W.A.G.S. 4 Kids trains both mobility service and autism service animals. Autism Service Dogs feature a dog with a child safe disposition, temperament and behavior. Commands are trained with both verbal cues and hand signals so that either may be used. Autism Service Dogs are valuable in addressing improved social interactions, visual and tactile stimulation, self-motivated behavior, as well as encouraging emotional bonding.
Autism service animals have additional training of task assignment which may include: retrieval of objects, opening doors and drawers, hitting light switches or preparing as a brace animal to walk slowly next to a child for physical support.
W.A.G.S. 4 Kids selects dogs for this intensive training program as puppies. We work with breeders who allow us "pick of the litter" to conduct the required behavior testing that allow us to find available dogs, meeting the needs of the program. Puppies are carefully selected after passing tests of temperament, disposition and attention.
All successful dog training starts with picking the right puppy and having a training plan. W.A.G.S. 4 Kids’ training manual “Step By Step” is a complete step-by-step guide. This is the exact method used by W.A.G.S. staff of trainers, by the inmate apprentices of the Award-Winning ODRC Accredited Service Dog Training Program who who help raise these dogs in training, and the families that receive these dogs to partner with their children.
All of W.A.G.S.’ dogs begin their training by these exact methods in a structured Accredited Service Dog Training Program with a select group of inmates at Grafton & Mansfield Correctional Institutions in housed Grafton, Ohio and Mansfield, OH. Much like shows you may have seen on “The Animal Plant”, W.A.G.S. has designed a training protocol to train inmates as dog trainers. The W.A.G.S. staff enters prison each week to train these men to train our dogs, to monitor each dog’s progress and to give specific instruction based on the need of each waiting child.
After completion of the prison training program, the animals learn about the world around them and experience car rides, trips to the grocery store and the sounds on a typical home environment. W.A.G.S. trainers meet with the families weekly to monitor and direct the training of each animal as they transition in to their forever homes.
W.A.G.S. 4 Kids is the only organization of its kind, placing exclusively to children up to the age of 18. Many of our applicants are families with children in the five to twelve-year-old range. W.A.G.S. 4 Kids is driven by its belief in early intervention and will work to partner a dog as early in a child’s life as there is a need and an interest. All applicants must provide physician verification of disability as protected by the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Click Here To Request A Placement Application. A request for an application must be in writing. You must provide the name and age of the child and your mailing (No P.O. Boxes) address as well as the best way to reach you for the initial parent interview (this is usually a brief phone introduction).
The current wait time is approximately 2 years from the time that a child and family is approved as a recipient family. Actual placement times may vary.
Working Animals Giving Service for Kids, Inc. (W.A.G.S. 4 Kids) is a federal 501(c)(3) charity. As a federal charity, all donations to W.A.G.S. 4 Kids are tax deductible. W.A.G.S. holds fundraisers and participates in events throughout the year. We also ask families receiving an animal to make a commitment to do fundraising for W.A.G.S, in their own communities with the people they know and the companies they do business with. Take a moment to look at the faces of the children who are waiting for a special dog of their own.Read their stories and see if you might help.
W.A.G.S. 4 Kids doesn’t train dogs outside of our program to be service dogs. We take great care in working with our trusted breeders (who give us pick of the litter) to select the best service dog prospects as puppies. Our trainers operate within the prison system, and we only send our program dogs into that system. We believe whole-heartedly in early intervention and understand why some parents believe that training their own dog would be quicker than waiting 2 years for a W.A.G.S. 4 Kids service dog. However, even those who self-train their own service dogs will often have to train their dogs for years before they are fit for public-access and can consistently perform the tasks their partner needs.
We work with Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, and Poodle Mixes. Read more: https://www.wags4kids.org/blog/service-dog-breeds
There are lots of opportunities to help W.A.G.S. 4 Kids. We appreciate the time and talents of people who want to plan or work at fundraising events. We need help with office work, accounting and writers for our newsletter. If you have a talent, please come and share it with us.
The total cost is approximately $25,000 - $28,000 per dog. We need the generosity of your tax deductible donations and your ability to spread the word about W.A.G.S. 4 Kids. Tell the people you know and the people you work for, that their financial gift to W.A.G.S. 4 Kids goes directly to children in this community that need their help.
If you belong to a group or club looking for a cause to support...........
If you’ve got a great idea for a new fundraiser ...............
If your company will sponsor a dog for a child ...............
Don’t be shy – contact us at W.A.G.S. 4 Kids