SILVER2023

SERVICE DOGS ALABAMA

We train dogs who change lives!

Hope Hull, AL   |  www.servicedogsalabama.org

Mission

As the oldest and largest non-profit service dog provider in Alabama, Service Dogs Alabama (SDA) is dedicated to providing medical and psychological assistance dogs to children, adults, and veterans with disabilities, as well as placing Resident Facility Intervention Dogs in schools, youth facilities, courtrooms, and first responder departments.

Ruling year info

2015

Executive Director

Caroline Sease

Main address

8365 Mobile Hwy

Hope Hull, AL 36043 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Dogs on Call

EIN

47-3171146

NTEE code info

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

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

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

According to Assistance Dogs International, 500,000 professionally trained service dogs were placed to assist people with disabilities. Service Dogs Alabama provides professionally trained Service Dogs to people with disabilities in Alabama. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Reported “Nearly 35 million U.S. children have experienced one or more types of childhood trauma.” SDA also places professionally trained Facility Dogs specializing in trauma intervention in schools, youth facilities, and courtrooms. SDA places between 15-25 fully-trained certified Service Dogs and Facility Dogs per year. We maintain a waitlist of 30 qualified applicants in Alabama.

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?

Mobility and Wheelchair Assistance Dogs

Service Dogs Alabama is dedicated to providing medical and psychiatric Service Dogs to children, adults, and Veterans with disabilities and Intervention Facility Dogs for schools, youth facilities, and courtrooms.

SDA trains service dogs for disorders that require assistance for balance, walking, and wheelchairs such as MS, Dysautonomia, joint and muscular disorders, and Spina Bifida. Mobility and Wheelchair Assistance Dogs can open and close drawers and doors, retrieve items that are out-of-reach and turn on lights. They are proficient in fall alert, assistance with walking (with a harness), balance, and stability. Their support allows a person with mobility issues to live an independent life and lessens their dependence on others, giving them new security and confidence.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Veterans
Young adults
People with disabilities

SDA trains Service Dogs for children diagnosed with certain types of Autism, including Asperger’s Syndrome. Service Dogs for Autism are proficient at intervention techniques. These highly skilled intervention dogs alert to anxiety and stop the progression of escalating thought patterns that lead to disruptive behaviors, undesirable stem patterns, and panic attacks. Patterns that are consistently disrupted and unable to complete their cycle cause the brain to rewire itself to produce different outcomes. These consistent interventions can create sustainable change.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
People with learning disabilities

Seizure Alert and Assistance Dogs will attempt to rouse their handler and/ or alert to a seizure. Dogs are trained to stay with their person in public areas if they should fall and have a seizure. At home, they can be trained to either press an Alarm Button OR go and get help.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Adults

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) impacts veterans, first responders, abused children , victims of violence, accident victims, victims of bullying, etc. This devastating psychological/neurological disorder affects every aspect of a person’s life. It is an unescapable state of anxiety, anger, and hypervigilance, which can lead to isolation, depression, panic attacks, and even suicide. PTSD Intervention Dogs recognize anxiety through body language, heart rate, and hormonal changes (like adrenaline and cortisol spikes) and interrupt their escalation. These dogs will wake their person from a nightmare, disrupt a flashback, alert to people approaching, and block people from getting too close + more than 60 Public Access commands and behaviors.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Adults

SDA Facility Dogs are trained for intervention tasks and to work with multiple people. They are chosen for this particular training when their personalities are confident enough to work off-leash without direction. They must be able to act independently of their handler when they seek out the children/people who need them.

Facility Dogs are awarded to schools, youth facilities, Juvenile Probation Officers and Judges as courtroom and interview dogs, and State Agencies where stress is prevalent daily such as Police Departments, Fire Departments, and departments managing crime or human trauma.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Emergency responders

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Animal Assisted Intervention International 2018

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 service dogs provided to veterans

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our Impact Over the Last 10 Years: 21% of dogs placed serve veterans

Number of service dogs trained and placed

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our Impact Over the Last 10 Years: 70+ Dogs Placed As of January 2021, 56 (and growing) dogs are in training. Our Impact Over the Last 10 Years: 70% of dogs placed serve children/students

Number of applicants applying for service dogs

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

As of January 2021, there are 47 applicants on our Waitlist. Due to COVID, all kid and adult (non-veteran) applications have been suspended.

Number of customers reporting satisfaction with program

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

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

100% of placements express satisfaction with the program.

Number of clients who report that services/supports are available when needed, even in a crisis

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

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

100% of placements report positively on SDA's availability and assistance.

Number of clients who report general satisfaction with their services

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

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

100% of placements express satisfaction with SDA programs and training

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.

Service Dogs Alabama aims to change the trajectory of the lives of the people with disabilities that we serve, as well as reduce trauma and stress and increase motivation for children in schools, detention, and in courtrooms.

SDA purpose-breeds 4-5 litters of puppies per year from exceptional Labrador Retrievers and poodles, who have a proven record for work ethic, focus, temperament, etc. These puppies will participate in training for Public Access and tasks for up to 3 years prior to their placement with a recipient.

Service Dogs Alabama utilizes volunteer puppy-raisers guided by professional trainers for the first stage of the dog’s training. We also utilize prison inmates for puppy-training, Public Access, and advanced complex task training. Dogs will go through several phases of training prior to the “finishing” phase done by professional trainers.
SDA placements occur over a 5-7 day period of time. It is equally important that all recipients are trained in federal and state laws, safety and health regulations, and handling a Service Dog in public and at home at the time of placement.

Service Dogs Alabama works with 20 trained volunteer puppy-raisers, 5 trained Socializers, 4 in-house professional trainers, and 40 seasoned inmate trainers who are capable of executing our training requirements. We also have an onsite kennel manager who is a vet-tech, as well as a qualified staff to manage all operations.

SDA has created proprietary methods of training for both the dog and the new handler. We are consistently identifying the innate and intuitive abilities of dogs who are bred for service work and harnessing the best ways to train these for maximum impact to help their disabled person or their facility placement.
SDA is committed to helping people. We maintain personal contact with all of our recipients for the working life of their Service or Facility Dog.
We are always available to help.

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 make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

SERVICE DOGS ALABAMA
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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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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.

SERVICE DOGS ALABAMA

Board of directors
as of 05/02/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cade Armstrong

Montgomery Veterinary Associates

Term: 2022 - 2024

Marianne McLeod

Retired-nonprofit executive

Alan Hackel

Independent Consultant

Carol Lee

Allegiance Staffing

James Armstrong

Retired-Southern Orthopaedic Surgeons

Cade Armstrong

Veterinarian

Chip Garrard

OBGYN

Guice Slawson, Sr.

President/CEO Southeast Wood Treating, Inc.

Guice Slawson, Jr.

Manager/Southeast Wood Treating, Inc.

Jeremy Walker

CEO Alabama Realtors

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