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Service Dog: Changing Lives, One Bark at a Time in Silicon Valley Video

In This Episode:

In Silicon Valley, 30% of service dog handlers face access denials, compounding the challenge of a 60% accessibility gap. Only 30% of individuals with disabilities have access to service dogs, with an awareness deficiency resulting in just 20% seeking assistance from available resources.

Service Dog Problems Of Silicon Valley

  • Discrimination Challenges: Despite legal protections, 30% of service dog handlers in Silicon Valley report facing discrimination or access denials in public spaces.
  • Accessibility Gap: Only 30% of individuals with disabilities in Silicon Valley have access to trained service dogs, leaving a significant gap in assistance despite a demand of 60%.
  • Awareness Deficiency: Due to limited awareness about available resources, a mere 20% of eligible individuals in Silicon Valley seek assistance from service dog organizations.

"Our service dogs not only assist with mobility but act as social bridges, helping people like children on the autism spectrum and veterans with PTSD integrate more fully into society."

About Sue Guzman:

Sue Guzman is a 25+ year volunteer for Canine Companions for Independence. In addition to raising/training 15 puppies to be Service Dogs for this organization, she has served as President and DogFest Director. Sue is also the Chair of the annual “Putting for Pups Golf Classic” fundraiser, which is held at the end of May every year. Supporting an organization that provides service dogs to children, adults, and veterans for free is a mission that Sue strongly supports, and she will eagerly share her story with anyone who asks!

"The power of a service dog is transformative, providing independence, safety, and companionship, allowing our recipients to experience life in ways previously unimaginable."

Show Notes:

  • Introduction to Canine Companions: Learn about Canine Companions, the first and oldest service dog training organization in the U.S., founded in 1975. They've placed nearly 8,000 service dogs across all 50 states, aiding individuals with physical disabilities.
  • The Journey of Volunteering: Discover how Sue began her 35-year journey with Canine Companions, transitioning from a financial donor to an active volunteer puppy raiser, raising 25 puppies over the years.
  • Impact of Service Dogs: Explore the diverse roles of service dogs in the community, from aiding those with physical disabilities to serving as social bridges for children on the autism spectrum and veterans with PTSD.
  • Funding Service Dogs: Understand the financial aspect of training service dogs. Each dog costs $50,000 to $60,000 to prepare, but recipients receive them for free thanks to donor support.
  • Volunteer Contributions: Delve into the responsibilities and experiences of a volunteer in the organization, including raising puppies and supporting breeding dogs.
  • Putting for Pups Golf Classic: See this annual fundraising event by the San Francisco South Bay chapter of Canine Companions, which raises $150,000 to $200,000 annually to support the organization.
  • Leadership and Local Impact: Sue discusses her role as local chapter president, highlighting the importance of community involvement and leadership in supporting service dog training and placement.
  • The Transformative Power of Service Dogs: Hear powerful stories of how service dogs have dramatically improved the lives of their recipients, including children with disabilities and veterans. 
  • Volunteering with Canine Companions: Learn how families and individuals can volunteer with Canine Companions, from puppy raising to supporting special events.
  • Future of Canine Companions: Sue shares her vision for Canine Companions' future growth in the local community and beyond, emphasizing the need for increased volunteer and financial support to meet rising demands.

"If you've ever thought about volunteering, whether for puppy raising or another role, just know that every bit of help contributes to a bigger cause, empowering those with disabilities to lead more independent lives."

Connect with Canine Companions

If you would like to learn more or contribute to the mission of this organization, please contact:

Exclusive Solar Partners - Koi Energy

"Sue's dedication and compassion shine through in her work with Canine Companions. It's truly inspiring to see how she and the organization change lives, one service dog at a time."

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