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Origin Story

Leash of Hope was founded by Danielle Main and Tessa Schmidt in 2014. The organization was created when it became increasingly obvious that there is a major need for support for those with disabilities who want to live their lives independently. The recipients of LoH dogs are often people who have slipped through the cracks of the current support systems and would otherwise have nowhere to turn for a properly trained assistance dog. Danielle, who is low vision blind with optic nerve dysplasia, and Tessa, who lives with spastic cerebral palsy, both personally face the barriers of living with disability and have an inside understanding of what its like to be impeded with the lack of access to tools that fit their desired lifestyle and ambitions. Since starting leash of Hope however, they have also both personally experienced the independence and confidence that an assistance dog trained to their needs can give to them. By looking at how a traditional programs train and places dogs, and identifying how the needs of people with disabilities can differ a handler education program unlike any other was devised. Thus an organization was born from the need for people with disabilities to have the opportunity to be more than their disability whilst being helped by a talented dog this is more than just a rescue dog. 

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