PLATINUM2023

DOGS FOR THE DEAF INC

Making Independence Possible

aka Dogs for Better Lives   |   Central Point, OR   |  www.dogsforbetterlives.org

Mission

Dogs for Better Lives (DBL, formerly known as Dogs for the Deaf) is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit with campuses in Central Point, Oregon and Falmouth, Massachusetts. DBL rescues or breeds, trains, and places Assistance Dogs free of charge with deaf or hard-of-hearing adults, children diagnosed with autism, and licensed professionals working with vulnerable communities so people with disabilities can lead safer and more independent lives. Since 1977, we have placed more than 1,700 dogs with people across the United States. Each dog has made a profound impact on the life of the person they were placed with.

Ruling year info

1977

President and CEO

Mr Bryan Williams

Main address

10175 Wheeler Road

Central Point, OR 97502 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

93-0681311

NTEE code info

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

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 2023, 2022 and 2021.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Founded in 1977, Dogs for Better Lives (DBL, formerly known as Dogs for the Deaf) is an award-winning national 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to rescuing, training, and placing professionally trained Assistance Dogs. DBL operates three Assistance Dog programs that encourage greater independence, safety, and success at home, school, and in the community. Hearing Assistance Dogs are trained to alert people with hearing loss to sounds that are necessary for everyday safety and independence, such as smoke/fire alarms, doorbells, oven timers, and the cries of a baby. Facility Dogs are placed with licensed helping professionals to assist with therapy goals. These dogs are task-trained to support the professional in their work to help mitigate a person's disability. Autism Assistance Dogs are trained to enhance the safety of children with autism by acting as an anchor to keep the child from bolting and provide opportunities for motor skills development and emotional connection.

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?

Hearing Assistance Dogs

Hearing Assistance Dogs serve adults who are hard of hearing or deaf. Dogs are trained to physically alert clients to sounds that are necessary for everyday safety and independence, such as smoke/fire alarms, doorbells, oven timers, and the cries of a baby.

Population(s) Served
People with hearing impairments

Autism Assistance Dogs serve children ages 4-8 who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. They are specially trained to enhance the safety and well-being of children and families living with Autism by providing a minimum of three tasks to assist with keeping children grounded and focused while presenting a social bridge for relationships and friendships.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Facility Dogs are trained to do specific, skilled tasks and placed with working professionals or volunteers to help support them in their work with vulnerable populations and persons with disabilities (physical, mental, cognitive, sensory, or developmental). The dog accompanies the professional to work and is trained to interact in various ways with patients, clients, and students to provide a needed focus or distraction, motivation, and a calming presence to enhance treatment, learning, and development.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Students

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Founding Member, Assistance Dogs International 2021

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 volunteers

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Volunteers are a valued resource at Dogs for Better Lives and serve in several capacities; puppy raisers, kennel volunteers, national board, and Regional Advisory Board (CA, OR, WA, and Northeast).

Number of Facebook followers

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

DBL's Facebook fans are some of the first to hear our updates and news, and in turn, share the information with their networks, building awareness about programs and activities.

Number of dogs 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

In the 2021-22 fiscal year, DBL placed 32 service dogs nationally, and 20 were career changed (non-graduating) and placed in forever homes.

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

Charting impact

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

Dogs for Better Lives’ mission is to professionally train dogs to help people and enhance lives while maintaining a lifelong commitment to all dogs we rescue or breed and the people we serve. Our vision is to be the premier national provider of professionally trained Assistance Dogs.

In 2018, Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) expanded our operations with a new 18,900 sq. ft., 40-kennel Second Training Facility. Our Autism Assistance Dog program has expanded to serve Oregon, Washington, and California with plans to expand the program nationwide like our Hearing and Facility Dog programs.

In 2022, DBL opened its east coast campus in Falmouth, MA and is now managing a puppy raiser program along with on-campus training of anticipated service dogs. Also in this year, DBL created a MOU with Operation Kindness (TX) to continue evaluating and working with shelter dogs, in anticipation of some of these dogs joining DBL's service dog training program.

DBL signed an MOU with two correctional facilities in Ohio, working to place purpose-bred puppies with incarcerated individuals, who wish to help with training puppies over first 12-14 months, prior to puppies returning to east/west coast campus for professional training and placement with qualified clients.

For the past 42 years, we have worked closely with the clients we serve to solicit feedback, monitor progress, and troubleshoot issues throughout the lifetime of each and every dog. This process helps us to ensure that we are continually evolving to meet the needs of our client populations. This is done through several avenues, including in-person follow-up interviews at one, five, and 10 years after placement as well as client satisfaction surveys of new and existing clients.

Since 1977, DBL has successfully rescued, cared for, trained, and placed more than 1300 dogs in 49 states. DBL is a nationally-recognized and respected provider of certified Assistance Dogs and provides a lifelong commitment to every person we serve and every dog we place. Examples of this support include an emergency veterinary services fund for clients of modest means, in-person follow-up visits, and ongoing access to training resources. Charity Navigator has awarded DBL with the highest rating for financial health and accountability (4-star) for the past six consecutive years.

Recent accomplishments include:
1) More than 60 dogs placed, including 18 Assistance Dogs (Hearing, Facility, and Autism) and 43 Career Change Dogs. (2017-18)
2) New 40 kennel, 18,900 sq. ft. Second Training Facility completed, with VIP Donor Reception and Grand Opening events. (Sept/Oct 2018)
3) Autism Assistance Dog program expanded to Oregon, Washington, and California. (2019)
4) Hired new President/CEO Bryan Williams. (August 2018)
5) Al Lane approved as the new board chairman. (July 2018).
6) Four new national board members, including two Hearing Dog clients. (Summer/Fall 2018)
7) Eliminated any and all fees to clients, including application fees and refundable deposits. (2019)
8) Opened satellite office in the Puget Sound area of Washington. (2019)

DBL is continuing to expand and diversify its board with recent additions from CA, MA, NC, and OR. Two of our new board members are also Hearing Dog clients.

With Bryan Williams recently hired as the new CEO, all programs are being evaluated and reviewed to ensure that the organization is continuing to be highly efficient and impactful with its limited resources.

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 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

  • 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 demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, 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

DOGS FOR THE DEAF INC
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.

Operations

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

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.

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.

DOGS FOR THE DEAF INC

Board of directors
as of 06/19/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr Danielle Rose

Salisbury Pediatric Assoicates

Term: 2022 - 2024

Blake Thurman

Rogue Credit Union

Tim Cibula

University of Washington

Dr. Danielle Rose

Salisbury Pediatrics Associates, PA

Doug Hexter

WoofTrax

Lisa Robinson

Viewpoint, A Trimble Company

Tom Dobry

Lithia

Garrett West

O'Connor Law Group

Stacy Tollie

Richard Perlman

Patty Jensen

JDA, Inc

CarrieJo Hoelzel

Lantos Technologies

LIsa Robinson

Trimble

Stephanie Deines

U.S. Bank

Emily Nelson

Good RX

Dr. Chelly Quinn

Lisa De Vivo

DCH Brunswick Toyota

Michelle Farabaugh

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 1/19/2023

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

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/19/2021

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • 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 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.