KSDS Assistance Dogs, Inc
120 West 7th | Washington, KS 66968 | Washington County | 785-325-2256
120 W. 7th Street Washington KS 66968
If interested in being a puppy raiser for KSDS, please contact Kyanna Volkman, Puppy Raiser Coord...
KSDS mission is to promote the independence and inclusion of people with disabilities as fully participating and contributing members of their communities and society. This is accomplished with canine assistance.
It all starts with the dogs and the dedicated staff at KSDS. Most of our dogs come from puppies born in Washington, Kansas as the result of our breeding program of Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers. The breeders are kept in volunteers home until it is time to bring them back to KSDS.
Our puppies are born and spent their first two weeks in the whelping room at our Canine Housing Unit. Then they are brought to the public kennel area in the CHU where they continue to receive loving attention by our staff. During the next six weeks they will undergo a series of health and care checks. At five weeks the litter is named. At six weeks, they first began socializing with volunteers to prepare them for their next step in life.
At eight weeks the names of the puppies are announced as they go to homes with their puppy raisers. There they will learn basic obedience and some intermediate skills until they return to KSDS at about 18 to 20 months of age. On their return, they will be taken to the Kansas State University Vet Hospital for OFAs (bone and joint) and CERTs (eye) testing. Upon passing, the dogs begin more intermediate training and then be evaluated for placement and training to be Guide Dogs, Service Dogs, or Social Dogs. The dogs are then selectively matched for temperament and physical attributes with people who need our specially trained canines.
In order to graduate from the program the team must train together at KSDS for one to three weeks. The students receive their room, board (three meals a day for guide and service students), transportation for class, materials and other training costs all at no cost. After graduation, KSDS staff provides on-going support to all teams who have graduated.
KSDS, Inc. has 145 active assistance dog teams (guide, service, and social) working to date. The youngest person to receive an assistance dog from KSDS was seven years of age and the oldest was eighty-three. The individual with the disability must be able to demonstrate the capabilities to give commands and care for their canine assistant. Causes for disabilities of graduates are: Spinal Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, Arthritis, Diabetes, Amputation, Post Polio, cancer, stroke, macular degeneration and others.
Each team placement costs in excess of $25,000, however, the placements occur at no cost to the individuals receiving the dogs. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, KSDS operates entirely on donations and no tax dollars are used to support our program.