LBISD LittleAngelsServiceDogs

Tuesday, March 6th


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. The lane jewels 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 Angel service dogs director Katie Gonzalez and trainer. In a proven. Welcome Katie welcome Dana. Think desperately need to think you're carrying case he's been a while since a senior accountant and a pleasure to finally meet you. 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 word spreads. There is such and white need for it and we're helping our people having. Now I first met you that it was soon after you started this little Angel thank you working out of your home in blossom valley. And after that you moved to see anti gun. And you offered when you insanity and of course much bigger location now we thought it would be hearing. How we thought we would never proud of that space. But he did yeah and you offered boarding 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 move to humble he's now at a ranch there and humble. Unfortunately I've yet to be there. Think people these use an iPhone having outfit and of all these years I've known you and check it out yesterday went out in Armani aaron's. They have all the years I've known you and and have doesn't work for you have yet to be out to 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. Cocaine and you have the classrooms and don't you rightly have a big. Classroom. So that we can have that large groups of people and then we also have individual recipients and just a couple people at a time when you're teaching them how to work with their service Suggs. And so there's so it's big and FM tiny room for the dogs to run around. Oh yes we a lot of space for Iran in Iran and and it's great but what is the mission and willing to service dogs. A lawyer I've 01 C three nonprofit and our goal is to play service dogs with disabled children and adults. I would be out all across the states. We train a variety of different types of service dogs basically every type of service dog except for blindness. So we trained autism assistance dogs psychiatric service dogs. Mobility assistance. We train a lot of dogs are people I have PT SD's that I would be either for veterans or civilians. We also trained seizure alert dogs diabetic colored dogs and hearing dogs spoke. Cannot and I do want to talk a little bit about about some of those dogs and what processes as far as the training goes well do that. He just little bit what it what is your background Katie. Well I hate. Went to school actually to train police on and found out of the little more aggressive than I was and feel 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. Mark mark people find out all the different ways that service dogs can assist it's not just if you're blinded not just appear in a wheelchair. So there's just there's such a need for it and even as we're going. We're trying to land train mourn our 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 and that's right yeah. If every one that needed a service dog. Worked 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 is a very rare dog that can be of service side. And that god has to be extremely well behaved. It has to be friendly towards everyone and everything. And most dogs are going to meaty bark when a gas enters their home and a service dog cannot. Did that 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 ticks that's. I am man woman or child reaching down and wrapping our arms around the dog's neck. And so with a lot of people self training their own dog feeling like that's the only way for them to get a dot. There are some steps that are being missed or maybe some in 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 it on in the public and gives the stats. To locate the right dog and then train to assist them to have EDT. Herman and what what dog. Is going to be a good serve stock one that's gonna make an anti training program. It is about one in 300 jobs that can be of service dog at all and then the dog needs the right type of training on top of it. So let's city you do have this one out of 300 dogs can be a service dog it's still may not be the right dog for a year. Because we're looking for a different personalities. And certain pretend cities and I dogs make them a good fit for. Not only eighty specific disability but also. The Stanley dynamics in the home environment and the hobbies that the person. Is involved in of course we also have to match the dog to the personality. The individual. Recipients that there are a lot of different. And a lot of people I think when when they think of service dogs they think of Goldman traders and ranks as the best. Retriever Labrador is right but but but there are other breeds that are are good as well right. We do use poodles standard poodles because they're at photogenic. We try to brainwash them into thinking that they are laboratories angled energy and his. The little bit of a running joke we don't let them within a mere athlete wants them to discover our confidence is as. But no they are actually really good dogs. And we also. We're rescue partners with our shelters. So estimates on does not have to be elaborate or Golden Retriever. It can be any breed as long as it has eight temperament that usually you find and laboratory or a tree and. Any mention down. That you work with. A rescue agencies so you get some of you 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 this. Someone needs a pet dog that's on the first places that I will send them. But when a dog is an assault there. We're looking very very scary specific criteria found in that rescue 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 years of age and we do a variety of temperament test on them at that time and it they pass those temperament test. And we put them through full medical screenings make sure that they do have. 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 stuff so we just rely on. Some purpose bred dogs. And and we we have some reputable breeder is that we use that's 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 their history. And in actually isn't adding more expensive most of the time to rescue dog than it does to purchase aid you know 2000 dollar puppy I'm a breeder. Now you have your own breeding program right. Tell us about that. So we used 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 puppies at the similar temperamental. On the breeding stock have their full health clearance is. Make sure they have good showings and healthy hearts and great eyesight went on any problems to come down the road later. And when. Great benefit to that is that we can start that training of our own puppies eight weeks of age with a lot of handling and socialization starting. Pat Day won the data Tarvaris handling a certain way and it's a decent men 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 a dog that you training with the tasks are. Yes 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. For armed pressure therapy. And dog do you actually do laundry is suited them to do it they don't vacuum or anything unless that includes picking at Syria's under the dining room table. If there's any dog do every thing. Training needed for the all right so and isn't it can take you usually between landed two years to train a dog through. Completion. Dogs are breeding program they usually Q I am gradually at around one year because we started their training so early date. Didn't have the chance to. Developed any about how to and with being a part of our breeding program we have a lot of breeding fosters 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 not ready have their puppies that because they are not professional. Breeders'. We have a wealth being coordinator. Dana does it mean. Today I am and she will help them. Liking and monitor in a hurry said the putt these hearings developing process and she'll show up I mean it's on us again and CNET. The dogs are gonna have their puppies at midnight. So at saint. C does that colleague now. Not only learn and then you know she hustled out there and garbage Amazon. That. Of them through the whole process of bringing those sweet little puppies and the world. What's what's the application process to get a service Doug Ellis and pretty extensive. Yet it is it's it's a lot we do wanna make sure that our dogs are cared force we wanna make sure that the recipients can care for. The dogs throughout their whole life and we wanna make sure that our dogs and haul them. With some disabilities their irons 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 helped by a service side. And other times are just a really perfect fit so we just trying to make sure that their both cared for Ecstasy situation and that. They're both gonna benefit from the relationship. And you make sure that the via recipient. And a dog that it's that is a perfect match. Yeah that's really important it's a really hard part of the weeding process. Because with that with most programs that are out there they don't train. 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 you have other pets in the home they do not allow them to have children under twelve. LB comes very streamlined because any of the dogs that didn't work as mobility assistance stopped. Are released from not programming given to other nonprofits that to drain different types of service odds 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 Calgary city and meet this criteria. But with our organization. We tell our recipients after we've completed fundraising it's usually an average of one here before they get their dot. And they had to take that average into account it literally is a lot averages. Which means that some very sick and they're getting the dog right after fundraising is completed and other people are waiting over a year for it to happen. That averages out to one year and are looking at. Of those recipients because. Basically when we have a dog that's ready to graduate we have to look at that dog's personality imprint tent cities that training that they tied and then match them to the perfect recipient. So 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 as good fit personality wise there may be hobbies that they're involved in obviously if the dogs not trained in tasks that they need it's not a good set. So it's it's a hard 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. It's 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 and so tell us about the fun racing how that works. Well at the lake the national average amount that means he foundries for his service side is Vieri theory steeped. It's around 45000 dollars per that's placed. There are a lot of indirect expenses and that when people hear those numbers. They're just lack Todd in their I gonna pop out of their head like how do you spend. 45000. Dollars on a dog pretty port management into a dog. It's not just the expenses for that one Dodd. Our program I'm right now are foundry singles 20000 dollars heard are able to yet because we have a lot of volunteers we have an Austin. Prison program that we're gonna talk about a little that leader. But there is a lot of ways we can lower those costs that we have indirect expenses like who's going to. Kaye has the line mode and the training field and we've got utilities and whose gonna answer 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 these service on because we're we're 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 foundry is. We have a variety of different ways to foundries anything from sending out letters to having fundraising events. And we have to be very strict penalties that we do fundraising because we have to abide by the higher standards all of our supporters are getting their tax that actions don't. We want to mention that it's all been practically sell we have. A staff member it's her full time job just to make sure that we're doing foundries and correctly and we're supporting. Recipients and not the right way. And you have they Foster program as well right yeah that's actually on a big part of why our expenses are lower so we have and maybe someone that. Cannot. Donate financially but they can donate their time and what that really 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 trying need for families and individuals. Can be a college student. 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 that screening process. So we're a little bit different and our puppy raiser program a lot of organizations will give any week we'll cut pizza Stanley. And then they don't see that dog again and talked about a year to a year and a half of each. That we follow up with our recipients. A weekly basis we get maintenance reports every single week from them. We one and meet with them at least every other month to give them he tells training and that dog forward. Selanne we need fosters it and you and wants to cuddle with a plan B and help the disabled at the same time. You know where we think and it's any special requirements to become a Foster again it really comes down to being face. So we aren't sure that the puppies going to be an SE environments and so we Catholics come home inspection set up in an application process for that as well. But as long as he can provide a safe environment and even give time to this puppy. You can probably be a Foster flats. And they just need to get a hold a view that as at your website you can and get on our website we have a Foster form on there. Our FaceBook page has a lot of information and on 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 camp a week can how is about 35 dogs at our camp. Which is just sit stand shall amount of dogs and it comes to feeding timing of first QB Matt hoop that's part of training service side. But when wade at we're able to have more dogs and not an hour program we have about fifty dogs 50 does. And our training program right now and that's through our are in new prison program which is going. And and that is your baby dance there right. You just started this fairly recently did she yes. And down again then the big reason was but it's it's gonna cut costs for the cut past form for little angels tell us about the program. What what prisons are you at with with the dogs will right now. Now we have 6 dogs at California central women's prison in Chad Chela. And grabbing another ten puppies in November are very excited about that. And it has been so successful very excited about it so does the dog stay up there they did they live with an enemy. There's actually two inmates per dog and name it in there. I college dorm they're really not like cells you would imagine. And they take credit are 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 all of Britain Meehan said over and over how they get up in the morning now on they have something to look forward to you. And then the recipient. They can help as well. How do you select. The the end inmates which ones get to watch dogs to we rely on the staff for that. A lot of the times casino and made there in an honored arm and certainly yards they'd. Designate for honor. And Macy's. That we just a free for about a year. And that's usually where doctor place but you know this is at the women's prison yard you have dark also at an men's no not yet not yet not yet but that's part of the plan. The goal with a goal to 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 of a. Is it medical field until 2013. I raised paddy for the blind and mid Southern California following that and found Arlington service does and is at an apprentice. And as my passion and they just followed Katie 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 could not 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 for that handle training. Yes so a very important part receiving service saga that you learn how to work with that because this Doggett had. Over 600 line on ours to learn to assist this person for the person has to learn how to reinforce that training. So we have them come out to San Diego for a period of two weeks and we work with them every day. But first weekly spent working and I am grants 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 yet they're they're young like a service dog expert I mean it had two weeks of the 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 could become the 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 cover 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 neater fundraising are waiting on a waiting list. It was an entire community that invested in the stocks that 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 one recipients received this one dog so we need to make sure. That dog is assisting for a lifetime so we have mean entry ports that they send us and also have recertification period. Just to be sure everything's going well. Now you mentioned the different types of dogs that you train mobility assistance. Seizure alert dogs. Psychiatric assistance dogs. What are some of the tasks that are out of Syria mobility systems what at what some of the task that you training this ought to do. Well we he might have them retreat things off of the ground. For recipients have mobility disabilities it's not just those who are in a wheelchair. They. Maybe is a locker at MIT's sixteen they might have and difficulty gallon seen. So some of our dogs are also trained to brace for a balance while locking her help them transfer from furniture different and Sherri getting up off of the ground. We trained dogs to open and closed doors turn might switch is on an oss sometimes we'll even train and to dial an assistance dog phone. Which is a device it sounds it's real equal party trick that your dogs dialing a phone but really it's just a device and that has speed dial button for a dog to. And call for nine on a minor. And neighbor. Dogs can retrieve cell phones and it's. Possibilities and lest we keep adding things to it all the time because we we custom train each odds too what each recipient needs. Really. What about AM that. Psychiatric assistance dog and a tasks would that dog. He trained to do so did most the most important thing about a man psychiatric service dogs is medical alert. And what we're in the medical alert before the dog after me the recipient we are trained that dog to pot at our LA on command to get a jackpot of treats. And the dog love the sinner action because they are they're they left the press and assist the oddest thing they just love food they'll do anything for it. And so they get these extra treats beyond their regular meals and I'll just do anything so we call on the alert game they just really enjoy this inner action and and winning need to recipient we should recipient how to plea deal linking 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 it to us telling them to pot delayed to the actual symptoms. So the dog will then recognize the nightmare bills they'll say body sometimes happen when they're having a nightmare and and they played Baylor game I just love this solar games so much at all of that food so much that's special treat. I'm going to wake them up from the nightmare that played a game or I'm going to interact the flash back. So that is really really important. We can also train the dogs and what's called non protected boundary control. The non protected 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 partners. And and for a lot of us you know if we don't have PG this year we don't know someone that has been through something like that. It seems that well why would you need a dog to go around the corner for you. But if you are any war zone and you cannot go around a corner without covering yourself or being shot that. 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 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've come out to match yesterday Alia and that's because you have to have your first. And Harry's dad basically it was so fun so I'm this and I agree opportunity. For the public to come out some of our guests where. Recipients on the waiting list media people that wanna support and organ and beach and oranges people that wanna get involved with service dogs and and they wanna start somewhere. So I am they got the amount they got to hear about are organization and and really cool they got to. Give of the very first training into a litter of puppies they got to train them for the very first time how to say it. That's something neat that they're gonna keep with them for amber they got to meet and work with some of our dogs that are closer to graduation and in. Just scenic channel sound is really it really clobber tinian we've it was so successful are planning on having. A few more probably on about every other month so if anyone's interested and not probably just check in on our face a. Page I now know somebody wants to help you with your mission must make a donation can they do that at your web site. Yet 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 public courses 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 these fostering. And and we have like I sat on our website can get on there and sell a lot of application and and we will start you off with a Foster orientation. And it's about a four hour class where we. Go over every little DTL for him brushing your puppy cute taking it to a movie theater. And you'd just become an integral part of your and you're just as important as our trainers anyone else that's involved in the program. And in what is here you website it's a little angels service style and dot org and you are on FaceBook. Twitter as well right. Any any other social media and Graham is rented guests and thought Katie always. Always crazy year and a nice to finally meet you Dana thanks for all you do. And little Angel service does your definite in the difference in the lives cement thank you for having us. Concludes another addition of living better than San Diego the opinions expressed on living veteran San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management. Of the outcome San Diego radio stations episodes of living better and San Diego are available on the station's website. Until next time I'm Gary late at a great week.