Who We Are

Lake Erie Assistance Dogs is an organization whose members consist of assistance dog teams, trainers, and anyone else interested in assistance dogs and their contribution to persons with disabilities. Lake Erie Assistance Dogs primarily serves Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

LEAD is a non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) application pending.


Lake Erie Assistance Dogs’ mission is to support assistance dog partnerships by providing positive training, educational & social opportunities for persons with disabilities and their assistance dogs and to encourage support between these partnerships, assistance dog trainers and the community.

Lake Erie Assistance Dogs
6304 Longspur Rd.
Highland Heights, OH 44143

Email: lkalberda@yahoo.com

Our Services

Lake Erie Assistance Dogs provides the following opportunities and services:

  • Meetings to discuss training, access issues, dog health and other topics of interest to members
  • Training opportunities throughout Northeastern Ohio to enhance our member teams’ relationships and improve public access abilities.
  • Social events to provide support and alleviate the isolation that assistance dog handlers may feel due to lack of understanding and appreciation for place their assistance dogs play in their lives.
  • Video taping of Public Access Testing and trained tasks for our members.
  • Education and advocacy programs promoting assistance dog teams in our community.


A Partner Membership in Lake Erie Assistance Dogs is open to any individual with a disability partnered with an assistance dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of that person. Additionally, any individual involved with assistance dog training or raising and training an assistance dog in training is eligible for membership.

A Friend Membership is open to any individual with an interest in supporting assistance dog partnerships who is not partnered with an assistance dog or assistance dog in training.

How to Join

Call or email Lake Erie Assistance Dogs and tell us you would like to join our club. We will send you a membership application, include you on our list and notify you of upcoming events and meetings.
Interested in joining but not sure if LEAD is right for you? Contact us to arrange to attend a club meeting to check us out.

Membership Fees

Partner Membership - $35.00/year
(Includes one Public Access testing & task taping)
Friend Membership - $25.00/year

Who Can Attend LEAD meetings?

  • Individuals with current Partner or Friend memberships
  • Individuals partnered with assistance dogs or assistance dogs in training who are considering membership in LEAD
  • Individuals interested in a Friend membership


Acceptable Behavior

  • All assistance dogs and dogs in training must be clean and well groomed.
  • All assistance dogs and dogs in training must exhibit appropriate public access behavior.
  • Inappropriate sniffing or soliciting of attention of dogs or people & the team will be excused from the meeting.
  • All assistance dogs and dogs in training must be on leash and under physical control of their partners at all times.
  • Any dog exhibiting barking, growling, lunging, putting up hackles, and snapping: the assistance dog team will be asked to leave.
  • All assistance dogs must be handled with respect and be trained using humane training methods.
  • Pets are not permitted to attend any LEAD function.

Lake Erie Assistance Dogs is making plans for the following activities:

  • Visits to airports
  • Visits to local fire stations
  • Trips to area malls
  • Educational opportunities at shows and fairs
  • Public speaking opportunities regarding access issues, tasks demonstrations