New Central Florida Nonprofit to Provide Service Dogs for the Disabled

Do Unto Others (D.U.O.) is a new Longwood-based nonprofit dedicated to serving the needs of those with disabilities by providing desperately needed service dogs.

“As a new organization, we’re bringing our experience as educators and trainers of both Labrador and Golden Retrievers to serve the needs of those with disabilities—including mobility, PTSD, and autism spectrum disorder,” said Wendy Hartman, Founder, and co-Executive Director, Programs.

“Do Unto Others Assistance Dogs is all about preparing dogs to serve the needs of their human partners”, said Wendy, and there is a tremendous need.

Assistance Dogs International (ADI), the global Authority in the Assistance Dogs Industry, has warned of a critical shortage of trained dogs to support the people who need them most. At the end of 2022, almost 9,000 people were waiting for their task trained dog and there are millions more who could benefit.

“We want to serve and empower those people with disabilities so they may live more independent lives with their service dog,” Wendy added.

“Our goal is to work with the disabled community in training up service dogs as well as using rescues when possible. We are hoping to partner with many organizations in our local area as well as trainers in Florida and beyond,” said Wendy.

The Executive Team consists of Wendy Hartman, who has been raising and training service dogs for the last 14 years. She was a public-school teacher for 25 years before retiring. Laura Barnett, Founder, Co-Executive Director, Development, has been a trainer for seven years and is also a retired secondary school science teacher who taught for more than 32 years. Sue Napier, Founder, Director, Client Support and Training has been raising and training for 13 years and has been partnered with a service dog for nine years since becoming disabled/ She worked as a teacher and band director for 20 years. Amy Mayberry, Co-Founder, Director, Operations, is new to raising / training service dogs with just a year of experience, however, she brings a wealth of talent in graphic design and office management.

The executive team brings over 35 years of experience in training service dogs and together have raised over 100 dogs.

In the next two or three years, they hope to team 20 people with their service dog. It takes at least two years to raise and train a service dog for someone else, and the cost including food and veterinary services can be as much as $40,000 per dog.

For more information, contact Wendy Hartman 407-212-7692 or email: info@duoassistancedogs.org.

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Written by Daniel Korentur

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