The nonprofit Tender Loving Canine Assistance Dogs, Inc. (TLCAD) announced that it has certified eleven new dogs to be given to wounded warriors, and children with autism and mobility challenges — a new record for the organization, which had 20 dogs in training in 2011.
The dogs, which include Standard Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador/Shepherd mixes, and Labradoodles, are specially trained to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as children on the autism spectrum with developmental and learning difficulties, adjust to new places and people as they create an easy pathway for social interaction with others. “Each dog is carefully trained for the specific needs of each particular recipient or facility,” explains TLCAD president Karen Shultz. “With their extreme sensitivity to human emotion, the dogs are trained to apply techniques including providing a physical sphere between a traumatized veteran and large groups of strangers, or leaning in to provide reassurance to a nervous child when sensing growing anxiety. The dogs can also help deter negative behaviors, like elopement and tantrums, helping entire families cope with the challenges inherent in autism,” Shultz adds.
TLCAD has divided its program into “LEASH-ON-LIFE,” offering assistance dogs to those on the autism spectrum, and “AT EASE,” the Camp Pendleton-based program that allows wounded warriors, who once found it impossible to lead normal lives after returning from deployment, to again venture into public settings with pride and confidence. There are presently 9 dogs in training with 6 new puppies to be brought on board in 2012.
TLCAD is currently seeking and recruiting new volunteer trainers to help meet the growing need for service dogs in San Diego County for these two disciplines. It is a goal of the TLCAD trainers to begin working with military dog trainers to create volunteer trainers among troops at Camp Pendleton.
Those who are interested in volunteering for these rewarding roles should please visit the updated TLCAD Web site (www.tenderlovingcanines.org) to fill out an application. The public is invited to help give a “gift” that changes another’s life immensely.
ABOUT TENDER LOVING CANINES ASSISTANCE DOGS, INC.Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc. (TLCAD) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that was established in 1998. The organization’s trainers are all volunteers, dedicated to the training of service dogs for those with limited abilities in San Diego County. TLCAD specializes in training mobility, autism, facility, and specialty dogs. The dogs are given at no charge to the recipients. In turn, the client receives training on the care, handling of, laws, customized cues, and safety of their dog, at which time they receive certification and ownership. TLCAD stays involved in the training and re-certification of the dog for the remainder of its working life. For more information please visit tenderlovingcanines.org.