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Grant will allow North Conway assistance dog organization to expand


Assistance Canine Training Services dogs that are in training, with their volunteer raisers, on a recent outing to Ledge Brewery in Intervale. A grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation will allow the North Conway-based nonprofit to expand its services. Photo/Courtesy of Assistance Canine Training Services

NORTH CONWAY, NH – Assistance Canine Training Services will be able to train more service dogs, as well as launch a compassionate therapy dog program, with help from a $10,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Daisy Hale Fund.

A nonprofit, ACTS raises, trains and places assistance dogs for individuals with disabilities, as well as for organizations that work with individuals who have emotional, psychological, developmental or physical problems.

The grant will support a customer relationship management system at ACTS that will integrate all aspects of the organization. That, in turn, will allow more dogs to be brought into the program, boosting ACTS’ goal of doubling client placements, organization officials said in a news release.

The new system will also help ACTS develop a compassion therapy dog program, which will comprise volunteer therapy teams that can respond to requests from community, health care and educational organization seeking visits from the trained dogs. 

The technology will ensure that the new program can launch effectively and be successful, the release said. The goal is to eventually provide 200 community compassionate visits a year that would reach more than 1,500 individuals.

Freesia was trained at Assistance Canine Training Services in North Conway, and raised by volunteers Steven Hayden and Monica Philbin, of Meredith. Photo/Courtesy of Bierman Autism Centers

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Daisy Hale Fund,” said Kathy Metz, ACTS executive director. “This funding will help us to continue to grow and develop as an organization and reach our ambitious goals for service and facility dog training and placement as well as our ACTS of Compassion Therapy Dog program. We thank them for their support and endorsement of our important efforts in the community.”

ACTS, while based in North Conway, also has training sites in Tuftonboro and at the University of Vermont. Early puppy raising is done by volunteers from throughout the region. The organization was founded in 2007 by Dorothy Hyde-Williams, of Tuftonboro, in memory of her son Nate, who died at age 23 in a 2005 bicycle accident. The organization is officially under the umbrella of the Nathaniel J. Williams Foundation.

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation manages a growing collection of 2,000 funds created by individuals, families and businesses, and awards more than $50 million in grants and scholarships a year.



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