THE BUTLER FAMILY FOUNDATION
The Butler Family Foundation provides service dogs to children with serious medical disabilities. We believe that a professionally trained service dog should be available for every child in need of one, without regard to a family’s ability to afford the considerable cost. Therefore, funds raised by The Butler Family Foundation defray the expense of providing these highly trained and skilled dogs to families in need.
At the time of the last U.S. Census in 2010, 53.9 million school-aged children (ages 5-17 years) resided in the United States. Of these, approximately 5.2%, or 2.8 million children, were reported to have a disability. However, there are only about 20,000 service dogs in the U.S. (as reported by the U.S. Humane Association.) Thus, there is a significant gap between the number of children who could potentially benefit from a service dog and the availability of these dogs.
To learn more see: http://www.bradfordlicensing.com/documents/pets-fact-sheet.pdf
Watch "Madison PSA"
Service Dog Duties
Landon's service dog is trained to help a child accomplish tasks directly related to his or her disability. These tasks can vary greatly, but may include, for example, alerting a family member to a seizure; providing stability for walking; preventing or interrupting impulsive, anxious, or unsafe behaviors; carrying items; or picking up dropped items. Assistance with such tasks allows children to develop increased independence in daily life, and provides assistance and respite for caregivers.
Americans with Disabilities Act, service dog description: http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
We currently train service dogs to help children with a combination of the following disabilities:
Autism – A neurological disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication; and restricted, stereotyped patterns of behavior.
Anxiety Disorders – A variety of emotional disorders that includes symptoms such as overwhelming feelings of panic or fear; uncontrollable obsessive thoughts; and/or physical symptoms such as stomachache, heart pounding, startling easily, and muscle tension.
ADHD – A neurobehavioral disorder characterized by difficulty paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, and/or hyperactivity.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) – An autoimmune disorder characterized by persistent joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Prosopagnosia (face blindness) – A cognitive disorder characterized by a severe deficit in recognizing familiar faces.
Epilepsy – A central nervous system disorder characterized by seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of consciousness.
Diabetes – A group of metabolic diseases characterized by too much blood sugar, resulting in symptoms that can include frequent urination; intense hunger and thirst; weight gain or loss; fatigue; cuts and bruises that do not heal; numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands and/or feet; blurred vision; or respiratory or digestive problems.
Rett Syndrome (MECP2) – A rare genetic postnatal neurological disorder of the brain that manifests with seizures and repetitive stereotyped hand movements, such as wringing and/or repeatedly putting hands into the mouth. An inability to verbalize and walk are very common.
Service dogs are selected on their potential to do work or perform tasks specific to a particular child’s disability, including matching temperament to the needs of the family with whom it will live. The selection process is conducted through a careful determination of the child’s needs and through ongoing discussion between the trainer and family during the selection process.