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We are a part of the North Central Texas Animal Shelter Coalition. A non-profit 501c3 corporation.  Chick Gardner and Steve Thomason brought the GAP concept to the board of directors to help place dogs that most shelters could not place.  Gardner and Thomason have been placing these dogs on their own with service organizations for many years.  Frustrated that so many of these great dogs were just being euthanized in local shelters, they requested the Shelter Coalition's assistance in starting a training class to teach how to identify and place these dogs.  The GAP Program's first class was held in May of 2003.

The Gifted Animal Placement program or GAP, teaches animal shelter personnel and others who work with dogs how to identify dogs for special service uses.  Currently, the United States Customs Service and other trainers must visit numerous shelters to test dogs for the unique qualities needed for their programs.  However, since most pet owners do NOT admire these qualities, these very special dogs are not usually placed in adoption programs but are routinely put to death. They are usually labeled as “problem” animals because they are very energetic, focused individuals.  Because of the high turnover of dogs at shelters, the trainers would need to visit every shelter every few days.  This is just not feasible.  When GAP certified diagnosticians work in a shelter or visit every few days, they can identify many of these special dogs and notify the appropriate trainers. 

Just some of the things trained service dogs are doing:

Bomb detection, drug detection, search and rescue, handicap assistance, seizure alert, hearing ear, vegetable sniffing, cancer sniffing, accelerant detection, and many, many more!

Plus, many trainers are looking for dogs that excel at sports like flyball and agility.


Service and sport trainers are actively looking for hundreds of these special dogs. Now with the GAP program, shelters will be able to identify and place dogs that they would normally euthanize and the dogs will be a benefit to their communities

The GAP Certification class is a 12 hour, two day class involving both class room work as well as hands on practice with shelter dogs.  A written final examination must be passed before GAP Certification is awarded to the student.

See some of our successful placements!


Gifted Animal Placement Program

P.O. Box 52

Haslet, TX  76052