We closely monitor the evolving situation around COVID-19 and follow federal and state direction to help prevent the spread of disease and protect our volunteers, partners, staff, and community.
We also follow recommendations from Assistance Dogs International and public health officials for continuing to train our dogs and follow up with working teams.
For specific guidance on service dogs and the coronavirus, see the recently released CDC Guidance for Handlers of Service and Therapy Animals (external website).
As the COVID-19 situation changes, we will continue to make adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety. We’re all in this together.
Our assistance dogs give people the confidence to live more independently and do things they didn't think were possible. These dogs change lives.
Susquehanna Service Dogs raises, trains, and places service dogs and hearing dogs, as well as facility dogs to assist children and adults with disability to become more independent. Founded in 1993, we have placed over 300 service dogs with people throughout Pennsylvania and the surrounding states.
We work hard to find the perfect match between a person and a service dog. Whether our service dogs are retrieving dropped items or opening a door, they're assisting their partner to live full, rich, meaningful lives.
“With SSD Zola by my side, I now have the confidence to go out on my own and do so many things I couldn't before.” —Katie Brigger
We are a program of Keystone Human Services and accredited by Assistance Dogs International.
Help a dog change a life! Donate to support Susquehanna Service Dogs to build a new training complex for raising, training, and placing life-changing assistance dogs.
Our dogs are trained to assist children and adults with disability. Each dog is individually trained based on their partner's needs.
Would you like to raise a puppy to become a life-changing service dog? Our puppy raisers welcome a nine-week-old puppy into their home and help train them for 15-18 months. Raisers are responsible for teaching the puppy good house manners and over 20 cues, regularly attending puppy class, and providing socialization and public experiences.
Puppy raiser homes are ideally located within an hour of Grantville, PA; Center City Philadelphia, PA (starting October 2019); or State College, PA.
We are also in need of puppy sitters who watch one of our dogs for a short amount of time. Our sitters play an important role in our dogs' training. They care for our service dogs in training when their raisers go on vacation or are otherwise unable to take care of the dogs.
More importantly, our sitters give the dogs valuable experiences in a new home and routine, helping to make the dogs' transition to advanced training and eventually to their partners much smoother.
“One of the ways Nugget has helped me in life is by giving me the ability to walk on my own to the pond near my house for the first time ever.”
That's what Marissa Kitzinger says about her service dog, SSD Nugget. Nugget has been giving her the confidence to do things she never thought she could do before.
For years before getting Nugget, she dreamed of walking by herself to the local pond to go fishing. Three days after her service dog came home with her, she got herself and Nugget ready and went for a walk in the neighborhood, something she hadn't done in the 15 years she had lived there. Since that day, they have gone on many walks and went fishing at the local pond.
Rosemary, Marissa's mother, says, "Nugget has an effect on Marissa that is hard to explain but easy to see. She walks taller with confidence in public spaces, she is calmer in crowds, and she is more focused on Nugget and less distracted. I imagine they will have many new adventures and experiences together as Marissa continues her college journey and chooses her path in life."
The world has opened for Marissa, with the help of the black lab by her side.
Make a donation that will change lives! Your donation connects people with disability with their service dog, helping them live more independent lives.
For a $100 donation, you can provide a harness for one of our service dogs to wear in public with their partner.
For a $200 donation, you can provide all of the items that are given to a partner when they complete Team Training with their new service dog. Items include a leash and collar, treat pouch, clicker, food bowl, nail clippers, shedding blade, and more.
Leave a legacy by naming a puppy or an entire litter of future service dogs. Please call us to learn more at 717-599-5920.