Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dogs 4 Diabetics

Using dogs to detect changes in blood sugar levels is something that is fairly new. As of today, there is no proven scientific evidence that dogs can detect lows or highs. However, I think it's a subject worth following. Nikki is hoping that a chapter opens up near us - because I guess having FOUR dogs isn't enough (:-D).

Dogs4Diabetics, Inc. began almost seven years ago, when its founder began researching the possibility of training dogs to detect diabetes-related hypoglycemia and physically alert the diabetic to the impending hypoglycemia.

In October 2003, a dog named Armstrong was obtained from Guide Dogs for the Blind and his scent and alert training was started. Armstrong enjoyed his new job and was soon alerting on diabetic-related hypoglycemia.

In October 2004, Dogs For Diabetics, Inc. was formally incorporated in the State of California and applied for nonprofit status. The IRS granted 501(c) nonprofit status in early 2005.

Today, our dogs are obtained primarily from Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California and retrained for diabetic alert work. We have also obtained dogs from Canine Companions for Independence, Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation, Genesis Services of Boise, Idaho, and through private donations.

When we receive our dogs for diabetic alert training, they've already been professionally trained and socialized as assistance dogs from the time they are eight weeks old. D4D dogs reside in local foster care homes while being trained. Foster care providers bring the dogs to Dogs4Diabetics each day for training. In the evening, foster care providers socialize the dogs in their local community. Read some frequently asked questions to find out more about Dogs4Diabetics.