Canines With a Cause

Assessment and training focused on pairing veterans with shelter dogs to become working teams, meeting each others physical and emotional needs. The veterans are educated and trained on ways to take care of his/her dog to maintain the skills desired in the dog. We also support the veteran and the dog in maintaining a healthy relationship, creating and maintaining the animal/human bond.
Jun 15, 2015

Celebrating Five Years With GlobalGiving!

Bear & Leigh
Bear & Leigh

Our first GlobalGiving "project report" was posted on June 15, 2010, what an amazing five years we've had.

To date, we've rescued and placed over 300 dogs from local shelters, all of the dogs were spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and assessed for good health and behavior. Veterans adopting the dogs participated in free dog training classes to acquire the necessary skills to train their own dogs to service dog status.  

Dogs not interested in training found loving homes through our "Diamonds in the Rough" adoption program.

The Pawsitive Healing Program (PHP) was created in 2014 to assist veterans with high-level PTSD who struggle training a dog fresh from a shelter; jumping and other bad habits affect their PTSD in a negative way. As a means to pre-train dogs for these veterans, CWAC implemented the prison-based dog-training program in conjunction with the Department of Corrections. Dogs live and train in the Utah State Prison; inmates learn a vocational skill and benefit from having the dogs as companions while they train. This program also reduces boarding and training expenses making the program more cost effective.

To date, CWAC has trained thirteen dogs in the PHP program and will be expanding the number of dogs living and training at the prison. Since inception, three of the inmate trainers have achieved certification to oversee other inmates in the program. This will enable CWAC trainers to bring more inmates into the program and increase the number of dogs trained.

The benefits of this program are three-fold. According to the Salt Lake City VA Hospital, between 5-7 veterans are committing suicide weekly in the Northern Utah area. The Veterans Administration does not supply trained dogs to veterans suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Over 18,000 companion animals were killed in Utah shelters in 2013. All dogs in the PHP program are rescued from local animal shelters. The inmates in the Utah State Prison training the dogs acquire skills necessary to support successful rehabilitation, reentry and a chance to give back, do something good with their lives.

CWAC is working on a new program to increase the number of dogs rescued and trained. “Pals With Paws” supports families who have a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. CWAC will provide well-trained, loving companion dogs from the “Pawsitive Healing” program. Dogs have been shown to lower stress for patients and caregivers. This program will also benefit siblings who often get lost in the shuffle during this difficult time.

We could not do the important work we do without the support from generous people like you. On behalf of the veterans who now have loving companions, the inmates who train them, and the dogs who now have a new leash on life, thank you!

Sincerely,

Cathy King

Glory Prison
Glory Prison
Captain
Captain
Mogli
Mogli
Mar 16, 2015

Dogs Move in Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Facility

Glory
Glory

After more than 10 months of hard work, it was graduation day for two dogs and their inmate trainers at the Timpanogos Women’s Correctional Facility.

Sawsan Whitelaw and Haylee Cheek received certificates Wednesday as trainers in Canine Life and Social Skills (CLASS) for their work with the Canines With A Cause program at the prison.

It was a bittersweet moment, though, as the women had to say goodbye to the two dogs they and other inmates trained: Glory and Captain left for “finishing school” at a residential substance abuse treatment center. After four to six weeks there, they’ll be placed with veterans who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — the ultimate goal of Canines With A Cause.

The nonprofit launched its rigorous training program at the prison last April.

Glory and Captain both achieved “bachelor degrees” in behavior during their time at Timp, learning things all the best companion dogs know.

But they weren’t the only ones transformed during the process, said Capt. Maryann Reding.

Whitelaw had never had a pet and was apprehensive during her first meeting with Glory last spring. She didn’t touch the dog even when Glory sat right in front of her, Reding said.

“It’s changed her tremendously,” Reding said. “She’s done an awesome job.”

Another dog who graduated from the program — Liberty — went home with veteran Caleb Dunham last Thanksgiving. Four other dogs in the prison’s first class— Valor, Jet, Sierra and Sergeant — did not graduate but received good training and were placed for adoption.

There are just two dogs at the facility currently, but others will arrive this week. Some will stay for a 12-week basic training program, while the best of the bunch will continue in the veterans program.

Captain
Captain
Glory showing off sweater
Glory showing off sweater
Captain saying good-bye
Captain saying good-bye

Links:

Dec 29, 2014

You Made a Difference in 2014, Thank You!

Nick
Nick

What a year it has been! Special thanks to everyone who made it possible.

Please take the time to enjoy an intimate portrait of our dogs, the inmates who train them and the former soldiers to whom they give much needed support.

Told through beautiful words, photos and videos, our story provides glimpses of redemption, aided by canines who once again earn the title "man's best friend."

With skilled and revealing reporting by Lois M. Collins and the artful photography and video work of Jeffrey D. Allred, we offer this important story.

Please follow this link or click on the link below to explore a multimedia telling of Life & Liberty:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865615224/Life--Liberty-Service-dogs-help-set-veterans-free-from-aftermath-of-war.html

Liberty moved out of the prison this month and now lives with her new family. To follow her story and other dog/veteran teams please LIKE our Facebook page.

www.Facebook.com/canineswithacause

Have a healthy and happy 2015.

Sincerely,

Cathy 

Liberty goes home
Liberty goes home
Caleb meets the trainers
Caleb meets the trainers

Links:

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