We call Newtown, CT, our home, and for good reason. This welcoming community helps us to provide the best service dogs possible, to empower young adults to attend college, help teachers return to school, and transform teens into outgoing peer support advocates. These diverse programs define our mission, creating a positive impact in the lives of those we serve.

Program Trained Psychiatric Service Dogs

The Exceptional Sidekick is proud to offer fully trained Psychiatric Service Dogs to teens and young adults who live in and around the CT region, and who are struggling with a mental health disability. [learn more…]

Owner Trained Service Dogs

Through this program, we will assist you in training your own dog to be a service dog. Owner Training is extremely challenging and requires discipline and commitment; it can also be incredibly rewarding and therapeutic. [learn more…]

Therapy Dogs

Do you and your dog want to join our growing group of therapy dog teams?  Our teams visit places like hospitals, schools, nursing homes, libraries, and more to bring comfort & smiles to everyone they see.  [learn more…]

Facility Dogs

While Therapy dogs visit many locations, a Facility Dog works as an employee of one specific location.  We have already placed two Facility Dogs at Yale New Haven Hospital and are working on additional placements at other locations. [learn more…]

Released Dogs

Sometimes, our dogs don’t want to be working dogs and are more suited to therapy work or as family pets. We always put their needs first, meaning they will be released for a requested donation. [apply now…] 

Education & Advocacy

We are committed to empowering service dog handlers through public education, dispelling misconceptions, and fostering a supportive community. We have a number of different programs and even a mobile app! [learn more…] 

Puppy Raising

Our wonderful Puppy Raisers are the driving force behind our mission, turning puppies into exceptional Service Dogs. [learn more…]
Chart that identifies different types of assistance dogs and their unique rights