Our History


4-H dog project members from Cloud, Riley, and Washington counties began serving as puppy raisers for organizations in Ohio and California. These 4-H members discovered very few assistance dog placements were made in the Midwest and they wanted to see dogs placed in Kansas and the surrounding states to serve the citizens of this region.


KSDS is incorporated as a non-profit on January 10th with the help of $500,000 in start-up funding from the State of Kansas Department of Rehabilitation Services and additional support from individual donors. In September, doors open for business and training begins for the first class of service dogs.


The Canine Housing Unit was built. Also in 1991, the first service class graduated and in 1992, the first guide class graduated. KSDS was the first in the nation to provide both guide and service dogs from within the same facility.


The puppy addition to the Canine Housing Unit was constructed.


KSDS implemented prison programs at Topeka Correctional Facility and Norton Correctional Facility, first with inmates being puppy raisers and then, later, with inmates providing intermediate training and skills for the dogs.


The West Training Center was constructed at KSDS with funding from private sources.


The movie, “More than Puppy Love” was made describing KSDS and the assistance dog program with some location filming at KSDS and around Washington. In 2004, it become the first “Chicken Soup for the Soul” movie.


The name was changed from Kansas Specialty Dog Service to KSDS, Inc. because KSDS was placing assistance dogs throughout the United States.


KSDS became an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI), the organization which leads the industry in setting the high standards of assistance dog training.


Americorps and volunteers renovated an adjacent house for the Administration Building.


KSDS constructed an accessible housing duplex with fully contained and private studio apartments.


KSDS announces the building of three more duplexes with their completion being done in time for the Spring class of 2012.


KSDS placed its 500th assistance dog team. KSDS also started renovation of the original KSDS office/training building into the East Training Building.  This building now serves as an additional training center and meeting room with a gift shop, four handicap accessible bathrooms, which double as storm shelters, and an improved, sizable kitchen area.


KSDS celebrated 30 years of service and placed its 600th assistance dog team!