I am fundraising for Susquehanna Service Dogs by volunteering to be placed "in the doghouse" on Thursday, April 19th from 12:00-1:00pm. I have committed to raising $1,000 to get out of the doghouse. You can help me by making a donation directly thru this gofundme page.
***Katie and SSD Zola have joined me in this fundraiser and they have volunteered to be "in the doghouse" from 1:00-2:00pm. So we are raising our goal!!! They will also need to raise $1,000 to get out of the doghouse. If you are in State College on April 19th and want to stop and see us in the doghouse we will be located in front of First National Bank at 366 E College Ave.****
This fundraiser has special meaning for me as my daughter Katie was partnered with a service dog thru Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD) last June. SSD Zola and Katie have become an amazing team and I have witnessed how life changing having SSD Zola has been for Katie. She has gained so much independence and confidence because of her partnership with Zola. Zola is a trained balance dog, which has given Katie back the ability to be more ambulatory and rely less in her wheelchair. Zola helps her navigate the campus at Penn State and with her job. Zola does several tasks for Katie including picking things up (as small as a quarter!), taking off her shoes and coat, navigating stairs safely, opening accessible doors by pushing the buttons, and so much more!
I am participating so that others can be paired with a service dog, changing their lives the way I have seen SSD Zola change Katie's.
Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD), a program of Keystone Human Services, has been improving lives for nearly a quarter century.
SSD is currently placing between 20 and 25 dogs per year. There is an average of 80 people on SSD’s waiting list at any given time. SSD makes breeding decisions on the type of service dog needed based on this waiting list, begins training the dogs as early as one day old, and trains each dog for the specific and unique needs of the individual they will be paired with. It takes two years of socialization, assessment, and training for a service dog to become equipped for their life as a working dog.
SSD’s program consists of 9 full time employees and over 200 volunteers. SSD’s volunteers provide an average of 32,000 hours a month which includes volunteer puppy raisers. On average SSD has 100 dogs in various stages of training at any given time.
SSD also has a strong presence in local communities providing opportunities for animal assisted intervention at places like Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute and Holy Spirit Hospital Partial Hospitalization Program, as well as providing an average of ten demonstrations a month at various venues to educate the community about how service dogs change lives, service dog etiquette, and service dog laws.
SSD teams impact not only the individuals matched with service dogs, but each person that they come in contact with every day. SSD clients and their families tell of the significant changes not only in their lives but also share the way people in their communities have grown from the educational opportunities that stem from the service dog partnerships.
Need: SSD relies on approximately 80% of its funding for operations from donations, grants, and fundraisers. It requires $30,000 for each working dog raised, trained, and placed - we ask only $5,000 from each person receiving one of our service dogs. Additionally, we provide scholarships for persons unable to afford $5,000 based on U.S. poverty guidelines.
- Jamie Leese
- Cassandra Winner
- Ellie Brigger
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