About ADAI

Welcome to Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence, A Program of the Ability Center, located in our new, state of the art, Training Center in Sylvania, Ohio. Assistance Dogs helps children and adults with disabilities achieve greater independence by training and placing service and therapy dogs to assist with the individual's daily needs. For over 25 years, our assistance dogs have helped transform the lives of over 250 individuals and their communities. From children with muscular dystrophy and spina bifada to adults with cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries, our service dogs provide their owners with self-reliance, self confidence and self-esteem, and most importantly, a chance to live their lives to the fullest potential.  Our therapy dogs, equally highly trained, offer comfort and companionship to children in schools, persons in nursing homes and individuals with developmental disabilities, autism and Down’s Syndrome.

In recent years, Assistance Dogs has launched a number of innovative new programs, including the Prison Puppy Program.  Inmates at the Toledo Correctional Institution learn about responsibility by raising and training puppies for Assistance Dogs.  In November of 2007, the first three dogs graduated from the Toledo Correctional Insitute's Prison Puppy Program. Jazzy, Scarlet and Belle were succesfully placed with their new partners.  Over 25 dogs have now graduated from this program and are placed in our service area.

If dogs could speak, they might be able to explain that special bond and its benefits that exist between humans and dogs. Our success stories and studies speak for them. Studies show again and again that dogs can provide tremendous benefits to individuals by offering companionship and performing everyday “human” tasks. Not only can dogs reduce the physical obstacles facing people with disabilities, but also the social barriers.  A dog helps bridge gaps of ignorance by stimulating common interests, like sharing dog stories. 



At Assistance Dogs, volunteers allow us to provide these essential services to those with disabilities and special needs. From corporate sponsors to grade school children who raise money by baking and selling dog biscuits, Assistance Dogs is extremely grateful for the generosity of our donors and volunteers. With their support, we will continue to train and provide service and therapy dogs to enhance the lives of more and more individuals.



Our Mission


The mission of Assistance Dogs is to help children and adults with disabilities achieve greater independence by training and placing service and therapy dogs to assist with the individual's daily needs. 



Our Value Statements

About our Consumers we believe that…
  • Increasing the independence of people with disabilities is beneficial to both the individual and the community.
  • Obtaining an assistance dog is a life changing experience for people with disabilities, providing for both their physical and emotional needs.
  • Consumers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Placement of successor dogs with past clients should have priority over new dog placements.
About our Dogs we believe that…
  • Dogs should be selected and trained to satisfy individual client needs.
  • Positive-reinforcement training and high levels of care produces higher quality dogs.
  • Dogs have an important place in people’s lives.
About our Volunteers and Staff we believe that…
  • The people involved in Assistance Dogs are sincere about and committed to the mission and reputation of the organization.
  • The organization is successful because there is camaraderie, friendship, recognition and a sense of fun among the people involved.
  • The organization is successful because there are good people intimately involved in the work.
  • Assistance Dogs provides a service by providing people with an opportunity for community service time and to learn life skills. 


Happy Endings - Susan and Cody

Susan of Toledo, OH says her new service dog, Cody, a Golden Retriever, offers many benefits. Cody will help Susan, who has Multiple Sclerosis, to pick up pens, keys, and the telephone, as well as help open doors. Most of all, Susan, who is a part-time college tutor and an active community volunteer, says Cody offers hope…hope for a better life now and in the future.

Cody was donated by Sandra McCartney of Liepsic, Ohio and was fostered by Sue and Alicia Rakes of Napoleon, OH.