Sertoma Aids in Providing Animal Assistance
February 1, 2016
What would life be like if you were unable to hear the telephone ring, a doorbell, or even an emergency alarm? For some, this is a not a simple “what if” question. Instead, it is a reality, and a challenging obstacle that is faced daily.
International Hearing Dog Inc (IHDI) is an organization that strives to improve the quality of life for individuals that are in need of various types of daily and emergency assistance.
IHDI rescues shelter dogs, and then trains the canines to fit the customized needs of individuals with hearing loss, at no cost.
Each year, this organization places between 30- 40 hearing dogs into the loving homes of individuals that require their care and guidance. Each dog costs around $8,000 to train before it is approved and licensed as a service animal. From start to finish, the entire process of placement and training takes between 6-9 months.
International Hearing Dog Inc. is funded entirely through generous donations, sponsors, churches, corporations and civic service groups such as Sertoma Inc.
The Legacy Sertoma Club, of Monument, Colorado, has played a monumental role in promoting and donating to IHDI’s generous and noble cause. The Legacy Sertoma club wrote a recommendation letter, and paid a $200 application fee so that IHDI could be considered as a recipient of Sertoma’s national community grant.
IHDI was selected to receive the community grant in both 2010 and 2015, and was awarded $5,000. IHDI, an affiliate of Sertoma, has been sponsored by the Legacy Sertoma Club since 2012.
Valerie Foss Brugger, the president and executive director of IHDI said she was thrilled that her organization received the grant.
“The funding we received allowed us to place a new dog, Quinn, with a recipient named Nancy Otte,” Foss Brugger said. “Nancy is a teacher for kids with disabilities, and Quinn has helped her at school, as well as the kids she teaches.”
Nancy Otte, says she is incredibly grateful and thankful for the life changing opportunity provided by IHDI and the Legacy Sertoma club.
“Having Quinn in my life enables me to live a fuller, more productive life,” Otte said. “I can use my mind to think of ideas and solutions, rather than to listen for a sound, some of which may never occur all day.”
Quinn has been trained to alert Nancy to a variety of different sounds including: alarm clocks, telephones, the sound of children in distress, smoke alarms, dryer beeps and many others.
Although Quinn has been trained to respond to noise, any dog selected to take part in the program can also be trained to assist with PTSD, or help individuals in wheelchairs.
Denny Myers, the Secretary of the Legacy Sertoma Club, says that his club intends on continuing to contribute to IHDI’s organization and mission.
“It’s an organization that deserves more recognition,” Myers said. “As our club grows, we definitely plan on promoting and helping them as much as we can.”
IHDI’s president said Sertoma has always been a huge support to its cause, and that they are very appreciative of their continued effort.
“Sertoma has always been there supporting us,” Foss Brugger said. “They provide us with the opportunity to continually change more lives in the Denver area.”