Service Dog

Guardian Angels Story

We are a national organization from which thousands of people reap the benefits of a service dog.


Guardian Angels began in 2009, when our Founder & Executive Director, Carol Borden was approached by Sam, a young man tragically paralyzed in a high school football accident. Sam required the constant aid of a caregiver and had acquired a young German Shepherd named Bessie for companionship and a sense of independence, but quickly lost control of the dog. Carol, long known in Florida as an expert dog trainer, who’d been training dogs for nearly 50 years, was asked by Sam to train the dog. After what seemed like endless hours of training, there emerged this amazing service dog that was settled, obedient and able to give this man his life back. She now had the skills to pick up dropped items, open and close doors, bring him water from the refrigerator; help him move from his chair to the shower and so much more.

Watching Sam & Bessie function as a true team after the months of training brought everything into perspective for Carol, and at last she knew just what her years of dog-training and Business experience were for, and Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs was born.


Since 2010, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs has been rescuing, raising, training and then donating individually trained medical service dogs to veterans and others struggling with a myriad of disabilities.


First Service Dog Hero of the Year Awarded – Each year, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs invites our Recipients to enter their dog in our Service Dog Hero of the Year Awards. This award recognizes a Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog who goes above and beyond the call of their training and shows extraordinary efforts to avoid a tragedy. Although there are many incredible entries, winners are chosen by a panel of experts at Guardian Angels, who determine that the dog clearly used thinking skills above their extensive training.


Guardian Angels Honey (2009 – 2018)

Service Dog honey was named one of the top five service dogs in the United States by the American Kennel Club.

A wheelchair recipient was in peril to the point that Honey was unable to render aid. Desperate to help her recipient, without instruction she opened the sliding glass door, went to the next-door neighbor’s house, and brought help back saving his life.


The 1st Annual Community Mutt Strut was held in 2016 to benefit Pittsburgh Area veterans through Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.

Through our annual Community Mutt Strut, sponsored by PNC Bank, we have raised over $500,000 to fund the training of medical service dogs for veterans struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Traumatic Brain Injury, and other combat-related injuries.


Carol Borden, our Chief Executive Officer and Founder, was named WIPIN Corporate Women of the Year. This award is used to showcase the leaders in the pet industry and celebrate women who have create highly successful careers in the industry. This award recognizes the remarkable leaders in the pet industry who have dedicated their time and talents to improve the lives of pets and their caregivers.


The Pittsburgh Campus campaign begins. Our campaign began in 2020 to bring this world-class, cutting edge service dog training facility to the Pittsburgh area, and forever change the lives of our veterans, first-responders and others in need.