hero dogs

Hero Dogs, Inc. is a Maryland 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which improves quality of life for our nation’s heroes by raising, training, and placing service dogs and other highly skilled canines, free of charge with lifetime support of the partnerships. From time to time, Hero Dogs has a dog which is offered for placement to a qualified clinician or staff member in a residential or health care setting as a facility dog. A facility dog “works” full-time at the facility under the care and supervision of a staff member to achieve specific treatment or program goals through animal-assisted therapy. They can aid physical, occupational, and rehabilitation therapists, social workers and other mental health practitioners, speech therapists, activity directors, and patient educators by:

  • increasing patient motivation
  • increasing rate and length of participation in treatment or activities
  • helping therapists and patients define specific goals and functional outcomes
  • promoting use of language
  • increasing social interaction
  • increasing feelings of security, well-being, and belonging
  • creating a more home-like environment
  • improving staff morale

Hero Dogs that are offered for placement as facility dogs will have generally had between 18 months and two years of specialized socialization and training in preparation for becoming service dogs. These dogs did not ultimately qualify to become service dogs, generally due to either a minor health issue or lack of confidence in a specific situation. Dogs selected to become facility dogs are highly motivated by contact with people, affectionate, gregarious, of moderate-to-low energy and drive, and calm and quiet indoors. The dogs are house trained, have good manners, extensive obedience training, and a large repertoire of specialized skills that can be used in a therapeutic setting. For more information or to apply, please visit: