Service Dog Academy to close storefront, expand medical-alert training

Mary McNeight, proprietor of Service Dog Academy, has announced she’s closing her storefront at 6040 California SW while expanding another line of her dog-training enterprise:

On World Diabetes Day, Service Dog Academy announces its upcoming pet dog training program closure on December 31st and expansion of Diabetic Alert Dog Training program.

I started Service Dog Academy after being frustrated with the Puget Sound region’s lack of qualified trainers to help me train my own service dog. Unfortunately numerous factors including the death of my father, the loss of a marriage, a business model that gave too much back to the community to my own financial detriment, a 26% increase in rent in one year, and numerous health crises that landed me in the hospital have resulted in a company that never made enough to allow me to draw a salary.

Despite winning two national dog-trainer awards and being a featured speaker at the 6,000+ member Association of Professional Dog Trainers conference this year, it was not enough publicity to keep our doors open in this economic climate.

Service Dog Academy will be closing our pet dog training location so that we may focus on raising and training medical alert dogs for Diabetes, Seizures, Narcolepsy, Migraines and Asthma.

(Service Dog Academy photo: International student with medical-alert dog)

We get requests for training and the purchase of medical alert dogs from all over the world including India, New Zealand, Germany and Australia, just to name a few. Being a world leader in medical alert dog training, it makes no sense for us to continue to fight in the overly saturated pet dog training market.

It has been a great pleasure to work with the pet pups of West Seattle. Not only have we helped to train some utterly amazing pet dogs but we have also helped several Puget Sounders to get off disability and back into the workforce with the use of service dog. Our 30+ Washington State medical alert dogs keep alive grandfathers, fathers, mothers, grandmothers, college kids and young children on a daily basis.

Pet dog training classes will continue until the end of the year. Its been an soul inspiring ride and I am looking forward to helping more people with the use of a trained medical alert dog in the coming years.

Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS
Director of Training and Behavior
Service Dog Academy –
Diabetic Alert Dog University

4 Replies to "Service Dog Academy to close storefront, expand medical-alert training"

  • miws November 14, 2013 (10:03 pm)

    Sorry to hear of the struggles you’ve had to deal with, Mary, but wish you the best of luck in this next stage of your life and career.



  • Carraig na Splinkeen November 15, 2013 (5:50 am)

    Best of luck, Mary. Sounds like you are doing the right thing: helping those who need it most. Wood woof.

  • evergreen November 15, 2013 (7:21 am)

    What a life well-lived! Mary and the dogs are true heroes.

  • LivesInWS November 15, 2013 (5:27 pm)

    Sorry to hear about the closure. Best of luck in everything else.

    West Seattle certainly has a lot of dogs — or would that be owners — in need of training. Some nice dogs, too.

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