At Mobility Service Dogs West Coast Project (MSD-WCP), we raise dogs for the mobility-disabled community to improve their quality of life through functional independence, giving them confidence and a voice in the community at large.
We each must learn to navigate with strong cores and centered hearts.
We are a community of humans and canines that are willing to listen to you, help you refocus, and to help you learn to trust your inner voice while surrounding you with positive energy, giving you a platform to launch forward, with an immersion in total wellness.
Cheers to the next step along your journey to FUNctional Independence, surrounded by a community supporting you following your dreams as you own your life in full brilliance.
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MSD-WCP’s goal is to fill a desperate need: many people living with disabilities and progressive diseases aren’t able to receive a mobility service dog because there aren’t enough of these trained dogs and they are too expensive.
Nearly 1 in 5 people have a disability in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau Report released in 2012. About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe, according to a comprehensive report on this population. Roughly 30.6 million of these had difficulty walking or climbing stairs, or used a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker.
“70% of people who need service dogs can't afford them.” (http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/09/70_percent_of_people_who_need.html) Training for a service dog is often in the range of $13,000-$50,000 and can take up to two years. Mobility Service Dogs-West Coast Project’s dogs are free to the Handler applicant, and our goal is to provide a Mobility Service Dog to all those who qualify.
Mobility Service Dogs-West Coast Project Co-Founder’s Story
In the spring of 2010, a crate fell on Janie Lynn Heinrich, changing her life forever. The heavy crate wrecked her shoulder and stretched eventually killing the nerve roots at the base of her spinal column, leaving her unable to walk on her own, or move her left hip and leg without external assistance. There was no surgery, fix or cure to change the outcome of the accident. She was told by doctors at the Spine, Neurology, and Pain Clinics of three highly respected Medical School Hospitals that she would need to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. This was not an acceptable solution for Janie. She refused to believe her life was destined to be limited due these dysfunctions.
Instead, she changed her diet; added herbs, essential oils, Asea, daily 60-minute yoga practice; and gathered around her a circle of amazing Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and a wellness community. Janie, with the aid of these gifted well educated humans assisted her in learning to drive with hand-controls, how to walk with Swedish Arm Crutches and with to regain functional independence with the aid of her Specially Trained Mobility Service Dog, Phoebe. Her yoga practice, food choices, and swimming keep her body’s core strong and ready for the next adventure.
Since Phoebe became her counterbalance and so much more, she has been living a full and active life, able to go all over the world with Phoebe’s help. Her husband, Bob, their four children and five grandchildren keep her on the move and living a very vibrant life!
Fast forward to 2017: due to Phoebe’s age, it was time to retire her and for Janie to look for a new Mobility Assistance Service Dog. In trying to find a new service dog for herself, Janie learned that just two other mobility organizations, combined, receive on the average about 220 applications a month. About 82% of those who apply are eligible, but only 5% receive a Mobility Service Dog. Janie was turned away from four different Service Dog Organizations, three because they do not like to re-home dogs; instead, they want them to be with one handler the 8-10 years they are working service dogs. With Janie being over 55 (61 to be exact), these organizations thought that the chances were very high that they would have to re-home a dog placed with Janie. Not only did they reject her application to receive a service dog, but they offered her an expiration date!
After a chance meeting with Ayami Hirogishe, sharing her story and learning about Ayami’s aunt’s struggles with mobility, Janie knew what she had to do: start her own organization to train Mobility Service Dogs. Janie’s vision is to raise dogs for all Mobility Disabled humans for both the young and aging populations along with others in need. Janie knows what she’s talking about: alongside a professional trainer, she has trained two Mobility Service Dogs and is currently preparing a third. Janie lives a full life, deeply grateful for her Mobility Service Dog, Beckett, who is an extension of her and helps her create functional independence.