Programs & Services
ECAD’s mission of providing highly skilled Service Dogs to increase mobility and independence for people living with disabilities manifests itself in a variety of programs and services. Each one designed to meet the needs of a specific population: Veterans, at-risk youth, persons living with disabilities or in stressful circumstances, and children as young as two with Autism.
ECAD’s core program whereby Assistance Dogs are educated to prepare them for a career as a Service or Facility Dog. Our Service Dogs have helped over 200 disabled clients and our Facility Dogs, who can be found in hospitals, nursing homes, courthouses, etc., have helped thousands of distressed individuals.
A vocational program which takes place at five residential treatment facilities specializing in helping at-risk youth with emotional, behavioral, and learning issues. All of ECAD’s dogs are educated by these at-risk youth.
Three interrelated programs designed to meet the needs of Veterans living with physical injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
- Service Dogs
Specifically educated Service Dogs who help ward off panic attacks, provide a physical barrier in public places, and/or provide mobility and retrieval assistance.
Teaches Veterans to educate Service Dogs to be placed with fellow Veterans. Veterans in this program also act as mentors and role models to the at-risk youth, with whom they work side-by-side to educate the dogs.
- Train the Trainer
A unique opportunity for Veterans to work with certified instructors to learn how to start a career in the field of Service Dog education.
- Service Dogs
Specially educated Service Dogs assist children with autism - some as young as two years old - to build emotional bonding, cognitive development, socialization, and safety.
ECAD’s dogs are purposefully bred for good health and good temperaments. Their parents were the best of the best, and the pups are whelped at our Laura J. Niles Breeding & Training Center in Torrington, CT.
A unique opportunity for children ages 9-13 to become informed about the responsibilities of being a dog owner by educating ECAD’s future Assistance Dogs. Activities include games with the dogs, group challenge courses, scavenger hunts, hiking and much more! A great chance for kids to learn responsibility, teamwork and gain self-confidence while having fun and making a difference.
This intensive six-week program is administered on-site by our certified instructors, giving people the knowledge base to begin a career as a Service Dogs instructor. Attendees learn the nuances of educating Service Dogs as opposed to obedience or law enforcement canine education practices.
ECAD has volunteering opportunities for all ages, interests and skill levels. Whether you are looking to utilize your administrative skills as an office volunteer, get your child involved in the community through our youth volunteer activities, or you want to become a Home Handler, and foster our dogs on the weekends, ECAD has a volunteer position to accommodate.