Project2Heal’s mission is to breed, nurture and train Labrador Retrievers to provide healing for those with physical and emotional challenges. Our vision includes creating a facility on more than 50 acres that will draw people from around the country. The facility will be much more than a venue where service dogs and skilled companion dogs will be bred and trained.
It can take up to 3 years and tens of thousands of dollars to get a life-changing service dog into the hands of a disabled veteran or special needs child. At Project2Heal, we believe that is not good enough and are doing everything we can to reduce both the time and cost it takes to get a service dog to those who need it most. We are the only non-profit in the United States that is committed to helping solve this problem and it is primarily the generosity of amazing people, like you, that allow us to do this!
Our mission is to breed, nurture, and train Labrador Retrievers to provide healing to those with physical and emotional challenges. The unique nature/nurture program we use has significantly surpassed industry standards by huge margins. Unlike for-profit breeders, we take all the steps necessary to ensure the veterans and special needs children receiving our dogs are receiving the highest quality dogs that will work hard to make their lives better.
When an accredited service dog organization is looking to obtain dogs, they typically have two ways to acquire them. First, they can purchase dogs from a reputable breeder that has done the work to ensure the bloodlines used have a high level of intellect and a temperament suitable for service work. Even after spending thousands to acquire these dogs, only about 48% of puppies who start their training will complete it and ultimately work for someone in need.
Alternatively, they can visit shelters to rescue dogs to be trained for service work. Studies have shown that for every 100 dogs in a shelter, only 8 of those dogs will show the initial signs that would cause them to think the dog is suitable for service work. Of those 8 dogs that begin training, only one will complete the training and be placed with someone in need. That is an abysmal 12.5% success rate!
Every dog that fails training requires an investment of time and resources by those service dog institutions, and that high failure rate is a huge reason for the extremely long wait time and high cost associated with changing someone’s life with a service dog. This is where Project2Heal comes in!
Due to our proven nature/nurture program, Project2Heal puppies are completing service dog training at an astounding 75% pass rate. Not only does this allow more dogs from each training program to be placed with someone in need, but we significantly reduce the cost by giving them to accredited service dog organization partners for free! This exceptional success rate significantly reduces the cost associated with placing a service dog.
Our program starts with doing everything we can to let nature give us the best chance of success. We purposefully breed our puppies searching through over 65,000 pedigrees to ensure we have the best traits when it comes to intellect, temperament, and health. By combining parents that have the most desirable traits for service work, we are able to start with as strong of a foundation as possible. Furthermore, we take the additional costly steps of thorough genetic testing to ensure the health of our dogs. While costly, we want to make sure that our pups are free of common problems with hips, eyes, and joints that can reduce the service life of a dog.
The next step is to nurture the puppies and begin the early development to help build upon that foundation. Starting from the day after the puppies are born, we begin nurturing and imprinting them in a way that will harness the potential that nature has given them. The actions taken during the first 8 to 12 weeks of a puppy’s life have shown to be critical for determining how that dog will turn our as an adult. It is no surprise that taking specific steps to have training sessions 3 times a day during that early life has a huge impact on the success rate of our dogs.
Since we are doing some of the most expensive work in the process of training a service dog and simply giving those dogs away, we are committed to being faithful stewards of your generous donations. Before we donate a puppy for specialized training for a wounded veteran or special needs child, we thoroughly vet the service dog institutions we partner with. We want to make sure they are just as dedicated to helping save lives with the healing power of a dog as we are!
We also have a vision to create a facility on a 50-acre plot of land that we already own that will be a sanctuary for those in need of a service dog. This vision includes a place for those in need to learn to work with a service dog and have a have a retreat to escape the day-to-day challenges they may be experiencing.