Autism Therapy Dog Program Earns National Recognition

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awardThe Austin Dog Alliance announced that it has been awarded a grant from the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF), Planet Dog’s non-profit grant making organization. The grant will help fund its work helping children and young adults with developmental disabilities and providing handler-dog teams to local hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes, as well as schools and libraries. The Alliance is one of only eight PDF recipients in the US.

The Austin Dog Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, provides unique group social skills development programs for children with autism spectrum disorder that incorporate the use of canine-assisted therapy. It plans to expand its programs to include job-skill training at a permanent Alliance facility in Cedar Park in 2013. Its “Build Our Forever Home Capital Campaign” is raising $1.3 million to complete its facility.

“Austin Dog Alliance is thrilled that the Planet Dog Foundation is supporting our work,” says Debi Krakar, Alliance Executive Director. “This comes at an exciting time, when requests for our services are increasing dramatically. These funds will help us continue our current work while we work to broaden our therapy dog programs and reach out to more children and youth.”

“The Planet Dog Foundation is honored to establish a partnership with the Austin Dog Alliance through this grant,” says Kristen Smith, the Executive Director of the Planet Dog Foundation.

“Their comprehensive program to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families by incorporating the powerful connection between humans and dogs aligns beautifully with our mission to celebrate and support dogs working to help people in need. We are proud to invest in their remarkable program and help dogs to help people in so many ways.”