High Five, Why Give?

Boy giving high five to dog.

Why do I give my time, money, and my heart to VIP Dog Team? Probably for the same reason, you would, I love my son. 22 years ago, on Valentine’s day my son was born with trisomy 21, Down syndrome. I decided right after his diagnosis was confirmed that I would do anything and everything to help him live as happy and healthy of a life as possible.

About 5 years ago we started our search for a service dog for my son. There were NO organizations in Ventura County at that time that train service or therapy dogs. So, we searched further and got on a list (out of the area) for a service dog. We were told the wait time would be about 6 years. This was unacceptable to me so I started doing research and decided to get a puppy and train it to be a service dog for my son.

After that dog didn’t make it through the public access test we got another dog and as we were socializing him I realized my son enjoyed introducing him to people, it gave him the needed buffer. He wasn’t talking about himself, he was talking about his dog. It was then that I decided we would train his dog for therapy, not service work.

Shortly after I started the nonprofit, VIP Dog Teams. Why? Dogs have an amazing way of connecting with people with special needs. They sense something about a person whether they are sad, scared, or just need a friend. When you have special needs, the general public sees your differences; a dog doesn’t. The public hears you talk differently, walk differently, have different fears and needs; a dog knows he loves you, and that’s all that matters. So, we train therapy dogs for people with special needs, Down syndrome, Autism, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients.

My son and I take our dogs to the Boys & Girls Club as part of our Pup Club for reading/sight word program, to the college nearby to calm students during exams. To the hospital rehabilitation floor to work with stroke patients as well as traumatic brain injury patients (TBI) and to senior care facilities to spark a memory of a dog from their past and bring a big smile with that fond memory to the elderly.

It’s extremely rewarding to see the positive effect on all who meet my son and our dogs. That’s why I give my time and money and my heart to VIP Dog Teams, for the love of my son and yours.

Please give us a high-five so we can continue our work. Donate $5 a month to VIP Dog Teams fill out the donation form to get started.

Thank you,
Nancy Mitchell/President & Founder

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GIVE us a HIGH FIVE by DONATING $5 a month!!

  • You are helping dogs be trained to go out into our community to help others.
  • You are helping Ventura County to be a healthier place. Goal oriented dogs help with the rehabilitation of patients
  • You are helping people with special needs by giving Ventura County a trained therapy dog.


( you can stop this at any time by calling us at 805 419-0677)