2014 has been an extraordinary year for Canine Companions for Independence. This year, we placed 290 assistance dogs -- an all-time high for our organization. Today, there are nearly 2,000 active Canine Companions graduate teams, and since our founding in 1975, we have placed 4,600 assistance dogs. While we've experienced many changes over the years, one thing has never changed and that is our graduates pay no fee for their assistance dog.
Other highlights of 2014 include:
- Meeting our graduate follow-up visit goal
- Breaking Ground on a new center in Irving, Texas
- Entering into a study with the Veterans Administration, where we will be placing assistance dogs with veterans with PTSD
- Paul Mundell succeeding Corey Hudson as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Canine Companions. Mr. Hudson was CEO of Canine Companions for 24 years.
Stefanie, one of our Canine Companions graduates shared "After my injury, I felt like a burden to everyone. Now I have Service Dog Kaz as a partner to help me take on the world. I don't feel that weight of disability holding me back anymore."
Every contribution helps Canine Companions help more graduates like Stefanie. Thank you for making our work possible.
Our instructors are training the next Canine Companions assistance dogs. Our first graduation in 2015 will be Friday, January 23 in Santa Rosa, California, when the first Hearing Dog class of the year graduates.
More than 200 assistance dogs have been placed in 2014 by Canine Companions for Independence, putting us on track to exceed this year's goal of placing 241 assistance dogs. Our Service, Skilled Companion, Facility and Hearing dogs are making a difference in the lives of adults, including Veterans, and children. All Canine Companions assistance dogs continue to be placed free of charge to our graduates.
All five regional centers of Canine Companions will hold at least one more Team Training class, where students come to a campus to be paired with an assistance dog. At our Headquarters and Northwest Center in Santa Rosa, California, there will be two Team Trainings -- a Hearing Dog class that begins in late September, plus the November class.
There are more than 1,900 active graduate teams today, and in our organization's history, more than 4,500 assistance dogs have been placed.
The donations that are made help graduates like Stefanie who told us "After my injury, I felt like a burden to everyone. Now I have a service dog to help me take on the world. I don't feel that weight of a disability holding me back anymore."
The first quarter of 2014 was a busy and successful one for Canine Companions for Independence. During the first three months of the year, seven Team Trainings and Graduation ceremonies took place across the country. Team Training is when successful applicants for an assistance dog travel to one of five Canine Companions regional centers to spend two weeks in learning how to work with the assistance dog they will be partnered with. 78 assistance dogs have been placed in 2014 -- which is just about 1/3 of the way toward the organization's assistance dog placement goal.
The first Team Training of the second quarter will be a Hearing Dog Team Training class. That will take place in Santa Rosa, California, our headquarters and home of our Northwest Region. Santa Rosa is the only location that hosts Hearing Dog classes.
4,387 assistance dogs have been placed free of charge with adults and children with disabilities in the history of Canine Companions. Today, there are nearly 1,900 active graduate teams.
This year, we're also increasing the number of our DogFest Walk n'Rolls -- our signature event. These events raise awareness and increase community engagement across the country. Visit our website cci.org to learn more about the DogFest in your area. We'd like nothing more than for you to walk for Canine Companions!
All five regions will hold Team Trainings in May. We look forward to placing more assistance dogs that will enhance the lives of veterans, adults and children with disabilities.
And, finally, in the Northwest Region, we're completing work on our new Maternity Center. More details to come as progress on the center continues.
Thank you for your interest and support of Canine Companions for Independence.
Less than two months into 2014, Canine Companions for Independence is making a difference in the lives of adults and children with disabilities.
On Valentine's Day, graduation ceremonies were held in all five Canine Companions regions. In 2014, seven Team Trainings and graduation ceremonies have already taken place. Dozens of adults and children now have an assistance dog that can transform their lives.
Since our founding in 1975, well over 4,250 assistance dogs have been placed, and today we have nearly 1,900 active graduate teams. All Canine Companions graduates receive their assistance dog and graduate follow-up services free of charge.
Every regional center will host at least three more Team Trainings and graduation ceremonies this year. Graduation ceremonies are open to the public and free. To learn about the next graduation and more about Canine Companions, please visit us a cci.org.
Canine Companions for Independence ended the 2013 on a very strong and positive note. In 2013, Canine Companions placed 254 assistance dogs with adults and children with disabilities. Every graduate, from all five regions served by Canine Companions received their assistance dog free of charge. In addition, Canine Companions met the graduate follow-up services/visit goal again. The follow up contact made by our program team with graduates ensures that the partnership between assistance dog and graduate is working well.
In January, the first Team Training Class gets underway, with the first Hearing Dog Class of 2014. That will be held at the Jean and Charles Schulz Campus at Canine Companions headquarters in Santa Rosa, CA. There will be a second Team Training held beginning in late January that will feature the placement of facility dogs.
As we enter the new year, we are proud of our achievements, but know we have many more people to help. The contributions we receive ensure that more adults and children with disabilities will benefit from having a Canine Companions Service, Skilled Companion, Facility or Hearing Dog. We look forward to placing more dogs in 2014, and making a difference in the lives of more adults and children with disabilities.
There are more than 1,850 active graduate teams, and since our founding in 1975, more than 4,250 assistance dogs have been placed.
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National Director of Development Services