Support Dogs, Inc. is a national not-for-profit organization that offers dignity, hope and independence by providing highly skilled service dogs to individuals with disabilities and uniquely trained therapy dogs to serve the community.
Support Dogs began because of Sandy Maze, who had steadily progressing muscular dystrophy. Ms. Maze found that everyday tasks were becoming more difficult but she had the idea to train her German shepherd to assist her and, with help from a professional dog trainer, her dog Stormy was successfully trained to do physically-related tasks she could not do by herself. In 1981, Support Dogs for the Handicapped, Inc. was created by Sandy, who toured the Midwest telling her story. A group of interested St. Louisans saw Sandy and Stormy at a presentation and, shortly thereafter, Support Dogs for the Handicapped, Inc. opened a chapter in St. Louis. By 1985, the Ohio chapter merged with another like organization making St. Louis the national headquarters for the newly named 501(c) (3) organization, Support Dogs, Inc. (SDI).
Today, Support Dogs opens the doors to independence by providing assistance dogs to individuals with disabilities, therapy dog services to at-risk and ill populations, reading assistance to area students, and educational programming to schools and businesses. Support Dogs is a fixture in the St. Louis community for many and we are proud to be able to serve those we do, changing lives each and every day.