WASHINGTON, Kan. (KSNT) — They’re known as a man’s best friend. But, the staff at KSDS Assistance Dogs, Inc. is teaching dogs to be much more than just companions.
At the KSDS campus in Washington, Kansas, their dogs are learning a special set of skills.
“They can open the refrigerator, get our a bottle of water or maybe grab the remote or your keys,” said lead trainer Annette Kohlmeyer. “A dog can retrieve any of those dropped items.”
They undergo rigorous training to become assistance dogs for people with disabilities.
“We offer three different types of dogs at our facility,” said CEO Kelly Mayer. “Guide for visually impaired or completely blind individuals, service, which is someone with a physical disability, and then facility which is going to go into a school, courthouse, nursing home or therapist office.”
Service dogs can cost thousands of dollars, but at KSDS, they try to make it affordable. They only charge a $25 application fee, and the cost for travel to get the dogs during a two week training period.
“The recipients of our dogs are so appreciative of having this dog who can do those things for them,” said KSDS Grant Writer and Donor Manager Marcia Funk. “It’s just like a miracle for them and it totally changes their lives and gives them independence.”
Since they began in 1990, they have matched dogs with over 550 applicants.
Director of Marketing and Fundraising Adam Mayer said it wouldn’t be possible without generous donors.
While the dogs offer their owners help with every day tasks, most importantly, they do what dogs do best — be a loving and loyal companion.
To learn more about KSDS Assistance Dogs, Inc., click HERE.