Therapy Dogs by Phoenix Assistance Dogs

Since 2009 we have fully trained and certified 6 full time working therapy dogs. Our therapy dogs do not provide the simple affection based therapy that is typically found in nursing homes and hospitals. Rather, our therapy dogs are a unique blend of assistance trained tasks and therapy connections. They work in schools for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities, Autism and IU13’s. They also work hands on with therapists providing private counseling sessions.

Some of the tasks they are taught to do are (but are not limited to): Deep Pressure, Grounding, Nudge a Client on Command, Interrupt Self Harming or Repetitive Behavior, Escort Client From One Room to Another. All of our Therapy Dogs pass the same high standards Access Test that our Assistance Dogs are given before becoming certified, showing they are effective, safe and extremely well trained. These are not private individuals pet dogs. They are dogs that were raised and trained with the intent to be working Therapy Dogs. Many of them were released for medical conditions that disqualified them from being Assistance Dogs, but not Therapy Dogs!  Please contact us with any questions!

PAD Creekside Kennel Irvine – Available For Adoption


Irvine was donated to us at eight weeks of age by his breeder Creekside Kennel, with his littermate Gunner.  While Gunner is out going and enthusiastic, Irvine is reserved and timid.  He is being release from our assistance dog program due to this gentle cautious temperament.  Being in public worries him, as he never knows exactly what to expect.

Irvine will do best in a quiet home with adults only or kids over 13 years of age.  He makes great bonds with dogs but may take time learning to trust a new canine companion.  He is very laid back in his dog play and does wonderful with cats and other small animals.  Irvine loves to snuggle with his humans and would enjoy if his new family would be very affectionate with him.

Irvine has mild grain allergies and should be kept on a grain free diet.

He is quiet, house trained, crate trained, up to date on his vaccinations, microchipped and has a solid basic obedience foundation.   His adoption fee is $800, will come with his AKC documents and we will consider out of state adoptions.

To apply please email info@padcentral.org

Fundraising for PAD Gunner!

We are raising the funds to purchase one particular health guaranteed puppy to raise as our first potential stud dog, who will be the future of service dogs helping the disabled in our community. This 5 week old puppy, PAD Gunner, comes from generations of champion dogs ranging from obedience titles, show titles, and hunting titles.  Bred by <Creekside Kennels in North Carolina.

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Each of these areas are uniquely important for an assistance dog stud. Champion obedience titles show a desire to learn and obey commands, while champion hunting titles show natural desire to retrieve and have a gentle mouth. Equally importantly, the champion show titles show solid physical stature which is crucial for pulling a wheelchair and mobility work. In addition, this puppy has multiple generations of health tests dogs in his background and comes with a solid “hip contract” meaning they guarantee his hips to be free of Degenerative Joint Disease.

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In order to continue meeting the needs of individuals living with a broad range of disabilities, we are working towards starting a small breeding program. This small breeding program will provide our program with puppies of suitable health and temperament in order for us to continue with our mission – to locate, raise and train dogs to provide greater independence to individuals living with a broad range of disabilities as well as to mentor and teach individuals that are training an assistance dog either for themselves or for a loved one. To read more about our program, and what sets us apart from other assistance dog programs please go to our <website.

Our fundraising goal covers:

Puppy cost
Flight for pick up and delivery
Veterinary costs for 2 years
Basic Training Gear
Quality dog food for 2 years
Hip, Elbow and Health Clearances at 2

To contribute, please go to our <FundRazr page! Or email us at info [at] padcentral.org for alternative ways to contribute, more information, or with questions!

Looking Towards The Future

After years of focusing solely on rescue and shelter puppies/dogs, we have decided to begin working with very small, highly devoted breeders to grow our program.  We don’t take breeding lightly, and will continue to always work closely with the community to bring in suitable puppies and dogs from our local shelters, rescues and as in the past, even test dogs within families that are in need of placing them.  Unfortunately, the dogs within the community that are suitable for assistance dog work are hard to come by and our waiting list for assistance dogs is growing by the month.  So in order to meet the needs of our local individuals with disabilities we have made this choice to begin working with breeders.  We do not have any specific breeding plans currently, but wanted to share the news with you as you are sure to see some changes in the future!

PAD Davy’s Fundraiser

PAD Davy visited our wonderful veterinarians today because we were concerned with one of his eyes.  Our team was very disheartened to learn that sweet Davy has entropion in one of his eyes that requires surgery.  Thankfully, the veterinarians are positive that with surgery, PAD Davy will be able to continue training with PAD and have no lasting affects!  If you’d like to read about entropion, you can click <here.

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PAD Davy’s medication prior to surgery (scheduled for 2/19/13), surgery itself, and post op medications will be approximately $1,500.   Please consider making a small donation to help Davy get back to his training!  You can donate by clicking below or email us (info[at]padcentral.org) if you’d like to donate directly to the veterinary clinic!

Please consider sharing this on your blog or facebook page!

Growing Puppy Program!

Our waiting list of partners in need of a life saving fully trained assistance dog is growing, which means we need to grow the size of our Puppy Program!  Before we begin the search for more puppies, we need to recruit and train valuable volunteer Puppy Trainers!  Please consider how allowing a puppy to come into your home for approximately 2 years can change someones life forever!

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Assistance Dogs and Preparedness for Emergencies

The possibility of Hurricane Sandy hitting our area has caused us to discuss emergency evacuations and over all safety.

Assistance Dogs are permitted to enter any shelter, but we still encourage our teams to be fully prepared by also knowing where pets are permitted if they need to evacuate and the local shelter does not understand the law regarding assistance dogs. If teams are denied access, they can call the National Red Cross 24 hour access number, 1-866-GET INFO.

A service dog is defined under the American’s With Disabilities Act as a guide dog, signal dog, or any other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Assistance Dogs represent a specific group, different from pets or other animals such as therapy dogs.

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The Red Cross specifically allows an individual with a disability the use of an assistance dog in its disaster or evacuation shelters; or we will make special arrangements to accommodate the individual, together with the assistance dog, within the facility or in another appropriate facility. In all such circumstances, the care and supervision of the service animal is the responsibility of the individual, and not that of Red Cross.

We recommend that partners put no less than one week of dog food in their fully fueled vehicle ahead of time, and packing the following:

  • An extra collar with proper ID
  • An extra leash
  • Two dog bowls
  • Clean up supplies (poop bags, etc)
  • Copies of their dogs;
    • county license
    • veterinary records
    • assistance dog public access letter provided by PAD
  • A current photo of their dog
We encourage our teams to put all of these items into a “to go bag” which is then put somewhere that they can easily access if the emergency level changes without notice. Near this bag should also be their assistance dog’s public harness or vest.  If your dog has a harness with packs, we encourage you to pack a safe weight amount of your dogs necessities in their packs, saving space and helping you manage your things.
Even though assistance dogs are highly trained and taught to handle stress, emergency evacuations can be an extreme situation for them.  It can be beneficial to have a chew toy, power treats and even a clicker packed for these situations. 
We hope that everyone takes time to plan for an evacuation, especially so for those with disabilities and assistance dogs.  Stay safe and be prepared!

Spotlight: Dexter

PAD Dexter is an easy going and gentle natured 13 week old rescued mixed breed puppy. Dexter is in our puppy program, and will be matched around 1 year of age to an individual with a disability on our waiting list. Once matched we will fine tune his training to the specific needs of his partner. Right now in training PAD Dexter is socializing with dogs, people and environments in order to become the well adjusted adult dog, he needs to be, to be a service dog!  He is growing fast, and at 12 weeks was already 24 lbs!  When in public, PAD Dexter wears a service dog harness and walks on an Easy Walk Harness, and is his volunteer Puppy Trainers are working hard on training sessions to teach him to walk nicely on a collar as well!  <Will you consider donating the cost of one of these very important items?

In Training Harness w/ Patches: $35.00

Easy Walk Harness: $25.00

Head Collar: $38.00

Spotlight: Beamer


PAD Beamer is a wonderful 16 week old rescued golden retriever puppy. He is in our owner training program, which means his partner, 17 year old Alexa Vath, is training him to become her very own Hearing Dog!  Alexa is doing a wonderful job training and socializing her puppy, and we’re very proud of all of the work she’s done! She goes above and beyond the call of duty not only attending our classes for his assistance dog training but also puppy kindergarten at her local PetSmart! PAD Beamer is growing fast, and is in need of the next size up harness very soon. He also is learning to walk nicely on a loose leash, but at certain times uses an easy walk harness, and on other occasions, even a head collar. This allows Alexa to continue training him on the rules of the leash, while still manage him during public outings and socialization. <Will you consider donating the cost of one of these very important items?¬†

In Training Harness w/ Patches: $35.00

Easy Walk Harness: $25.00

Head Collar: $38.00