|A mobility assistance dog enables his recipient to be more mobile whether
they are in a wheelchair, or us a walker, cane, or crutches. These dogs
allow their handler to be more independent in day-to-day life.
Little Angels will not only train mobility assistance dogs for adults, but also
for children who demonstrate the ability to remain consistent with training
exercises and are able to communicate clearly to the dog.
Mobility Assistance Dogs can be trained in some, or all of the following;
Dogs are trained to retrieve hard to reach items on command, and can learn to retrieve
specific items by name.
Finding the Phone
Dogs are trained to locate the phone by scent and then bring it to their handler.
Pulling a Wheelchair
Dogs are trained to pull ahead with a strap that is attached from their harness onto the
Trained to carry items in their mouths when told.
Can be trained to alert someone else in the home on command.
Trained to pull at a rope attached to doors and/or cabinets.
Trained to push elevator or door buttons on command.
Can be trained to help pull off shoes or socks on command.
Can be trained to turn lights on or off.
Is a Little Angels Mobility Assistance Dog right for me?
You must ...
1)Have a disability that hinders your mobility, but have adequate upper body strength,
and muscle control in the arms.
2)Have strong communication skills and the ability to be consistent with a dog
regarding training exercises.
3)Have a love for dogs.
4)Have patience to work through problems. (Even a trained dog is still a dog.)
5)Have finances to provide your dog with veterinary care and maintenance for the next
6)Be willing to travel to San Diego, California for handler training, preferably with a
friend or family member for support.
Hander Training is where the disabled party learns how to work with the dog as a team. This
generally takes 14-21 days, with training every day. This is when the dog learns to respond to
the commands of the handler, and when the handler learns how to reinforce the training that
the dog has already received. We cover practical, day-to-day life experiences so you will feel
confident taking the dog into your care. We work in real-life situations such as outings to
shopping malls, restaurants, and parks so you will feel comfortable taking the dog with you
into the public setting.
After the completion of Handler Training we work together on a series of field tests, which
are administered by the trainer. After graduation, you and your dog will be certified as a
working team. A certification card will be provided to the handler, as well as a service vest
and identification tag for your dog, which labels him or her as a service animal.
We have a lifetime commitment to each
recipient and each dog that we place.
Once you and your dog have graduated we maintain contact to insure that your dog's training
and assistance remains in tact,
that the dog remains healthy and happy,
and that the dog is improving your quality of life.
What are the steps involved for receiving a Mobility Assistance Dog?
Step 1: Request an application through our 'Apply for a Dog' page.
Step 2: Return the application for review.
Your application is received via email, and you will receive
a response within 2 business days in most cases.
Step 3: If accepted we will contact you to schedule a phone
The consultation is an average of 60 minutes where we discuss realistic expectations of how a service
dog can assist you, and to make sure you are a good fit for one of our dogs.
Step 4: Agreement.
If we believe one of our service dogs can assist you we will write out a customized agreement and ask
you to review your final decision with friends and family.
Step 5: Return your agreement with your $500.00 deposit, to be
added to our waiting list.
The deposit is your sign to us that you are committed to the program. Once this is received we begin
fundraising for the costs associated with your dog. Some recipients also choose to be added to our
website under the 'Donations' page - this is a personal decision and is not a requirement.
Step 6: Fundraising.
Organizations nationwide spend an average of $30,000.00-$40,000.00 on each assistance dog trained.
The average service dog graduates with over 600 hours of training, and with that expense also comes
veterinary care, boarding, grooming and training supplies. Because of the commitment of all our
wonderful volunteers Little Angels spends a fraction of that, at $24,000.00 per dog. This is an expense
covered through fundraising. If possible, we ask each recipient to be involved in the fundraising process
when they can, but it is never a requirement.
Step 7: Dog Selection and Specialized Training
Once the funds are met, regardless of how the funds were raised, we move you to the second part of
our waiting list where you are a priority for dog placement. This is when we choose a dog from our
training program that has the natural propensities to assist in the ways needed for your disability, and
we continue any additional specialized training needed specifically for your needs.
Step 8: Handler Training.
During handler training we work with you, one-on-one, and show you how to reinforce the training your
dog has already had. Once you and your dog graduate our program we stay in daily contact for the first
month, followed by monthly, and bi-yearly consultations for reports on your dog's ability to continuously
provide assistance to you.