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 programs.
What is a Service Dog?
The American with Disabilities Act (28 CFR 36.104) defines the term "service animal" as "any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.”
When people hear “service dog”, they generally think of Guide Dogs. However, service dogs fall into a category of their own within the realm of Assistance Dogs. There are three types of Assistance dogs:
Guide Dogs - aiding the blind or visually impaired
Hearing Dogs - aiding the deaf or hard of hearing
Service Dogs - aiding individuals with disabilities other than those listed above, including but not limited to Mobility Assistance, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Autism Assistance, Diabetic Alert and Seizure Response/Alert.
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 Assistance Dogs of the West in New Mexico, MADE in Texas Assistance Dogs in Texas, and Freedom Service Dogs in Colorado.
The AGS Education Pack would love to come and talk to you! It provides presentations and hands-on demonstrations to all age groups.
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.
Buy your own t-shirt – Show your supports for AGS by sporting one of our t-shirts. Available in S, M, L, and XL.
Buy a window decal - Show your support for AGS by putting our logo on your car!
Campus Trainings are on Monday of every meeting week! We will meet at a location that is TBA @ 5:15 p.m.