America's VetDogs Receives $5,000 Grant from Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for program Accessibility Projects 


Smithtown, NY – (September 6, 2016) – America’s VetDogs is proud to announce that it has received a $5,000 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The award was one of 79 grants totaling over $575,704 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers. Conceived by the late Dana Reeve, the program has awarded over 2,700 grants totaling over $20 million since 1999.  

America’s VetDogs will apply the grant towards campus accessibility projects, including the addition of four automatic door openers.

“America’s VetDogs is honored to receive this grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation”, says Wells B. Jones, CEO of America’s VetDogs. “This grant will go towards the updating of our facilities to meet the accessibility needs for many of the students that we serve while training with their new assistance dogs.” 

Awarded twice yearly, grant requests were evaluated and scored based on a rigorous review process to determine funding for organizations that improve daily life for those living with paralysis, as well as their families and caregivers. In this particular grant cycle, the grantee review board awarded a significant number of grants in medically underserved areas for modification projects, animal service programs and veteran programs. 

“Accessibility modifications and service animals help create greater independence both in home and public settings, which is key to increase inclusion in the community.” said Donna Valente, Director of Quality of Life Grants. “By supporting these types of programs in underserved areas, we are able to remove barriers to independent living for individuals living with disabilities and their families.”

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants Program was created to address the myriad needs of children and adults living with paralysis, as well as provide assistance and education to their families and caregivers. Funded programs serve individuals living with paralysis caused by injuries, diseases or birth conditions, including but not limited to, stroke, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The grants support innovative initiatives that aim to increase quality of life by improving physical and emotional health, broadening community engagement, and increasing independence. Quality of Life grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (cooperative agreement number 90PR3001-01-00).

About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (cooperative agreement number 90PR3002). For more information, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.

About America's VetDogs
Since 2003, America’s VetDogs has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel.  America's VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation. VetDogs relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual.  

America’s VetDogs was the second assistance dog school in the United States to be certified by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. 

To learn more, visit www.VetDogs.org