A Midwest non-profit is training service dogs specifically for farmers with disabilities

A small Midwestern non-profit has identified a need and is working to meet it. The non-profit is PHARM Dog USA, or Pets Helping Agriculture in Rural Missouri. They realized that farmers with disabilities are often in need of service dogs with more specialized skillsets than the average assistive dog. According to the non-profit’s website, the purpose of PHARM Dog “is to make life easier for farmers and farm family members with disabilities.”

PHARM Dog works with farmers who have any type of disability, from physical to ‘invisible’ disabilities, and despite the name they do assist farmers outside of Missouri. Their dogs can be trained for multiple services and have skills developed specifically for farm work, “such as retrieving or picking up dropped tools, opening a latch gate system, carrying buckets, as well as standing and bracing if a farmer has stability issues, or going for help.” Founder, Jackie Allenbrand, works with farmers to fit dogs to their individual needs.

In an Associated Press article, ‘Specially trained dogs help out farmers with disabilities.‘ Allenbrand explained her reasons behind starting PHARM Dog with the statement; “People think of farmers as rugged and tough. When you see a big burly farmer crying after they get a dog because they know they can keep farming, you see what a difference it’s making. That’s what drives us.” According to the same article, PHARM Dog “has placed 10 dogs since 2009 and has two more in training.”

PHARM Dog has seen immense successes with the dogs they have placed, many of which are demonstrated on their website, yet the non-profit is struggling to meet the needs of farmers due to their lack of corporate sponsorship. Many of the dogs they work with are donated or rescued. Currently the organization is funded through grants and donations. They also worked with University of Missouri Extension to connect more dogs with farmers, as illustrated in the video below, which shares some of the personal experiences of those involved with PHARM Dog.

PHARM Dog is accepting donations through their gofundme page, PHARM Dog USA – We Help Farmers.

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of Rooted in Rights.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.

One response to “A Midwest non-profit is training service dogs specifically for farmers with disabilities

  1. I love that these dogs are being trained for uses in rural areas! I live in a very rural area and depend on my service dog to help in order to stay in a rural area and not be in some assisted living situation or public housing. This is wonderful! We need more rural working service dogs in the USA. Thanks!

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