We are not accepting new application requests for our Autism Service Dogs. Once our current waiting list needs have been met, we will be in a position to consider new applicants. Please check back here for updates. If you have any questions, please direct them to our Client Services Department by calling Allison at (519) 504-7658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For children that wander or bolt, the service dog keeps the child grounded and safe. The service dog keeps the child with the family and allows for safe road-crossings.
The service dog can become a companion for the child. Independence is fostered through being responsible for helping with the dog’s care and exercise.
The dog helps with stress control, becoming a constant anchor and behavioural guide for the child. The service dog bridges the gap between peers creating opportunities for socialization and independence. A child learns daily tasks with service dog that create opportunities to learn responsibility, empathy, socialization, and communication development.
There are benefits for family and siblings as well. Parents gain comfort in public places families can participate in outings together and more often.
ADS places dogs with children in between the ages of 3 to 18 years of age. ADS does not require an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis to be considered for our program. If a child has challenges which present in a similar manner to Autism we will evaluate the need to determine if a service dog would provide beneficial support to the child.
ADS provides local placements in the most parts of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and parts of Southwestern Ontario in order to be able to stay closely connected with all service dog recipients. Staff are regularly out in the community training service dogs, visiting clients, and instructing educators and are available for support when required. Our goal is to have our service dog teams be as successful as possible.
Approved families are required to complete seven mandatory specialized Service Dog Education Workshops upon approval with the goal of helping them gain the knowledge and skills needed to make the service dog successful once it joins the family home.
Families with service dogs are required to attend one Graduate Refresher Training Workshop each year to polish up their skills and connect with ADS staff for support.
ADS provides in-home placement of the service dog once a family reaches the top of the waiting list and a match has been determined by staff. Further training, support and instruction is done at the home and community. Families will be required to take time off to meet staff for follow-up and may be required to travel to locations determined by the Training Instructor during the initial placement of the service dog.
ADS fosters close working relationships with all the families who are waiting to receive service dogs. Staff aim to build a strong partnership with each family during their wait time and our goal is to have that continue when each family receives their service dog until the dog's retirement.
ADS provides autism specific Educational Manuals to families and educators upon the service dog placement. Other resources provided are social narrative samples, task strips and training videography along with video modelling to help children with autism work on daily tasks with their service dogs.
All of our service dogs are raised in homes from puppyhood until they have completed their socialization and training and are paired with the family and child they will be assisting. dogsADS dogs live in stress-free conditions that allow them to reach their full potential. Once the dogs are moved to staff homes for advanced training, the Training Instructors get to know each dog in a very personal way. This close personal connection helps staff to make the best match possible for each family on the ADS wait list.
Adopt a dog that doesn’t meet criteria to become a service dog! Puppies and dogs in training may be released from their training program at any time. ADS puppies or dogs that do not meet standards for behaviour, health or temperament are disqualified and adopted out as companion or pet dogs to those approved by ADS and are waiting. These dogs typically have minor health or behaviour problems and would make wonderful pet dogs.
For more information about adoptions fill out this: Adoption Form
ADS matches companion dogs to people of all ages with special needs who would benefit from the companionship of a dog at home. These dogs have some training but did not complete full certification to become service dogs. Companion dogs do not have any public access, are not provided with a service dog jacket and cannot be utilized in public places. If you are interested in this program please complete the adoption form and indicate so on the related question. If you have any questions please contact email@example.com
Who can apply to be put on the adoption list?
Dogs are available to residents of Ontario with travel expectations.
There is an adoption fee for adopting released puppies and dogs to cover some of the expenses that the puppy or dog has incurred while in the ADS training program. Fees range from $3500 – $4000