Welcome to our Press Room, where our organization’s impactful stories take center stage. Explore featured news stories, press releases, and media coverage to stay informed about our extraordinary work with service dogs and community empowerment.

The Exceptional Sidekick in the News

Newtown Bee Feature Story (November 3rd, 2023)
Your Zen Friend (October 31st, 2023
How Service Dogs are Changing Lives with Abby Hill
Our executive director had a great conversation with Your Zen Friend about the amazing service dogs that we train and the clients who mean the world to us.
Star 99.9 FM (September 3rd, 2023)
Children in Placement – The Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs / YNH Children’s Hospital – Abilis
Exceptional Sidekick is honored to be interviewed by John Voket about our partnership with Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. Our Facility Dogs are making a difference in children’s lives every day!
As featured on @thedogist (December 7th, 2021)
@thedogist on Instagram
Read about Abby & Paco and our partnership with OLLY!
Newtown Bee Feature Story (December 26th, 2021)
‘Exceptional Sidekick’ Earns Donation That Will Support Students, Dogs
The Exceptional Sidekick Service & Therapy Dogs owner Abby Hill recently announced that the nonprofit organization received a substantial donation from OLLY that will expand its efforts.
Newtown Bee Feature Photo (September 16th 2020)
Thank you to the Newtown Bee for sharing our puppies and our mission with the community!
NBC CT Feature Story (Sept 16th 2020)
Arrival Day for Hamilton Puppies
We’re so honored that NBC CT photojournalist Gregg Monte covered our puppy arrival day on Sept 16th! Gregg also interviewed our breeder, executive director and a client. Six Labrador puppies traveled from NH to our training center in CT where they were picked up by their puppy raisers. Each puppy will live with their raiser for the next 12-15 months as they train to become psychiatric service dogs. Once they complete training, each psychiatric service dog will be placed with local 12-22 year old struggling with their mental health.
Just Labs Magazine (July 2017 issue)
Puppies With A Purpose
“Lab lovers know the special ways our dogs can touch our lives, but Labrador puppies are impacting lives in an entire community.  Harry, Jake, Taco, Belle & Blue are the first group of puppies training to be psychiatric service dogs by the nonprofit Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs & Therapy Dogs in Newtown, Connecticut.
Danbury News Times (January 16th 2017)
Trick dog show to benefit Newtown charity
NEWTOWN – A comedy dog show will put on a performance at the end of the month to benefit a charity that matches service dogs with people with psychiatric needs.
Voices (January 16, 2017
Trick dog show to benefit Newtown charity
NEWTOWN – A comedy dog show will put on a performance at the end of the month to benefit a charity that matches service dogs with people with psychiatric needs.
Fox 61 CT (November 21, 2016)
Newtown families raise and train future Psychiatric Service Dogs
NEWTOWN — Noodle is full of energy as she bounds through tunnels and up ramps. In some ways, though, she’s much different than your average puppy. During training, she wears a bright vest bearing the words “Service Dog.” The 10-week-old labradoodle has joined five young Labrador retrievers in The Exceptional Partner Service Dogs pilot program in Newtown.
Voices (November 19, 2016)
Newtown: Service Dogs Provide Life Changing Benefit
NEWTOWN — Noodle, a 12-week-old Labradoodle, has joined five dogs in The Exceptional Partner Service Dogs pilot program, which began in January in Newtown.
Fairfield County Business Journal (November 17, 2016)
Nonprofit enlists Newtown schoolteachers as handlers of potential service-dogs
The Exceptional Partner Service Dogs has dispatched five puppies to teach about the role of service dogs in helping to treat some mental health issues.
Newtown Bee (November, 5 2016)
Exceptional Partner Service Dogs Expanding With Arrival of New Puppy
With The Exceptional Partner Service Dogs’ (TEPSD) pilot program successfully underway since January 2016, the nonprofit organization has announced the arrival of Noodle, a 12-week-old Labradoodle. She joins the original five TEPSD – now 10-month-old Labrador retriever puppies – all being trained to become psychiatric service dogs for those in need throughout the region.
Upworthy (November 1, 2016)
The brilliant reason this dog trainer is having school teachers train service dogs
“When I started looking into ways to help these people, I found there was a two- to three-year wait nationwide for service dogs,” said Hill. Not to mention, a psychiatric service dog costs $25,000 on average and is usually not covered by insurance. Hill embarked on a mission to get people the help they needed without the extraordinary cost or lengthy wait time.
Stamford Advocate (October 4, 2016)
Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down
Thumbs up to the new program training five service dogs to work with members of the Newtown community who deal with anxiety and depression.
Newtown Bee (April 28, 2016)
Kiss The Puppies’ To Support Service Dogs
Anyone who puts a “pooch smooch” under the category of romantic interactions will want to make note of the upcoming Exceptional Partner Service Dogs “Kiss The Puppies” event this coming Sunday, May 1..