The Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities (ECAD) recently opened its new, state-of-the-art canine education and wellness center in the Winsted/Torrington area.

In addition, four new pairs of teams - client and Service Dog - graduate dfrom a two-week team training session.

Dale and Lu Picard, co-founders of ECAD, served as hosts.

The not-for-profit organization has been educating and placing canines to help people with disabilities since its formation in 1995

ECAD has the highest rating from Assistance Dogs International (ADI) as well as Charity Navigator.

Patricia Matthews of Washington and her Service Dog Chip were among the guests.

Matthews spoke on behalf of the many ECAD clients who have benefited from the assistance of an ECAD Service Dog.