“Demand for our therapy dog services, kids’ camps and training classes has skyrocketed this year,” said Debi Krakar, Austin Dog Alliance executive director. “Our new Forever Home will allow us to vastly expand our services, adding veterinary technician assistant training for young adults on the autism spectrum, job training for at-risk teens, and many more services for at-risk students.”
The Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, currently offers social-skill classes for children and youth on the autism spectrum and provides handler-dog teams to local hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes, as well as schools and libraries through its Bow Wow Reading Dog program. It trains therapy dogs for adoption by persons with special needs, and it provides a variety of puppy and dog-training classes and seminars to the public.
The Alliance’s new 10,000 square-foot facility, slated for completion in May 2013 was designed specifically for the needs of the Alliance’s clients on the autism spectrum.
“Not only will the Alliance's new Forever Home quadruple the amount of space for programs, but it will have elements that weren't available before, such as a veterinary/grooming job skills lab, kennel space, community space and outdoor training areas,” says Jason Andrus, Senior Associate with O’Connell Robertson, the architectural team leading the project. “The spaces are also detailed with autism in mind including color, lighting, acoustics and clutter – small things that make a big difference.”
While almost 75 percent of the $1.57 million has been acquired or pledged, funds and in-kind services are still desperately needed to complete construction.
“We are so grateful for the people and companies that are making this possible,” Krakar says. “But we need people to know that we are still in need of funding, physical donations, such as cement, roofing and an irrigation system, and much more to make sure this project is completed on time.”
Individuals and businesses wishing to offer funds and services can call 512-335-7100 or visit the center’s website at http://austindogalliance.org/
About Austin Dog Alliance
Located in Austin, Texas, the Austin Dog Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, provides unique group social skills development programs for children with autism spectrum disorder that incorporate the use of canine-assisted therapy. Austin Dog Alliance also provides handler-dog teams to local hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes, as well as schools and libraries through its Bow Wow Reading Dog program.
The Austin Dog Alliance’s “Build Our Forever Home Capital Campaign” is raising $1.57 million to build a permanent campus in Cedar Park in 2013. Staff members from O’Connell Robertson volunteered their time to design the site and building, and the firm donated the plans. The Austin Dog Alliance project is another demonstration of O’Connell Robertson’s dedication to creating environments that enrich the lives of the people (and dogs) they were designed to serve. Other firms donating their design services include Big Red Dog Engineering and Landscape Architecture. Legal counsel was donated by Murray & Associates, P.C.
For more information and to donate, visit http://austindogalliance.org/
Executive Director, Austin Dog Alliance
12129 RR 620 North, Suite 401
Austin, TX 78750