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DBL Celebrates 45 Years of Training and Placing Assistance Dogs

By April 27, 2022May 17th, 2022No Comments

This April, Dogs for Better Lives is celebrating 45 years of training and placing Assistance Dogs across the United States! Join us for a look back at big milestones and some of the dog and client teams we’ve helped over the years.


The American Humane Association initiated experimental work trying to train dogs to help people

Volunteer Lois with President Bush in 1988

who were Deaf, and they contacted Roy Kabat for advice. After spending two weeks in Denver, Roy returned to Oregon and began Dogs for the Deaf (DFD), now Dogs for Better Lives.


DFD published Canine Ears, its first newsletter, in October.


DFD receives national attention when the White House selected Lois Rodger of Central Point to recognize her for her volunteer work with DFD.


Dogs for the Deaf moved to our current forty-acre site at the base of Lower Table rock in Central Point, Oregon.

Photo of early DFD facility in Central Point, OR


DFD Guardian Angel program (now, the Guardian Society) is started to recognize people who have included Dogs for the Deaf in their estate planning.


Dogs for the Deaf is one of the first five Assistance Dogs organizations in the world to be fully accredited by Assistance Dogs International.


Facility Dog Nelson is the first dog to be placed through our Facility Dog Program.


Betty White HollyWOOF invitation photo from 2011

Betty White, and other celebrities joined us at our HollyWOOF fundraiser to mark our 35th anniversary. The event was a glitzy, glamorous afternoon of dancing, drinking, dining, shopping, and mingling with the stars in Studio City, California.


Ian is the first Autism Assistance Dog to be placed.


Dogs or the Deaf became Dogs for better Lives in 2017 to reflect the multiple programs we offer, including Autism Assistance Dogs and Facility Dogs.


Dogs for Better Lives purchases a property in Falmouth, Massachusetts for the future Northeast Campus to foster the growth and expansion necessary to acquiring, professionally training, and placing more Assistance Dogs across the country.

Dogs for Better Lives is honored for the 8th consecutive year as a 4-Star Charity with Charity Navigator.


DBL officially opens the Northeast Training Campus.

Assistance Dog Stories Through the Decades

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