Help Change Lives with Dogs for Better Lives

Numerous organizations have contributed to training dogs to provide help for deaf, autistic, and other people with disabilities. But no one does it better than Dogs for Better Lives.

This charity has trained thousands of dogs to increase people’s quality of life.

Learn how Dogs for Better Lives has been helping differently-abled people get assistance from dogs since 1977. Find out how you can donate and volunteer for the organization. 

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change lives with dogs for better lives

Who is Dogs for Better Lives?

Their name is their promise. The organization Dogs for Better Lives wants to let everyone know this. Founded in 1977, the charity promises to make a difference in both dogs’ and people’s lives. 

Dogs for Better Lives is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to provide assistance dogs for people in need. Previously called, Dogs for the Deaf, the charity has trained several dogs for decades to help differently-abled people.

The non-profit organization currently has regional campuses and satellite offices around the country. But their headquarters, or the West Coast Campus, is located in Central Point, Oregon.

Their main campus includes a shelter dog acquisition, breeding facility, and assistance dog training. Dogs for Better Lives also has puppy raiser and breeder caretaker programs. 

The organization’s success continues to inspire them to help more people. Their other offices and properties of Dogs for Better Lives are located in California, Massachusetts, Washington, Arizona, and New Hampshire.

How Dogs for Better Lives Started

Dogs for Better Lives was started in 1977 by Roy G. Kabat, who handled several domestic and exotic animals for television. He worked with these creatures for different movies, TV shows, and circuses.

As Roy retired, he connected with the American Humane Association in Denver, Colorado, which once initiated a study about training dogs to help deaf people. 

This research was inspired by the story of a deaf woman in Minnesota. Her dog was trained to let her know when sounds were occurring at home. 

The study wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for Roy’s advice. After its success, he returned to his state and started his own organization called Dogs for the Deaf.

A few years later, Dogs for Deaf moved to a bigger facility to accommodate more dogs. It branched out into other types of assistance dogs and was renamed Dogs for Better Lives.  

While training more dogs, Dogs for Better Lives was recognized eight times as a 4-star charity with Charity Navigator. 

What Do Dogs for Better Lives Do?

Dogs for Better Lives is dedicated to becoming a part of something bigger than themselves. The board of directors, staff, and volunteers are dedicated to giving furry friends a purpose and helping more people in need. 

From training “hearing dogs” in the 70s, Dogs for Better Lives now trains autism assistance dogs, facility dogs, and career change dogs.

Hearing dogs receive intensive training regarding sound work. Experts train these dogs to alert deaf people about sounds through facility contact.

These dogs either jump on their owners or nose them.

Autism assistance dogs are trained to help autistic children stay safe as they play and explore the world. These furry friends are anchors who prevent children from bolting.

Unfortunately, the autism assistance dog program is limited to a few states, including California, Connecticut, Maine, New York, Vermont, and a few others. 

But Dogs for Better Lives continues working on expanding its program into other parts of the United States. 

How Can You Help Dogs for Better Lives?


You can help Dogs for Better Lives by donating to the organization.

You can also donate to the charity by calling 1-800-990-3647 or sending a check to Dogs for Better Lives at 10175 Wheeler Road, Central Point, OR 9752.


Another way you can help the organization is by volunteering. Dogs for Better Lives lets you choose to volunteer as any of the following:

  • Puppy raiser.
  • Breeder caretaker.
  • Foster or transporter of dogs.
  • Administrative.
  • Alliance partner.
  • Share your story.
  • Regional advisory board.
  • National Ambassador.
  • Guardian Society. 

But the organization encourages puppy raising because it needs more help to provide safe learning environments and daily care for your puppies.

Raise Awareness

You can also help Dogs for Better Lives by raising awareness across social platforms.

This doesn’t cost anything, but it can truly make a big impact. Here are links to their social platforms:

Make Lives Better With Dogs for Better Lives

Donating or volunteering for Dogs for Better Lives is a fantastic way to help both disabled people and dogs. 

This charity is passionate about contributing to a more accessible and fair environment for everyone. It works by training dogs to assist deaf people and autistic children.

Find out more about Dogs for Better Lives on their site. 

Find other animal charities we love in our Animal Charity Spotlight series.