Carol Willoughby became an advocate for people with disabilities in the early 1970’s after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 22. Her first service dog, a privately trained golden retriever named Booker, restored her dwindling self confidence and inspired Carol to establish the non-profit—Saint Francis Service Dogs at her kitchen table in 1996. Now
Inmates find purpose in training service dogs
Saint Francis Service Dogs provides service dogs to children and adults with disabilities, allowing the recipients to live more independent lives. The organization partners with the Virginia Department of Corrections and a medium-security men’s prison where inmates raise and train the dogs.
Charlotte and Flash: A Dynamic Duo
Meet Charlotte. She’s a young girl living with Prader Willi Syndrome, Apraxia, Obstructive Apnea, and Scoliosis, each taking a toll on her balance and mobility. But her best friend Flash is a service dog who helps her walk and climb stairs. She picks up dolls when Charlotte drops them and carries books for her. Petting
Service Dogs Bring Comfort and Joy
Saint Francis Service Dogs is a non-profit organization that helps children and adults with disabilities to become more independent and self-sufficient through partnerships with professionally trained service dogs. Meet duo Danny and Simon!
With a Service Dog, Children Learn in Many Ways
Facility dogs engage students in special education classes by providing motivation, feelings of safety, and increased opportunities for constructive fun.