Grant Allows Therapy Dogs to Teach Social Skills to Children


The Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) has awarded a grant to The Austin Dog Alliance that will help fund its work helping children and young adults with developmental disabilities and providing handler-dog teams to local hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes, as well as schools and libraries.

The $3500 grant will allow The Austin Dog Alliance to continue its work using therapy dogs to teach social skills to youth on the autism spectrum, among other programs.

The Austin Dog Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides unique group social skills development programs for children with autism spectrum disorder that incorporates the use of therapy dogs.  Their mission is to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families through programs that incorporate the powerful connection between humans and dogs.

“Austin Dog Alliance is thrilled that the Planet Dog Foundation is supporting our work,” says Debi Krakar, Alliance Executive Director. “This comes at an exciting time, when requests for our services are increasing dramatically. These funds will help us continue our current work while we work to broaden our therapy dog programs and reach out to more children and youth.”

“The Planet Dog Foundation is honored to establish a partnership with the Austin Dog Alliance through this grant,” says Kristen Smith, the Executive Director of the Planet Dog Foundation. “Their comprehensive program to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families by incorporating the powerful connection between humans and dogs aligns beautifully with our mission to celebrate and support dogs working to help people in need. We are proud to invest in their remarkable program and help dogs to help people in so many ways.”

The mission of The Planet Dog Foundation is to promote and celebrate programs in which dogs serve and support their best friends, which is of course, children!  The goals of the Foundation are:

  • Increase awareness, interest and support nationwide of programs in which dogs work to help people
  • Promote activities and programs that bring humans and dogs together in mutually beneficial ways
  • Build partnerships with local, national and global organizations to carry out the mission of the Planet Dog Foundation
  • Support grantees with financial, strategic and networking support
  • Respond to emergency situations that impact humans and animals as they arise
  • Support and encourage like-minded organizations with product donations.