CENTRAL POINT, OR ‒ Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) concluded its 2018-19 fiscal year at the end of June, having accomplished several major milestones.
Last October, after nearly three years of planning, followed by 18 months of construction, DBL officially opened its new 18,900 sq. ft. 40-kennel Second Training Facility at its southern Oregon campus. Combined with the original training facility, DBL now offers 60 kennels, 10 training apartments, three indoor training rooms, and multiple outdoor exercise/training yards across its 67-acre campus.
Over the past 12 months, DBL placed 61 dogs nationally, including 23 Assistance Dogs (Hearing – 19, Autism – 3, and Facility – 1). These Assistance Dogs were placed in seven states across the country by certified assistance dog trainers who worked with the dogs, traveled to the clients, and spent a week placing the dog with each client.
New for 2019, DBL has removed all fees ($50 application fee and $500 good-faith deposit) related to applying for and receiving an Assistance Dog. The lifetime investment DBL has put into each Assistance Dog ranges from $30,000-$45,000, based on veterinarian expenses, rescue vs. purpose-bred dog, training costs, and follow-up travel with each dog and client team over their lifetime.
Not every dog brought in qualifies as an Assistance Dog. In the latest fiscal year, 38 dogs did not graduate and were placed in their forever homes as Career Change Dogs. “There are a variety of reasons why an Assistance Dog in training does not graduate,” stated Interim Program Director Emily Minah. “If that’s the case, we then work to find them a forever home with someone who will love and care for them just the same as a pet dog.”
Last August, DBL’s Board of Directors hired Bryan Williams as the organization’s next CEO and President to help lead the national nonprofit into expansion with programmatic reach, national board growth, and strategic fundraising. Bryan most recently worked for and led Canine Companions for Independence’s southeast operations in Florida. “I’m excited to be here and play a major role in strategically leading DBL forward,” stated Bryan. “We’re in major growth mode now and will be for some time to come, though I’ll ensure it’s value-driven and fun along the way.”
In this latest fiscal year, DBL’s Board of Directors voted in several new members, including five nationally, residing in California, North Carolina (2), Massachusetts, and Minnesota. Two of the current 14 Board Members are also Hearing Dog clients.
For the seventh year in a row, DBL has received the prestigious 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, highlighting the organization’s financial stability, accountability, and transparency. Further, DBL was once again recognized by Oregon Business as a 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon (2018), and more recently received Guidestar’s Platinum Seal (2019).[Read full press release here]
Photo: Cornelius Matteo Photography