WAGS has been in existence since 1987, and is affiliated with United Way. The Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service Dogs (WAGS) raises and trains service dogs to provide increased independence and improved quality of life for people with physical disabilities within an 80- mile radius of Madison, Wisconsin. We place approximately eight service dog-client teams each year and have an average of 15 dogs in training at all times. There are currently 20 approved WAGS clients needing/waiting a WAGS dog to be trained for them. The need simply outweighs the supply! There are 25 active WAGS client-service dog teams in the greater Dane County area, and 53 teams in total working statewide. Annually, we reach an audience of 10,000 with our educational presentations.Our mission is to increase the ability of disabled individuals to independently execute functional, daily living skills, increase numbers of social contacts, increase attendance in daily life events, and improve outlook on life, with the aid and support of a highly trained service dog. WAGS primarily serves people with disabilities of movement resulting from: * Multiple sclerosis * Spinal cord injury * Neuromuscular disease * Cerebral palsy * Muscular dystrophy For these people, a WAGS dog can provide needed physical assistance by retrieving dropped and out of reach items, opening and closing doors, operating light switches, and tugging off articles of clothing. A WAGS dog always offers companionship, devotion, and unconditional love. WAGS is an organization which relies on the commitment of its volunteer puppy raisers, foster homes and dog sitters. We are always looking for volunteer help in these areas and NO dog training experience is necessary! WAGS staff will train you! (please see the "opportunities" link above) The WAGS Board of Directors provides ongoing fundraising efforts as well as providing organizational guidance. We're always looking for new energy to add to the WAGS BOD (see the "board" link listed above).
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