GUARDIAN ANGELS MEDICAL SERVICE DOGS INC

Together, We Can Unleash the Power to Heal

aka GAMSD   |   Williston, FL   |  www.medicalservicedogs.org

Mission

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. was established for the charitable purpose of: • Rescuing, raising, and training the highest caliber medical service/assistance dogs • Pairing highly trained dogs with individuals afflicted by disabilities, including a focus on veterans with combat wounds • Building/restoring independence and improving quality of life, for both the recipient and the dog, while minimizing reliance on government, communities, caregivers, and families • Advancing successful service dog training practices by promoting appropriate trainer education and contributing to related research studies • Pursuing increased public awareness and education regarding current disability laws and contributing to new/enhanced laws regarding service dogs

Ruling year info

2010

Founder & Executive Director

Mrs. Carol Borden

Main address

3251 NE 180TH Ave

Williston, FL 32696 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-2667123

NTEE code info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The goal of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is to assist those struggling with disabilities, and to help them mitigate the effects of those disabilities through the use of highly trained medical service dogs. Our primary focus is the veteran population. The rates of PTS in our veterans has reached record levels; unfortunately, so have the rates of suicide and divorce in our veteran population. Guardian Angels has had great success helping these heroes to mitigate the symptoms of PTS, Traumatic Brain Injury, mobility issues and seizure disorders through our specialized training of these incredible dogs. With the support of our generous donors, we pair these deserving recipients with Service Dogs at no cost to them. We provide lifetime follow-up training, care and support to each recipient.

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?

Service Dogs for Disabled Combat Veterans

The purpose of this program is to pair highly skilled, federally protected medical service dogs to positively impact the overall cognitive, functional and quality of life for disabled veterans who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat related injuries.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
People with disabilities

Where we work

Awards

Top Rated Charity 2015

Great Non Profits

Top Rated Charity 2014

Great Non-profits.org

Stephen R. Wise Award 2014

Florida

Top Rated Charity 2016

Great Non-profits.org

Top Rates Charity 2017

Great Non-Profits.org

Top Rated Charity 2018

Great Non-Profits.org

Top Rated Charity 2019

Great Non-Profits.org

VETTY Award 2018

Academy of United States Veterans - Mental Health Category

Corporate Woman of the Year 2018

Women in the Pet Industry - to CEO, Carol Borden

Platinum Rating 2021

Candid/Guidestar

Top Rated Charity 2020

Great Non-Profits.org

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 unique website visitors

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

Veterans, Emergency responders, People with physical disabilities, People with psychosocial disabilities

Related Program

Service Dogs for Disabled Combat Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Part of our mission is to provide public education on service dogs and the laws regarding them. Visitors to our website let us know just how many people are seeking information.

Total number of client suicides

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

Veterans

Related Program

Service Dogs for Disabled Combat Veterans

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We've heard the tragic numbers happening in our veteran population: more than 22 suicides each day from PTSD. But once paired with a Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog, that rate falls to zero.

Number of recipients paired

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

Veterans, People with disabilities

Related Program

Service Dogs for Disabled Combat Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number reflects the total number of applicants that we paired with an individually-trained medical service dog each year.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We have tons of volunteer opportunities; from fundraising to puppy hugging! Because it can take nearly 2 years to train each medical service dog we are always excited to welcome new volunteers!

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.

Our aim is to provide a minimum of 50 veterans in each fiscal year with individually trained medical service dogs. We've heard the statistic - 20-22 veterans a day are taking their own life from complications of PTS and Traumatic Brain Injury. Our goal is to create one suicide-free day in our veteran population. The current drugs and therapies are not always enough. Approximately 90% of our dogs are paired with veterans with PTS and other combat injuries.
It is our goal to significantly increase the number of dogs we pair each year. As we grow our donations, staff and volunteer base, we continue to increase our pairings . Our long-term goal is to be able to pair an individually-trained, federally protected medical service dog to every veteran and civilian who believes they can and will benefit from the healing power a service dog can provide.

In order to accomplish our goals, we have created new programs where we can assist people to train their own dog or a dog we are pairing them with rather than waiting for a fully trained dog. Our P.E.T.S. Program (Pets, Evaluated and Trained for Service), has allowed us to pair more dogs with deserving recipients. We still fully train dogs for those that are physically or mentally unable to participate in the dog's training, but with the new program, it allows us more training time to complete the fully trained dogs at a quicker and more efficient pace. We have also opened four satellite locations to make it easier for someone with a disability to travel to for assistance and training; plus created Foster Training Family programs in three of these areas to further the house training and public access hours necessary for each dog. In 2019, we added another program that is experiencing remarkable success. We have partnered with SCI Mercer, a veteran-only prison to offer their inmates an opportunity to participate in foster-trainng these incredible dogs. Through this amazing program, we are finding that not only are we able to simultaneously train more dogs for those in need, but SCI Mercer inmates are learning a new trade to employ, while re-connecting by giving back to their fellow veterans.

First and foremost, we have an active board of unpaid directors that each oversees a specific part of our organization. They recruit volunteers as needed for each of their projects and contribute many hands on hours to all of our events and programs. Since income and volunteer hours are always determining factors as to how quickly we can pair more dogs, we have also contracted a full time grant writer so there are specific hours dedicated to this vital area. We are regularly involved in multiple fundraising events that are held for our organization annually and we plan several annual fundraisers as well. We have created many new relationships and partnerships in our quest to achieve our goals and continue to open more doors through our speaking engagements and presentations. We have partnered with a very successful prison program that will be fostering and assisting in the training of about 40 dogs a year. We have developed partnerships with a Humane Society in one of our other locations that graciously allows us to use their training room for weekly classes and we have and another with the Tampa Parks & Recreation facility to do the same type of weekly training. We are actively working to expand our reach to veterans, recruiting volunteer Regional Coordinators in Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and Connecticut and working on other states as well. We continue to make amazing new relationships and partners each year that become passionately involved with supporting our organization.

We are proud that we have continued to increase our annual income while keeping the majority of funds applied directly to our program costs. We are also proud that we have been able to pair more dogs each year with deserving veterans and individuals.
We realize that in order to reach our long term goals of pairing more disabled individuals with our dogs, that it is going to take money. Insurance doesn't cover the work we do, so we must find more creative avenues to raise the necessary funds for the dogs we donate. We are developing our donor base in other cities; bringing our program to them by holding fundraisers, involving the community as volunteers and foster families, assisting the disabled in their communities and also making available to them some simple ways to do their own fundraising with our assistance.

We have learned that in order to thrive in our non profit industry, we must constantly be creative and think outside the box. We have already taken the necessary steps to become very public in our effort to raise awareness through media. While we have continually moved forward successfully with a positive bottom line and increased pairings, we realize that the steps we have utilized in the past years are not enough to get to the level we aspire to achieve.

We are actively seeking out private foundation grant opportunities, increasing our base of donors and fundraisers, as well as increasing our presence on social media platforms, and at events relevant to our cause.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Veterans, first responders and others struggling with permanent disabilities that are either visible or invisible. These can include, but are not limited to: PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Seizure and diabetic disorders, mobility issues, Military Sexual Trauma and more.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, We maintain regular communication with our recipients through email, quarterly phone calls, & more,

  • 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 make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    A major change we've made recently after listening to our recipients, is to self-insure our dogs. Our recipients were unhappy with both the cost and complexity of commercial dog insurance for their service dogs. So we created a self-insure model that helps our recipients with disabilities pay for necessary veterinary care for their service dogs.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Asking our recipients for feedback has had a very positive effect. It is helping them regain their sense of confidence and belonging. It also ensures that they get all their questions answered, and assistance should they need it. We've even asked several recipients to serve on an "Experienced Team Panel", which has them giving advice & tips to new recipients before they're paired with their service dogs.

  • 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 look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

GUARDIAN ANGELS MEDICAL SERVICE DOGS INC
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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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GUARDIAN ANGELS MEDICAL SERVICE DOGS INC

Board of directors
as of 10/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Karen Galmiche

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc

Term: 2013 -

Mary Jo Brandt

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc

Geraldine Petrone

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc

Chris Borden

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc

Paul Bertram

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc.

Ann Larkins

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc.

Priscilla Parker

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc.

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 04/23/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

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

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data