About Us

An exceptional Organization

Founded by leading dog behavior expert and trainer Abby Hill, TESSD Service Dogs is the only non-profit organization in the area that offers psychiatric service dogs to teens and young adults with psychiatric disabilities. Abby is determined to raise the best possible psychiatric service dogs and place them to empower teens and young adults to finish their education and live an independent life. The Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that depends on donations to operate. The cost of adopting, raising, training and providing proper healthcare for these dogs for the first two years until placement is approximately $32,000. Please help our mission with a contribution today. [learn more…]

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about us 3 service dogs in training


Founded in 2016, The Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs (TESSD) in Newtown, CT, transforms lives by partnering exceptional psychiatric service dogs with teens and young adults with psychiatric disabilities. Our program brings together our community as we work cooperatively to raise and train these exceptional animals. Working with our wonderful volunteers, TESSD raises each dog for the first year and a half of training. During that time the dogs live with our puppy raisers that open their hearts and homes. This is the most selfless act of volunteerism and the pulse of our program. [learn more…] Service dogs are provided to teens and young adults that reside in Newtown at NO COST and to others within Connecticut able to make a donation or willing to fundraise half the cost of raising and training the dog. We also offer an owner trained program where we assist them in training their own dogs. TESSD piloted an In-School Service Dog & Teen Advocate Program at Newtown High School which furthered community support and education. There are three major benefits to implementing this for our dogs and your community: the puppy is socialized and trained continually; a dog in the classroom promotes positive social interaction, increases concentration, and reduces stress and anxiety; and students learn about the dog’s purpose and are educated about the needs of people struggling with mental illness. [learn more….]