Service Dogs Change Lives

Two children with a dog

Service Dogs

Service dogs are vital in the lives of numerous people with different disabilities.  We came across an article that featured a special service dog to help people with autism.

Sawyer Hamilton, a teenager with autism in Utah, uses an autism assistance dog provided by Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a nonprofit organization in California.  Sawyer’s mother noticed that he interacted better with animals, so in 2000, she applied to CCI for a service dog.  After two years of waiting, Sawyer received his first service dog at no charge.  Hal, a black lab, changed Sawyer’s life.  He began reading above his grade level, could take the bus to and from school by himself, and has plans to go to college.

Similar to other service dog programs, CCI has a strict breeding program. The puppies go to volunteer families until about 15 months then to go to training centers across the US for 6 months to train to be a service dog.  The service dogs learn roughly 40 different behaviors before being placed.

Although Hal passed away in 2011, Sawyer received another service dog, Topper, and continues to thrive. Sawyer’s mom says she cannot imagine where he would be without his service dogs.

If you are interested in donating to CCI, you can donate here.

About Clint Howitz

Clint is the Founder and Pack Leader at dogIDs, which started in his basement in 2005. Clint is a lifelong dog lover with a passion for developing functional and beautiful products for dogs. ...

  1. Thank you SO much!! i have a PTSD dog and another Physical Aid dog who is still in training. i am a Military Veteran and i am moved to TEARS by your sale and your great new offerings. thank you SO much for recognizing Service Animals and the Life-Saving work that they do. You are WONDERFUL!!

  2. I have completely debilitating FHM with associated Epilepsy, and my life had shut down.
    I was Blessed with my Teammate
    ( Service Dog), and she has Completely Changed my Life….
    I can’t even begin to imagine life without her…
    Service Dogs who are True Teammates are amazing …
    May God Bless them all and Their Handlers…

  3. Currently raising our 10th puppy -in-training for GUIDE DOGS OF AMERICA, I applaud you for highlighting service dogs and the amazing contributions they make in the lives of their partners! I must admit, though, that my heart sank when I saw your email about the new harnesses and patches as so many people are purchasing artificial vests, etc., to appear to be service dogs and take their pets to public places although they are not trained or in-training…a violation of the ADA guidelines for service dogs. Do you plan to ask for verification if someone wants to purchase these products for their dog? Incidents of untrained animals that misbehave in public endanger the provisions for the legitimate hero dogs that are hard at work in the public everyday as well as the pups-in-training. If a service dog is matched with a partner they receive the harness (for guides for the blind) or service jackets/harnesses from the school certifying them as a team, so I am wondering about the need to put these on the market in your collection. The ADA identifies select parameters to qualify as a service dog (Federal Guidelines – and comfort or emotional support dogs are in a catagory of “assistant dogs” and don’t have the same access as guide dogs for blind, hearing alert for deaf, canine companions for mobility or physically disabled,alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. Some states provide access to assistance dogs so one must inquire with their own state (see FAQs and to check your state see .

    I am a huge fan of your “on the collar” ID Tag design (brilliant!) and have purchased a number for our dogs and have recommended your site to others. With this new line of harnesses and patches, I do hope that you will not be contributing to the number of people who try to pass off pets as service dogs but are counterfeits. (In my state, it is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6 months, by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.)


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.