All NewsSpirit of Service

Animalytix and its partners would like to recognize the 2018 Spirit of Service honorees, Kansas State Animal Response Team and KSDS.

The Spirit of Service Award recognizes not-for-profit organizations that work to improve the health and lives of both animals and people.

Kansas State Animal Response Team


The Kansas State Animal Response Team, a volunteer non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, teaches pet owners how to prepare for their pets, assists emergency management in pet disaster planning, trains volunteers for response and responds when the team is requested through the disaster response process.


It began as an initiative through the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association to build and support a unifying partnership between governmental, not-for-profits, animal industry, and volunteers. When a region’s animal disaster response capacity is exhausted, KS SART assists in coordinating support from additional regional resources throughout the state. KS SART and the regional animal response teams’ collaborative efforts are the start to developing a state wide animal response coalition for Kansas.


KS SART is a unit of the Kansas Medical Reserve Corp, established in 2009 to attract veterinarians and technicians to animal response.  Volunteers from the veterinary community respond as a part of one of the regional animal response teams to specifically address animal medical needs following a disaster.

KSDS Assistance Dogs, Inc.


To provide professionally trained guide, service, and facility dogs for people in need of a canine partner to enhance their independence, to fully function in society, and/or to enrich their professional career responsibilities with the ongoing support of our trainers to ensure proficient working partnerships.


KSDS began as Kansas Specialty Dog Service and was incorporated as a non-profit with assistance from the State of Kansas Department of Rehabilitation Services and additional support from individual donors. KSDS has celebrated over 30 years of service and has placed over 600 assistance dog teams.

Located in Washington, Kansas, the KSDS campus includes the Administration Building, Canine Housing Unit, East Training Building, West Training Building, Agility Center, and student housing in our six-plex and duplex.


To graduate from the program, the team (student and dog) must train together on the KSDS campus or in the handler’s home town (commonly for guide teams) for one to three weeks. The estimated cost of each dog placement is more than $25,000. However, other than the initial $25.00 application fee, training is provided at no cost to the applicant. The students are housed in totally accessible housing on campus and most meals are provided. Transportation for classes off campus and training materials (special collars, leashes and harnesses) are also provided. Before graduation from the program, all recipients of a KSDS assistant dog must demonstrate their ability to give effective commands and maintain control of their new partner in public and pass both the KSDS Assistance Dog skills and the Assistance Dogs International Public Access test. They must also be able to provide a safe and loving home environment as well as feed, groom and clean up after their new canine partner.