We are truly lucky to have the opportunity to work with so many fantastic recipients. Our recipients are hardworking and committed to the training program and they have all become part of the GOFI family.
Golden Opportunities For Independence's mission is to train and pair highly trained service dogs with people living with disabilities as a means to facilitate confident and independent lifestyles.
Our program is unique in that we offer supportive social programs for service dog recipients by making them a part of the training from the very beginning. Recipients share in organized training sessions, puppy socialization, outings, and supportive social groups.
Established in 2014, Golden Opportunities for Independence is dedicated to providing those in with need the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest extent. GOFI not only trains service dogs for placement but strives to provide support and friendship to recipients. GOFI’s success is made possible through the teamwork of committed staff, volunteers, and community partners.
The Autism Dogs are trained to provide behavior disruption to distract and disrupt repetitive behaviors or meltdowns, tethering to prevent and protect a child from wandering, and search and rescue tracking to locate a child who has wandered.
We provide high-quality service dogs to those living with spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, PTSD, diabetes, and autism. We provide training, community outings, assistance with funding, and lifelong support to all of our clients. We believe that everyone deserves independence and that everyone deserves choices in their healthcare options. We also believe that service dogs provide our clients with more than just assistance in everyday matters; the dogs also provide support, companionship, and friendship for our recipients.
Service dogs are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. The work or tasks a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability.
The term "seizure dog" covers a variety of activities associated with a service dog's response to an epileptic seizure. Some dogs have been trained to bark or otherwise alert families when a seizure is pending. Some dogs learn to lie next to their human partners if they have a seizure to prevent injury. Others are trained to activate alarm systems providing partners speedy assistance when a seizure occurs.
Diabetic alert dogs are trained to react to the chemical change produced by blood sugar highs and lows from their human partners breath. By nudging or getting the attention of their human partner they can prevent a variety of complications associated with elevated or decreased blood sugar.
The mobility assistance dog is an invaluable helper to people with any range of limited maneuverability. The list of things a mobility dog can do is endless - some of the tasks include opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, retrieving objects such as drinks from the refrigerator, fallen pens or phones, bringing in groceries and many many more.
Led by Executive Director Pauline Hoegler, the GOFI team has over twenty years of healthcare experience and dog training and socialization. Every volunteer, staff and board member plays a vital role in our organization's success.