Mission Statement

Project Chance has a mission to provide clinically prescribed, relatively and professionally trained service dogs with the specific skill sets needed to aid children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities; so that those children will be able to achieve maximum potential and independence in executing therapeutic, social, and physical tasks at a higher rate of success throughout their life.


Founder/Director BJ Szwedzinski has been professionally training dogs for over 28 years, with an impressive resume spanning the dog industry. Her spectrum of knowledge encompasses a wide array of disciplines and is drawn from her work as a humane society educational program administrator, her hands-on duties in animal control management and operations, as well as her expertise as a professional trainer and animal behaviorist.

She is also a credentialed special education teacher in varying categories of mental health disorders, dually diagnosed disability, mental retardation, gifted, and bi-polar disorder. In her personal life, she is a single parent who has raised two daughters each, who have had their own mental challenges.Consequently, Szwedzinski’s insight on the trials and tribulations that individuals and their family’s face with these types of disorders, is drawn directly from personal experience and is far greater than one could extrapolate from textbook or case work studies.

During her tenure as a teacher, she would bring a dog into the classroom and she noticed the natural peace that prevailed over the classroom. The idea of pairing children and dogs together to affect positive, personal behavioral change was germinated then and has been with her since 1991. That concept was the impetus for the formation of Project Chance.

Program Summary

The primary focus of the program is to develop a cadre of appropriately cultivated canines and cross-match them with individuals who have defined and specific needs, most often children with autism or developmental disorders. A specialty line of golden retrievers are used who possess solid dispositions and exhibit inherent attributes of sensitivity, then are trained to encourage tasks to help the specific child. Each puppy is raised and fostered by approved puppy raisers, professionally trained to execute defined skill sets, taught to execute precise tasks, then placed with qualified and matched individuals.

Our puppies are imported from special breeders that specialize in English Cream Golden Retrievers. These puppies are bred for sound temperament and working dispositions. Our resource breeder can be found at christigoldens.com.


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