Who We Are
Aggie Guide-Dogs & Service-Dogs (AGS) is a student-run organization at Texas A&M University that began in 1997. Our purpose is to educate about, fundraise for, and promote the training and use of service dogs and to increase awareness about how these animals help the individuals with disabilities who use them.
What We Do
The main goals of AGS are to train puppies to become service dogs, fundraise for these service dogs, and educate the public about service dogs. With the help of Puppy Trainers, puppies learn how to obey and behave in public places, as well as commands unique to service dogs. AGS members also provide services to the community via education and therapy-dog programs.
What a Service Dog Is
A service dog is a dog that has been specially trained to assist people with disabilities. Service dogs are legally defined (Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990) as dogs trained to meet the disability-related needs of their handlers who have disabilities. Federal laws protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals in public places. Service animals are not pets.
Puppy Trainers are carefully selected from the university student body and local community members who are given a puppy to train for about 10-15 months. During this time, the Puppy Trainers are responsible for phase one training which includes basic obedience training, socializing the puppy with people and other dogs, and providing unconditional love. After training concludes, puppies are donated to a nationally-recognized service dog training school for phase two. Most of our dogs go to Power Paws Assistance Dogs in Arizona and MADE in Texas Assistance Dogs in Texas.
The AGS Education Pack would love to come and talk to you! It provides presentations and hands-on demonstrations to all age groups.
Therapy dogs are pets whose owners travel to local hospitals, nursing homes and schools to provide hope and happiness. These visits are fun for the therapy dog team and those they visit. Aggieland Pets with a Purpose provides us with such opportunities.
Taking a puppy through our program costs about $1,500 to $3,000 not including the hundreds of hours of training donated by our trainers and other donated services. AGS uses fundraising to help curb the cost. We also accept monetary donations.
Texas State Law Regarding Assistance Dogs in Training
Human resources statutes of the state of Texas section 121.003 (I) states:
An assistance animal in training shall not be denied admittance to any public facility when accompanied by an approved trainer who is an agent of an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons who are disabled as reputable and competent to provide training for assistance animals, and/or their handlers.
How You Can Help
Join AGS! - We hold bi-monthly meetings, weekly socializations, monthly socials, and monthly fundraising events. You can participate through therapy, puppy raising, or puppy sitting among other fun activities.
Sponsor a puppy – For $25 or more, you can sponsor a puppy for one full year. You will receive monthly progress reports and a photo. Your money will go directly toward supplies and vet care for the puppy in training.
Donate a puppy – We evaluate all puppies mixed or pure bred between the ages of eight to ten weeks.
Buy your own t-shirt – Show your supports for AGS by sporting one of our t-shirts. Available in S, M, L, and XL.
Make a donation – AGS is in need of money, bowls, wire crates, toys, vet services, leashes, collars, towels, arts and crafts supplies, and computer paper.
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