The Tower of Hope's goal is to provide trained service dogs to as many needy individuals that we can. This requires us to not just fund the training of service dogs but to ensure that these dogs are trained according to the standards of Assistance Dogs International, the accrediting organization that sets the guidelines for this training. There is more to providing a service dog to a disabled individual than simply teaching it to follow a few commands. The training is rigorous from the beginning, and becomes critically important when the dog is paired with the recipient. Only training facilities that guarantee the disciplined and continuous connection to the teams they create are supported by The Tower of Hope. We have qualification criteria that must be met in order for us to support a training facility. We know that the ones we support are the best in the country.
From the beginning, when we placed our first service dog with a wounded veteran, we knew that each placement was unique. As we've branched out into other areas, we have learned that there is a need for research and collaboration to make certain that the services the dogs provide to each recipient are crafted to maximize the success of the teamwork between the recipient and his or her dog. Part of our mission is to evaluate methods of accomplishing tasks for a person with a specific illness or disability and making certain that we fund facilities that are at the cutting edge of the best training to meet these needs.
The Tower of Hope currently has two programs in place focusing on the needs of the population of individuals who can benefit from having service dogs: