline and an organization can tell someone you know it's gonna take exactly three years three to get a dog drug program because all of our dogs at the same in all of our recipients meet this criteria. But with our organization. We teller recipients that after we've completed fundraising it's usually an average of one year before they get their dogs. And they have detained at average into account it literally is the law of averages. Which means that some very sipping and they're getting the dog right after fundraising is completed and other people are reading over a year for it to happen. So it averages out to one year and are looking at. Of those recipients because. Basically when we have a dog it's ready to graduate we have to look at that dog's personality in propensity is the training that they've tried and then match them to the perfect recipient. We have to start at the top of the waiting list and we're currently down we're gonna I have to bypass people that. Maybe aren't a good fit personality wise there may be the hobby that they're involved and obviously if the dogs not trained in tasks that they need it's not a good set. So it's it's a part at the hard part of the waiting process not knowing when it's going to happen it's even hard for us. But in the end it is totally worth the wait because we are insuring that it's going to be a perfect man. Now a big thing about little angels service dogs. You try to make it so that the recipients don't ever have to come out of pocket right that's current so tell us about the fun racing how that works. Well it's exactly the national average amount that means he foundries for his service side is very theories to eat. It's around 45000 dollars per dog its place. There are a lot of indirect expenses and that and when people hear those numbers and they're just lack Todd in their I wanna pop out of their head like how do you spend. 45000. Dollars on a dog ready for damage many to a dog. It's not just expenses for that one Dodd. Our program I am right now in our country singles 20000 dollars per dogs. Are able to yet because we have a lot of volunteers we have done an Austin prison program that we're gonna talk about a little that leader. But there's a lot of ways we can lower those costs but we have indirect expenses like who's going to. He has a line mode in the training field and we've got utilities and it is getting answered emails and all the phone calls and believe me we had a lot. Of phone calls that are coming in because there's so many people that need this help so there's so many of these expenses involved. That hardly anyone can pay out of pocket to get a service because there were literally looking at tens of thousands of dollars. And that's why we most of the programs that do this are nonprofits so that we can foundries. With a variety of different ways to foundries anything from sending out letters to having fundraising events. And and we have to be very strict and pleased that we do fundraising. Because we have to abide by it higher standards all of our supporters are getting their tax deduction so. We want to ensure that it's all been practically sell we have. A staff member it's her full time jobs just to make sure that we're doing fundraising correctly and we're supporting. Are recipients and not the right way. And you have they Foster program as well it yeah and that's actually on a big part of why our expenses are lower. So we have maybe someone that. Cannot. Donate financially but they can donate their time and what federally did donate your time and playing with cute puppies and taking them with you shopping at the test. So I am yeah we we have very high need for families and individuals. Could be a college student. And it could be you know over in Stanley. And we're gonna find a dog that's gonna fit into their lives whether that's an adult dog that has some training. Or a brands thinking you puppy and then we give them a lot of follow up support and they are actually a really important part of the training process. So we're a little bit different and our puppy raiser program a lot of organizations will get an eight week old puppy to a Stanley. And then they don't see that dog again insults about a year to a year and a half of each. That we follow up with our recipients on a weekly. We wanna meet with them at least every other month to give them the killed training and that dog forward. Selanne we need foster's is and you and wants to shuttle is a plus B and helps the disabled at the same time you know where we act. And it's that any special requirements to become a Foster again it really resented being safe so we aren't sure that the puppies going to be in these environments. So. We Catholics come home inspection sat up and an application process for that as well. But as long as he can provide a safe environment and even get time to this copy. I'm you theme probably being a Foster flat. And they just need to get a hold of view that it's a website. You can and get on our website we have a Foster form on there our FaceBook page has a lot of information and the kicker here is we working for all the supplies as well also. Don't let that keep you from contacting. Okay now at the ranch how big is your can't a week can how is about 35 Don at arcana. Which is this since the actual amount of dogs and it comes to feeding time in the first QB Matt hoop that's part of training service side. But when wade at we're able to have more dogs and not and our program we have about fifty dogs I zeroed out. And our training program right now and after our our new prison program much it's going really well. And and that is that your baby Dayna that right. You just started this fairly recently did she yes and down again then the big reason was because it's it's gonna cut costs for our. They cut path form for a little angels tell us about the program what what prisons are you at with with the dogs. We'll right now we have 6 dogs at California central women's prison in Chad Chela. And we're adding another ten puppies in November are very excited about that. And it has been so successful are very excited about it so did the dogs stay up there they did they live with an enemy. There's actually two inmates part god and name it in there. I college dorm they're really not like cells. You would imagine. And they take care of not trying for seven the dogs are making more progress and I could've imagined. The dogs have the ability to save actually two people. One thing and made it gives them a purpose they Britain Meehan said over and over how they get up in the morning now they have something to look forward to you and then the recipient. They can help as well. How do you select. The media inmates which ones get to watch dogs until we rely on the staff for that. A lot of the times casinos and made there in an honored arm and certain yards they'd designate. For honor. And made suit that we just a free for about a year and that she's over at doctor place. But you know this is at the women's prison and a art you have Don Nelson and and men's yet not yet not yet not yet but that's part of the plan. It's the gulf with the gold so yes definitely eternal prison as well yeah but right now how many dogs you have nothing we have six and grading ten in November what's what's your background. But it was medical field until 2013. I raised paddy for the blind and mid Southern California following that and found that going to service Dyson is at an apprentice. And it was my passion and they just followed eighty all the way through until. I was managing the whopping program and now the present program so it's been good for you I love it and I can't do without Dana. Yeah not I feel very lucky to be doing what I love. Now they have the application process all the you have to go through. The recipient comes out here San Diego to go through that handle training. Yes so a very important part receiving a service dog that you learn how to work with that because this Doggett had. Over 600 line on hours the length to assist this her sentence of the person hustle and how to reinforce that training. So we had them not to San Diego for a period of two weeks and we work with them every day. The first speak we spend working with them at our ranch and it's worked with their dog and I pray that setting without distractions and we send them. Back to their hotel with a lot of home mark. And then the second week we take them on what we call field trips. So our trainer goes with them and their dog out to restaurants movie theaters shopping malls amusement parks. And they are preparing mad dog to work in a variety of settings to prepare them for the rest of their life. And at that point and they're they're feeling like a service dog expert I mean it had two weeks of this being drilled into them. Like muscle memory comes out and they can re confirmation really quick and it's all looking really good but they do have an animal they do not have a robot and so it's really important that. With any programmer any trainer that they are going to remain available for the lifetime of that dog. The nice thing about dogs is that they go through different phases in our lives and their flexible witches. Important when you're placing that dog they beat Kentucky team with someone who also goes through different phases in their lives so. They they go through different phases together. And where are they able to help them through that process that they however if they ever how many problems they. Reach out we guide them. We also have requirements sent a place because it wasn't just. You know this recipients investment and neither fundraising are waiting on a waiting list. It was an entire community that invested in the stocks we might have had forty volunteers that have touched the stuff we have all the staff members all the financial supporters. Everyone has worked together for this letter recipients received this one dog so we need to make sure. That god is assisting for a lifetime so we have maintenance reports that they send us and we also have recertification period. Just can be sure that everything's going well. Now you mentioned the different types of dogs that you train mobility assistance. Seizure alert dogs. Psychiatric assistance dogs but some of the tasks. That let's say mobility assistance dog what do what some of the task that you train this don't do. Well we he might have them retrieve things off of the ground. For recipients to have mobility disabilities it's not just those who are in a wheelchair. They maybe use a walker the ninety's McCain they might have and difficulty gallon seen. So some of our dogs are also trained to brace for a balance while locking our help them transfer from furniture different insuring getting up off of the ground. We trained dogs to open and closed doors turn light switches on and off sometimes we'll even chain and to dial and assistance dog phone. Which is a device it sounds like real local party trick that your dogs dialing a phone but really it's just a device and that has the speed dial button for a dog to. And call for nine on Weiner. And neighbor. The dogs can retrieve cell phones and it's. Possibilities are endless we keep adding things to it all the time because we we custom training each dog to let each recipient needs. Early. On what about AM that. Psychiatric assistance and a tasks would that Doug. He's trained to do so dim or is the most important thing about and psychiatric service dogs is medical alert. And Auburn in the medical alert before the dog ever meets recipient we're training that dogs of pot at our lake on command to get a jackpot of treats. And the dog loves the sinner action because they are gear they left the press bus is the honest if they just love food they'll do anything for it. An entity get these extra treats beyond their regular meals and I'll just do anything so we call it dealer game they just really enjoy the center action and and when he meets the recipient we should recipient how to plea deal making with the dog but we tell them to only play it. When they are experienced scene anxiety or panic or they realize. I have just had a flashback or I just woken from a nightmare and if they are consistent with that. The Q for the dog is changing to us telling them to pot delayed to the actual sentence. So the dog will then recognize. The nightmare bills they'll say all these sometimes half and when they're having a nightmare and and they played Baylor game I just love this the lurking so much at all of that food so much that special treat. I'm going to wake them up from the nightmare that played a game or I'm going to interact the flashback. So that is really really important. We can also train the dogs in what's called non protected boundary control. An unprotected part is really important because again our dogs are very friendly they would never. Protect anyone. But boundary control is important for someone that needs a little more personal space. Maybe going around corners just to clear space for someone has trouble going around corners and for a lot of us. You know if we don't have peaked yet steer we don't know someone that had been through something like that. It seems that well why would you need a dog to go around a corner for you. But if you are any war zone and you cannot go around the corner without covering yourself or being shot at. It's very hard to integrate back into society. Go to target and locker around shopping aisles. And so the dog cults and integrate. And for a lot of people on PT EST lasts for a quite awhile and the dog helps them feel more comfortable on public not just by their presents. But through trains tasks that actually mitigate their disabilities. Always got just a few more minutes left. And it's beginning of the program mentioned how I should have come out to match yesterday Alia and that's because you have to have your first. And Harry agony very it was so fun so out of this and I agree opportunity. For the public to come out some of our guests where. Recipient on the waiting list meeting people that on his support and organization and oranges people that wanna get involved with service dogs and and they wanna start somewhere. So they got the amount they got to hear about our organization and and really cool they got to. Gives of the very first training to a litter of puppies they got to train them for the very first time how to say it. That's something we need that they're gonna keep with them for amber they got to meet and work with some of our dogs that are closer to gradually Shannon. Just scenic channel sound is really it really clobbered tinian and we've it was so successful are planning on having. A few more probably won about every other month so if anyone's interested and not probably just check in on our FaceBook page. I now know somebody wants to help you with your mission must make a donation can they do that after web site. Yeah definitely and you can see exactly what we do and we are extremely lean. Extremely grateful for the support. We cannot do this without financial supporters and we have people that helped of course it's posturing in training and on that but it costs money it takes a lot of money to. And treat these incredible dogs that. Can actually literally save someone's life. But about volunteers. I know you're here you have a lot of volunteers what what kind of opportunities do you have. And it's mostly in the fostering. And and we have like I sat on our website can get on there and sell a lot of fuss application and and we will start you off with a Foster orient teach and as about a four hour class where we. Go over every little deep felt for him brushing your puppy he's taking it's a movie theater. And you just become an integral part you're you're just as important as our trainers and anyone else that's involved in the program. And and what is here you website it's a little angels service on dot org and you are on FaceBook. Twitter as well right. Any any other social media and Graham is granted yes it. Well Katie. Always. Always great seeing you. And a nice to finally meet you Dana thanks for all you do and little angels service does your definitely a difference in the lives Simon thank you for having us. That concludes another addition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living veteran San Diego did not necessarily reflect the opinions and views. The staff and management at the end of south San Diego radio stations. Episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's website. Join me next week when my guest will be from sharp healthcare. Until then I'm Carrie Lee have a great week.