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Skilled Companions

People with disabilities might have trouble reaching a light switch, picking up a dropped pencil or opening a door. Imagine having a dog that could do all of that and more.

Our skilled companions are dogs trained to work with child with a disability under the guidance of a facilitator. A facilitator is typically a parent, or caregiver who handles and cares for the assistance dog, encourages a strong bond between the recipient and the skilled companion dog, and is responsible for the customized training needs of the dog. SKILLED COMPANION DOGS DO NOT HAVE PUBLIC ACCESS RIGHTS.

Disabilities served include, but are not limited to, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

A Pawsible Angels skilled companion is bred to be calm, reliable, affectionate and utilizes its trained skills and tasks to help mitigate the recipient’s disability.

A Pawsible Angel’s skilled companion can also serve as a tool to assist in developing independent living skills as well as integrated into structured therapies and utilized to facilitate social interactions. Not only can a skilled companion placement make their physical lives easier, it can boost confidence, feelings of self-sufficiency and responsibility. Pawsible Angel’s skilled companion dogs are responsive, but NOT responsible. A Pawsible Angel dog cannot take responsibility for the safety of the recipient. A Pawsible Angel dog does not have the ability to identify a situation that is safe versus a situation that is dangerous. Pawsible Angel dogs are only able to perform under the direct supervision of an adult, and cannot go to school alone with a child.

In order to be eligible for a skilled companion, applicants must:

Recipient must:

  • Be at least 5 years of age

  • Have a physical or developmental disability

  • Live with facilitator

Facilitator must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older

  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively control, manage and care for a dog and child

  • Have adequate vision to observe, intervene, and manage a dog’s behavior (generally equivalent to DMV license requirements)

  • Be willing to participate in on-going Pawsible Angel’s training and graduate support program