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New Sienna Joins DBL’s West Coast Pack

By June 17, 2021 No Comments

CENTRAL POINT, OR ‒ In late May Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) completed funding to purchase a 2020 Toyota Sienna van. This vehicle will be critical in supporting DBL’s California to Oregon transport of shelter and purpose-bred dogs, as well as moving puppies back and forth between volunteer raisers and the west coast campus in Central Point, OR.

“This vehicle is paramount to continued growth and success with transporting dogs from shelters, Assistance Dog partners, and puppy raisers between California and Oregon,” stated CEO Bryan Williams. “None of this would be possible without the amazing generosity of our donors, particularly in this case, our private foundation partners.”

Funding for this vehicle was made possible by The Thornton S. and Katrina D. Glide Foundation, Onan Family Foundation, The Laura J. Niles Foundation, Inc., Robert and Frances Chaney Family Foundation, Lithia Motors/Lithia Toyota of Medford, and Sign Dude.


Assistance Dogs are a powerful resource for restoring autonomy and independence for individuals living with disabilities and welcomed additions to many families and support networks. Transportation plays a vital role in the mission of DBL to rescue, train, and place these remarkable partners. Currently, DBL has eight vehicles for transports throughout the Pacific Northwest. Five of the eight each have more than 100,000 miles. Two of the eight are used exclusively by the new satellite staff in Washington and California.

People need Assistance Dogs more than ever. The Pandemic has resulted in a more isolated world for everyone and exponentially heightened the isolation for our deaf and hard of hearing clients. Those who have an Assistance Dog are finding their presence critical.

In 2016, DBL Client, Steve, was paired with a shelter dog named “Pepe” rescued from a shelter in California. In February 2020, Steve suffered a Pulmonary Embolism and spent 4-days in ICU. Now at home, he is on new life-saving medications and relies on mail-order delivery. Through careful walking regimens, he finds improvement in his underlying health conditions. Because this was not his previous lifestyle, he found his footwear was inadequate. With store closures, Steve ordered his shoes online.

“A rather exciting occurrence happened last evening when Pepe alerted me to a knock on the window,” stated Steve. “I have a sign on the gate to my patio: “Do not enter. COVID-19 Separation. Knock on the window. The dog will alert me. It was the UPS man with a package. My new pair of shoes had arrived! The morning walk will be their break-in period. I’d be lost without Pepe.”

This vehicle is more than just transporting dogs, as it also provides transportation for staff to follow-up with teams (client and dog) like Steve and Pepe.


To learn more about how your place of business, family foundation, or individuals can support Dogs for Better Lives with philanthropic donations, in-kind, and/or with volunteer support, visit… https://dogsforbetterlives.org/get-involved/.

[See full news release as PDF here]

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