Canines for Disabled Kids (CDK) is a fairly new charity (established in 1998). This group offers assistance dogs to children under age 12 who have physical disabilities, hearing disabilities, or autism. Since it started, CDK has sponsored more than 80 assistance dogs. Besides aiding with everyday tasks, these assistance animals give companionship to the little ones, assisting them in developing responsibility and confidence.
The objective of CDK is to endorse the conception of child-canine service teams to inspire social awareness and independence. They achieve this by:
- Encouraging guidance, referrals and advocacy which helps families in deciding if a service dog is the right tool for their child and then seeking the right service dog training program to fulfil their child’s specific needs
- Providing scholarships for the families of children with disabilities to help with the cost of training a service pet
- Presenting educational programs to civic groups, schools, businesses, and other community organizations, intended to deliver information which makes those communities more accessible and friendly to child-canine teams.
Canines for Disabled Kids (CDK) started in 1998 as an offshoot of the NEADS Dog for Deaf and Disabled American’s training program. Not many assistance dog programs are eager to offer trained assistance dogs for little children. CDK recognized a need and did something to filled it. It was conceivable to train animals to aid children with hearing impairments, disabled children, and autistic children in the classrooms.
In an effort to enrich the courage, independence and education of children with disabilities across the nation, they began to sponsor dogs that would work with the child and the parents. Soon, hundreds of applications were arriving to the program. Since 1998, CDK has sponsored more than 150 assistance pets, dogs that can aid children with different disabilities, and some with the parents as helpers.