Service dogs serving the underserved

LifeLine Assistance Dogs

Ryan Cambio saw a need and filled it with his love of canine companions. As his story goes, while working as an apprentice dog trainer, he noticed certain populations of people were typically not able to qualify for service dogs based on the requirements other organizations had. He felt so strongly that the dogs he was training could help these niche, underserved populations–like First Responders with PTSD and medically complex kids under 14 with multiple disabilities–he decided to create LifeLine Assistance Dogs to serve their needs.

Since then, he and his staff have been custom-training dogs–mostly labs or lab mixes–for the specific needs of each client and their family. He says the sign of success they look for is when a dog starts ignoring their trainer and listens to their new family instead. He says that means “the dog is falling into the role they were destined for.”

Ryan says his dogs can be trained to assist people at work, home, and/or school, but the biggest benefit his clients seem to receive is the sense of calmness that comes over them and their families after getting their service dog. He says a dog’s non-judging presence is worth more than any specific task they can be trained to do.

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