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Autism Service Dog Families Gather for ‘Autism Service Dog Day’

Good Dog! Families, Trainers and Volunteers pose for a group photo in the beautiful meadow of the Lions Gate Estate, Fallbrook (Photo courtesy: Laura Sylvester)

Fallbrook CA— San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond declared the date, Sunday, March 11, 2018 as ‘Autism Service Dog Day’ to help increase public awareness and education on these specially trained assistance dogs.. The announcement was made during Good Dog! Autism Companion’s Family Picnic at The Lionsgate Estate, in Fallbrook, an annual celebration for the non-profit organization’s families and their service dogs.

(Photo courtesy: Laura Sylvester)

Recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act as assistance dogs, autism service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks that help mitigate an individual’s disability.
The life-enhancing benefits may revolve around self-regulation/calming, social interaction, communication, independence, companionship, and quality of life. It typically costs over $26,000 to raise, care, and train each dog over 18-24 months, in addition to providing education and support services for each family.
“As Autism Spectrum Disorder has risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States, so has the increase in demand for service dogs to help individuals live better lives,” said Desmond. “Autism Service Dog Day aims to bring awareness to the benefits pertaining to autism service dogs as well as the information needed for families to source a reputable organization.”
Autism Service Dog Day will be celebrated worldwide each year on March 11th by autism service dog organizations.
Good Dog! Autism Companions Founder and Executive Director, Laura Sylvester along with her son Elliot gift present Mayor Jim Desmond with a Good Dog! T-shirt (Photo courtesy: Laura Sylvester)

Good Dog! Autism Companions was founded by Laura and Rick Sylvester, whose son Elliot was diagnosed with autism at age two. After seeing the powerful difference a service dog made in their son’s life, they were inspired to create an organization that would allow other families to also provide their child with an autism service dog. GoodDog! has successfully trained and matched service dogs to 16 families and has a continuously growing waiting list of families waiting to be matched with a dog.
Each family received a gift bag of items from The Blissful Dog, The Honest Kitchen, and Drake Center for Veterinary Care. T
To learn more about click Good Dog! Autism Companions[button color=”gray” size=”small” link=”” target=”blank” ]Here[/button]

About Mayor Jim Desmond

Jim Desmond was elected as mayor of San Marcos in November 2006 and re-elected in 2010 and 2014. Prior to his mayoral election, Desmond served on the San Marcos City Council since November 2004. For more information, please visit

About Good Dog! Autism Companions

Good Dog! Autism Companions is a Fallbrook-based 501(3)c nonprofit that specializes in training service dogs for children with autism and their families. Good Dog! was started by the Sylvesters – a local Fallbrook family after seeing the positive affects an autism service dog had on their son.
For more information about the Sylvester Family – click here

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Autism Service Dog Families Gather for ‘Autism Service Dog Day’