PLATINUM2024

America's VetDogs - The Veteran's K-9 Corps.

Americas VetDogs provides enhanced mobility and renewed independence to veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities, allowing them to once again live with pride and self-reliance. Or, as we like to say, to "Live Without Boundaries."

aka America's VetDogs   |   Smithtown, NY   |  https://www.vetdogs.org

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Mission

America's VetDogs' mission is to help those who have served our country honorably to live with dignity and independence, whether they are visually impaired or have other special needs, through the use of assistance dogs.   America's VetDogs provides independence, mobility and companionship for veterans and military personnel of all eras - from World War II to those recently wounded in active conflicts abroad - who are visually impaired or have other disabilities, through the use of guide, service, facility, therapy and companion dogs.   

Ruling year info

2007

President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. John Miller

Main address

371 E Jericho Turnpike

Smithtown, NY 11787 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-8814368

NTEE code info

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services (P86)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Individuals with physical disabilities often experience isolation because of limited mobility options. America's VetDogs seeks to offer innovative ideas and solutions to ensure those who have served our country honorably and have disabilities experience renewed independence and enhanced mobility. Thanks to the placement of highly skilled guide and service dogs, individuals with disabilities can become fully engaged in the workforce and recognized as equal and independent participants in society, prepared to keep pace with changing times and needs.

America's VetDogs not only offers exceptional programs, but also advocates on behalf of those we serve. America's VetDogs has trained and placed highly skilled guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship. Our services are provided completely free of charge.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Provision of service dogs, including PTSD dogs

Service dogs help increase the mobility and independence of a person with a disability other than visual impairment.  PTSD dogs are specially trained to help mitigate the symptoms of PTSD in an effort to provide the emotional support a veteran or first responder might need.  Our service dogs are provided 100% free of charge.  Certified Service Dog trainers meticulously match the appropriate dog to the appropriate applicant, then individually train a dog to mitigate the specific disability/disabilities of the recipient.    According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks of benefit to a disabled individual in order to be legally elevated from pet status to service animal status. It is the specially trained tasks or work performed on command or cue that legally exempts a service dog [service animal] and his disabled handler from the “No Pets Allowed” policies of stores, restaurants and other places of public accommodation under the ADA.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Seniors
Veterans
Emergency responders

Guide dogs enhance the mobility and independence of blind or visually impaired people. To do this, a guide dog is trained by a certified Guide Dog Mobility Instructor to keep on a direct route ignoring all distractions such as smells, other animals and people; maintain a steady pace; stop at all curbs until told to proceed; turn left or right, move forward and stop on command. The guide dog is also trained to recognize and avoid obstacles such as narrow passages and low overheads; stop at the bottom and top of stairs until told to proceed; bring the handler to elevator buttons; lie quietly when the handler is sitting; help the handler to board and move around buses, subways and all forms of public transportation and obey a number of other verbal commands. As important as obeying verbal commands is also disobeying any command that would put the visually impaired handler in danger. The ability of a guide dog to use their own assessment of a situation and not follow commands is called intelligent disobedience and is perhaps one of the most amazing things about guide dogs.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Seniors
Veterans
Emergency responders

In our Prison Puppy Programs, carefully screened and selected inmates, many of whom are veterans that have served our country honorably, raise our puppies to become service dogs who will be placed with a veteran or first responder with disabilities. The inmates, along with volunteer weekend puppy raisers, teach basic obedience along with some service-based skills such as fetch and retrieve, opening and closing doors and balance support. We work with multiple prison partners in throughout Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, and Maine. Our Prison Puppy Programs have been vital in our efforts to increase our capacity to train and place our service dogs with disabled American heroes of all eras. Research shows that prison-raised dogs tend to have higher success rates than those that are home-raised, as inmates are able to provide dedicated consistent training.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Seniors
Veterans
Emergency responders

Facility and therapy dogs are trained to provide assistance or therapeutic support for wounded warriors at military or VA hospitals. Under the supervision of a physical or occupational therapist, these dogs work with a variety of patients with a multitude of serious injuries both physical and mental. Reaching 150 to 250 patients a week, these dogs may help a soldier walk on prosthetic legs by providing balance, open a door for a veteran who uses a wheelchair or provide emotional support so a wounded warrior can heal both physically and mentally. Therapy dogs also make visits to VA nursing homes and hospices.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Seniors
Emergency responders
Veterans

Hearing dogs are for veterans and first responders who are dealing with hearing loss due to their military service, age, head trauma, virus or disease or other encounter.  A hearing dog recipient must have at least 30 percent hearing loss in both ears.  Hearing dogs are specifically trained to assist an individual by alerting their handlers to sounds such as a doorbell, a door knock, warn of an intruder, a smoke alarm and a timer (cooking timer, microwave, etc.).  Each dog is specifically trained to meet each individual's hearing needs, and additional tasks are often added to assist with other disabilities.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
Adults
Emergency responders
Veterans

Where we work

Accreditations

Assistance Dogs International Inc. 2023

International Guide Dog Federation 2018

The Patriots Initiative 2020

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2020

GuideStar Platinum Charity 2021

Charity Navigator Encompass Rated 100/100 2021

Assistance Dog International, Inc. 2023

Candid Guidestar Platinum Charity 2022

Candid Guidestar Platinum Charity 2023

Charity Navigator 4-Star Charity 2023

Charity Watch A Rating 2023

Awards

Public Service Award 2019

Sully H.W. Bush ASPCA

Top Dog Honoree 2019

The Animal Medical Center (AMC)

Merit Finalist Recipient 2016

Mutual of America Community Service Partnership Award

Paws of Courage Award 2019

American Kennel Club

Leadership Excellence 2020

Imagine Awards

Not-for-Profit of the Year 2020

HIA -LI Business Achievement Award

Award for Volunteer Services 2020

Points of Light

Certified Veteran Ready Organization 2021

Psych Armor

Nonprofit of the Year 2023

Long Island Business News

Executive Circle Award 2023

Long Island Business News

Top Chief Officers Award 2023

Long Island Herald

Affiliations & memberships

New York Islanders Puppy with a Purpose Radar 2019

Washington Capitals Puppy with a Purpose Captain 2019

NBC Comcast Advertising Partner 2019

Houston Texans Puppy with a Purpose Kirby 2021

Atlanta United Puppy with a Purpose Spike 2020

WBAL-TV Puppy with a Purpose Brooks 2019

NBC Comcast Advertising Partner 2020

Atlanta United Puppy with a Purpose King 2021

New York Islanders Puppy with a Purpose Tori 2021

New York Islanders Puppy with a Purpose Monte 2022

WBAL-TV Puppy with a Purpose Tucker 2021

Washington Capitals Puppy with a Purpose Biscuit 2021

NBC Comcast Advertising Partner 2021

PenFed Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Ace 2020

PenFed Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Alfred 2022

Deloitte Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Benny 2020

Monumental Sports Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Scout 2019

Nashville SC Puppy with a Purpose Cash 2023

Contour Mortgage Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Champ 2022

Liberty Utilities Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Sweeney 2022

Voya Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Cooper 2023

Vegas Golden Nights Puppy with a Purpose Maverick 2024

New York Islanders Puppy with a Purpose Jethro 2023

New York Mets / Amazin' Mets Foundation Puppy with a Purpose Shea 2021

New York Mets / Amazin' Mets Foundation Puppy with a Purpose Seaver 2023

American Integrity Insurance Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Storm 2024

Deloitte Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Kevin 2022

NBC Comcast Advertising Partner 2022

NBC Comcast Advertising Partner 2023

NBC Universal Corporate Puppy with a Purpose Atlas 2023

Houston Texans Puppy with a Purpose Blitz 2023

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of new donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People with disabilities, Emergency responders, Veterans, Military personnel

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

America's VetDogs is largely reliant on the generosity of donors to provide funding to support our programs and provide guide and service dogs free of charge to veterans and first responders.

Number of Social Media Followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People with disabilities, Emergency responders, Military personnel, Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

America's VetDogs has embraced social media as a means to effectively and efficiently communicate with our supporters.

Total number of consumer communications

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People with disabilities, Emergency responders, Military personnel, Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric measures the number of communications / touch-points with consumers during the FY.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The mission of America's VetDogs is to assist disabled Veteran's, active military personnel and first responders with disabilities, and those who have served our country honorably to live with dignity and independence. America's VetDogs trains and places guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision,: PTSD service dogs to mitigate the effects of PTSD; hearing dogs for those who have profound hearing loss; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities and facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals.

Increase the independence and enhance the mobility of veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities, allowing them to once again live with pride and self-reliance.

Provide the highest quality dogs for our programs.

To raise public awareness about the benefits of an assistance dog for someone with PTSD, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injury and or vision impairment.

Advocate for public policies that promote access and services for people with disabilities.

Provide ongoing support to our graduates and their dogs for the life of each partnership.

America's VetDogs has a dedicated staff of professionals who are committed to accomplishing its mission. Its guide and service dog trainers have, among them, close to 300 years of experience in training dogs to mitigate the challenges faced by people with disabilities.

We are accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. Accreditation reinforces the organizations reputation in the assistance dog movement by showing that we consistently follow the highest standards for the humane and ethical treatment of dogs, maintain educational benchmarks for trainers and apprentices, and that there are procedures in place for consumers during the application and acceptance process, including a way for them to address any grievances.

We make use of strategic partnerships with other assistance dog schools to evaluate our breeding stock, and revise and refine our dog training methods. We provide continuing education opportunities for staff to ensure our training protocols are ahead of industry standards.

America's VetDogs has cooperative relationships with the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and today, we are a premier organization providing assistance dogs and "COSC" (combat operational stress control) dogs and training to disabled veterans and active service members. VetDogs continually strives to increase the options and services for veterans to ensure that they receive all the tools they need to once again be self-reliant.

VetDogs has placed physical and occupational therapy dogs military medical centers to work with service members recovering from amputations or other injuries.

The expertise of our staff allows us to provide advice and counsel to various public and private agencies regarding issues of public accommodation and access, which in turn will enhance the ability of individuals with disabilities to go where they want, when they want while accompanied by their assistance dogs.

Revamped our puppy and dog training programs to better meet the needs of our consumers.

Meticulously constructed training curriculum.

Partnered with major universities to gather and evaluate consumer data to drive quality improvement.

America's VetDogs has also created successful partnerships with broadcast, corporate and professional league sports teams including NBC Today and affiliate NBC stations, NHL teams including the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals, and the Houston Texans franchise within the NFL. Through the increased visibility we are able to educate the public about guide and service dog training and what an assistance dog can offer an individual with disabilities.

America's VetDogs continues to grow the number of print and online media placements and mentions and total circulation. Additionally our reach via social media continues to grow. America's VetDogs has increased its followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter from the prior year and will continue to find ways to expand awareness of our organization.

We continue to advocate on behalf of our consumers and to build relationships and partner with like-minded organizations in order to educate the public and advocate for our consumers.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

America's VetDogs - The Veteran's K-9 Corps.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

America's VetDogs - The Veteran's K-9 Corps.

Board of directors
as of 02/07/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Donald Dea

Retired Cofounder - Fusion Productions

Term: 2015 - 2025

Alphonce Brown

Volunteer

Robert S. Madden

Volunteer

Glenn Tecker

Volunteer

Travis Carey

Volunteer

Michael F Troiano, ESQ

Volunteer

Maj. Peter Way (Ret.)

Volunteer

Leslie Tayne, Esq.

Volunteer

Celeste V. Lopes

Volunteer

Kristen Chambers

Volunteer

Robert McInerney

Volunteer

Walter Jay Buckley

Volunteer

Gary Brown

Volunteer

Pamela Kaul

Volunteer

Wendy Frigeria

Volunteer

Matthew Sherwood, PhD

Volunteer

Pamela Tate

Volunteer

Joesph N. Campolo, Esq.

Volunteer

Charles Bonomo

Volunteer

Don Dea

Volunteer

John Miller

President & CEO

Col. Teresa Fitzpatrick (Ret.)

Volunteer

Lachelle Smith

Volunteer

Glenn Schneider

Volunteer

Garth Jordan

Volunteer

Navy HM3 Max Rohn (Ret.)

Volunteer

Victor Pereira

Volunteer

Ming Chiang

Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/2/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/16/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.