The journey of an Assistance Dogs dog takes many working hands, loving hearts, and donor dollars to make it all possible. Assistance Dogs recently rolled out a puppy sponsorship program that allows individuals, businesses, and organizations to fully or partially fund the two-year training of a future assistance dog. Our dogs are trained as service dogs, primarily supporting people with mobility disabilities and therapy dogs that benefit children or adults living with developmental disabilities.

    Behind any effective organization, is the need for funding to enhance and sustain programming. Assistance Dogs is a program of The Ability Center supported by grants, private donations, and puppy sponsorships.

    Supplemental Staffing, a local staffing firm, came on board as a puppy sponsor for their first dog in July of 2016. The business has close ties to our organization because their owner, Malcolm Richards, is a long-time board member and supporter of The Ability Center. It was love at first sight for staff, who were drawn to Assistance Dogs because of the mission and adorable dogs we train.

    Henry was the name selected by staff because it sounded fun and was easy to say. A “Presidents and First Lady’s” theme was chosen for the litter than Henry is part of. It is important that the individual who is placed with the dog can clearing speak the dog’s name to ensure training commands are understood.


    All Hail Henry!

    “Henry connected with staff and soaked up every moment of his visits to Supplemental Staffing. Watching Henry graduate and begin his life with his forever partner, Riley was the moment that changed everything for the first-time sponsors. Christy, of Supplemental Staffing shares, “It was extremely emotional and super exciting for both of them. We were so happy to be a part of their unification and can’t wait to hear updates and see pictures in their new life journey together!”

    A Forever Bond

    “Riley has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Since graduation, Henry has been by his side ready to pick up dropped items and hit access buttons to open doors while out and about. Henry calms Riley during stressful situations and anxious trips to the doctors. Riley’s mother explains, “People come up to Riley and ask about his dog. This gives Riley an opportunity to speak to others when he wouldn’t otherwise have the option. Henry is helping Riley to build life skills.”

    Thank you, Supplemental Staffing, and all of our sponsors for funding our quest to pair trained assistance dogs with those with disabilities. Christy says, “This whole process has been extremely rewarding for us and we’re looking forward to doing it all over again!”

    Supplemental Staffing’s have committed to sponsoring another puppy, Cosmo. We look forward to watching the journey unfold.