BERGIN UNIVERSITY OF CANINE STUDIES

Helping dogs help people

aka ASSISTANCE DOG INSTITUTE   |   Penngrove, CA   |  www.berginu.edu

Mission

Bergin University of Canine Studies, home of the Assistance Dog Institute, has a singular mission: to advance the human-canine partnership through research and education.

That mission is expressed in a growing range of programs, inspired and informed by the breakthrough work of Dr. Bonnie Bergin. Using leading-edge academic coursework along with daily hands-on experience, students expand their knowledge and skills for scholarly or career purposes, or enhance the parameters of their existing specialty using the unique perspective and potential provided by human-canine studies.

We invite you to join us as we continue to break new ground in “Helping Dogs Help People," the only university offering Master's, Bachelor's and Associate degrees in dog studies. We believe the possibilities of the human canine partnership are limited only by human imagination.

Since our founding in 1991, hundreds of people from 16 countries and 34 states have attended our University programs and we have graduated over a hundred service and social/therapy teams. Our groundbreaking research in teaching dogs to read, early pup training, and High Schooled -Assistance Dogs demonstrates new ways to optimize human's interactions with dogs.

Ruling year info

1996

Principal Officer

Dr. Bonita Bergin

Main address

10201 Old Redwood Hwy

Penngrove, CA 94951 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

68-0259118

NTEE code info

University or Technological (B43)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

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

Opened in 1991 by Dr. Bonnie Bergin, the originator of the service dog concept, Bergin University of Canine Studies is the world's only University accredited to provide Associate, Bachelor and Masters degrees in canine studies while placing high-quality assistance dogs trained through only positive methods. Dr. Bergin's innovative and positive training methods enable us to adapt to the changing needs of our clients and students as we continue to meet the global need for more trained assistance dogs.

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?

Bergin University of Canine Studies

1) College program--grants a Master of Science degree in Human-Canine Life Sciences, a Bachelor of Science degree in Cynology (Canine Studies) and two Associate of Science degrees in Assistance Dog Education and Business and Companion Dog Studies; 2) Raise, train and place assistance dogs with people with disabilities. Dogs learn 90+ commands before they are placed. 3) Work with the local jail program. Inmates train dogs who are later placed as service dogs for people with disabilities.

Population(s) Served
Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

By combining the work of our students and our community-based service dog training programs, Bergin University strives to advance the human-canine partnership with the ultimate goal of helping people from a variety of backgrounds live more independent lives.

During their school year, University students and dogs participate in community-based programs where both gain experience working with the public, while our students learn the importance of changing and improving society for both humans and dogs. In keeping with Dr. Bergin's original mission, the University provides assistance dogs to civilians with physical disabilities at a low cost and to disabled Veterans free of charge.

Bergin University's educational program includes placing one service dog-in-training with each student attending the University, along with breeding, raising and training puppies while our students are on campus during the school year. The results of this type of education are: (1) each student receives an individualized education and hands-on dog training experience using only positive reinforcement; and (2) they are educated in responsible breeding practices, safe birthing procedures, and positive early puppy training. Students will place some of these dogs with people living with disabilities and Veterans living with emotional and physical challenges. The program's objective is to produce well-educated service dog trainers who are ready to begin training and placing service dogs, as well as obedience dog trainers who are ready to train shelter and privately owned dogs using proven positive training techniques backed by years of research.

Since the founding of the University, over 500 students have earned their degrees or participated in our summer seminar, and staff has placed over 226 assistance dogs with people with mobility limitations and Veterans with combat-related injuries. To sustain our Assistance Dog Training Program and the overall growth of the University, we plan to move to a larger property to accommodate student population growth and future program expansion. When completed, this new campus will position us to grow both our assistance dog program and the side of our curriculum that focuses on business and companion dogs, with the goal of creating two separate colleges under the umbrella of our University. With separate faculty and staff dedicated to these two areas, we hope to continue to increase the number of assistance dogs placed year over year.

Financials

BERGIN UNIVERSITY OF CANINE STUDIES
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Operations

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

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BERGIN UNIVERSITY OF CANINE STUDIES

Board of directors
as of 4/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

David Phillips

Mark Quattrocchi

Clem Carinalli

David Phillips

Bonita Bergin

Y. King Liu

Ricky Dukes

Roy Hurd

Rob Rutherford

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 ? No
  • 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? No
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/16/2021

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

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data