Sign In

Service Dogs In Training

July 29, 2020

The COVID pandemic has been hard on everyone, including service dogs in training.

With no staff to train dogs with Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities (ECAD) in Winsted, some volunteers — or home handlers — stepped in to help.

The home handlers took in 35 dogs that needed a place to stay.

“Usually, a home handler has an ECAD visitor for three days, a week at the most,” Dale Picard, co-founder and executive director of ECAD, explained. “But due to the lockdown and stay-at-home situation and the lack of kennel staff, these 35 volunteers kept the dogs for two months or more. They came, picked them up in March, knowing there would be no way to drop them off due to the stay-at-home order. This demonstrated an awe-inspiring commitment.”

He said the months away did pose a negative effect on the actual hours of training each service dog is required to log before being placed at 18-24 months of age. However, he said they should catch up in no time.

“I’m not too worried about those 35 coming up to speed in their training now that the dogs are on their regular schedule. Lu [Picard, who continued training the eight dogs that stayed with ECAD] will see to that they will be ready to be placed when the time comes.”

Watch the video above for his full interview.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more