On April 8th Canines With a Cause began our Pawsitive Healing Prison Program!! It was emotional day, not a dry eye in the Utah State Prison. Six of our shelter dogs moved in with twelve female inmates, who train with the dogs all day every day. The women and prison guards trained with our staff before the dogs arrived and continue to work with them twice a week. This is great for the dogs because they get constant attention and the women are teaching them the skills they'll need to be an amazing service dog to a deserving veteran. One dog shares a cell with two women, although it's a tight squeeze everyone in the program is happy and thriving. We're so excited to finally be partnering with the female corrections facility at the Utah State Prison, it has been a long road. This program is so important because it saves three lives. The dogs are saved from being euthanized, the prisoners are saved by having a second chance to do something for the community and worthwhile with their lives, and our participating veterans are saved by the hope, love and comfort they receive and give to the dogs. As quoted by one of the offender trainers, "Having him here (Captain) with us every day, it gives us a reason to wake up every morning. It lets us know we're not total failures. It lets us know we can heal."
Meet some of the Pawsitive Healing Dogs:
Star is a one year old Dachshund, she came to Salt Lake Animal Services as a stray. According to her roommates and trainers Ali and Val, she loves sleeping in the grass and chasing ducks. She is very smart and serious about her training. According to Ali, "She loves being around people but ignores the other inmates when she gets focused on a task."
Glory had a rough time before coming into the CWAC program. She was thrown from a car during an accident and hit by another car. Luckily, her tail was the only thing injured, which now has a funny stub. According to her trainers and roommates Sawson and Brandilee, she is a "prissy-missy" obsessed with B-A-L-L's, she can destroy a tennis ball in less than 5 minutes. They train her using praise and love, "she's all that, and knows it," they told us.
CWAC came across a friendly little dog resembling a mop at the West Valley City Shelter. This scruffy little dog is now the famous Jet. He's known for his multicolored mohawk which his trainers Reggie and Cassandra accomplished using Kool-Aid. Jet was a little shy when he first arrived at the prison but according to his trainers he's come out of his shell and is brave boy now. He loves people, food and toys!
Liberty-Liberty is a 4 year old Australian Cattle Dog/Basset Hound mix (best guess). She was a stray we rescued from Salt Lake County Animal Service and is training for a special veteran who is very fond of her. Liberty is living and training with Kerri and Bobbi, they say she is a bit stubborn but is very smart and learns quickly. They both feel they won the lottery when they got Liberty.
Please help us save three lives. GlobalGiving’s second Bonus Day of the year is Wednesday, May 7th. Starting at 9:00 am EDT, they’re offering a 30% match on donations up to $1,000 made to projects on GlobalGiving.org. There are $75,000 available in matching, and they’re offering a $1,000 bonus award for the most money raised and $1,000 bonus award for the most individual donors on that day. This is a great way for you to give more to help our veterans and the dogs that give them unconditional love.
Thank you for making these "happy" stories possible. We couldn't do the important work we do without you. Please take the time to read more about this amazing program through the attached news articles.
Everyone deserves a second chance. Whether it's a combat veteran returning home to face starting life over dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and ghosts of war, a prison inmate trying to make amends for a crime they committed due to unfortunate circumstances or a dog left alone in a shelter because the family lost their home due to foreclosure, death or divorce.
The programs of Canines With a Cause address these issues by bringing together shelter dogs and veterans, the veterans benefit from non-judgmental love and companionship from the dogs and dogs find loving homes. The dogs are trained by women incarcerated in the Utah State Prison system. They live and train with the inmates until they have obedience and training skills to assist their veteran.
The women inmates also benefit from the program. They not only acquire vocational skills like grooming and training dogs, they too receive love from the dogs. Living with and training dogs has proven beneficial for the long term success of inmates in society after they leave prison.
Corporate giving has made a significant difference in our ability to raise funds for our program through Global Giving. This has been especially been the case over the past few months thanks to generous support from employees of VMWare, a software company based in Palo Alto, CA.
Thanks to socially concise VMWare employees, Canines With a Cause has been able to expand the number of dogs in our program, vetting them for their time in prison and ultimately with their new veteran. We would like to send out a special THANKS to these generous people and the VMWare management. YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
Thank you all for your ongoing support and giving these people and dogs a second chance.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, what does it all mean? Crowded malls and excessive email ads for holiday stuff.
This year, give something meaningful. A gift of unconditional love and companionship, love and life, a companion dog for a combat warrior suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You will also be giving the gift of life to a shelter dog in need of a loving home.
Your holiday donation to Canines With a Cause will support our important programs including prison-based dog training benefitting incarcerated women offenders and the veterans who receive a well trained dog, pawsitive partners "train the trainer" program, the "CWAC Comfort Crew", veterans training their dogs as therapy dogs to visit and comfort people in nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living and support for those veterans who need medical help for the precious four-legged companions.
We appreciate your support and and thank you for giving us the chance to continue our important work. Canines With a Cause is very proud to have received a "Patriotism Award" this past Veterans Day for our work with veterans.
All the best in the new year!
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" Winston Churchill
On average, twenty-two veterans commit suicide daily in our country. Sadly, forty-nine active military women are raped every day. What can be done to prevent this travesty?
The Veterans Administration is over-whelmed and under staffed, as much as they are trying to keep up, new cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury grow daily.
What can you do to help? Spread the word, help advocacy groups like Canines With a Cause spread the word. Donate to help keep our services available for people in need who served to protect our country. The private sector needs to help an almost broken system.
Thank you for your support, the shelter dogs we train and place make a big difference in the lives of the veterans who adopt them. The dogs give unconditional, non-judgmental love and companionship, sometimes that can make the difference between life and death.
Please don't forget our veterans this Monday.
"I adopted a young yellow lab, through Canines With a Cause. At first, he was so crazy and hyper. I often considered returning him, and giving up being his forever home. His name is Romeo. He saved my life. Keeping him was like deciding to live. Suicide was no longer an option. I needed him. He needed me. We toughed it out. Now we are better friends then I could have ever imagined. I thank CWAC for saving Romeo from a shelter, and indirectly saving me from suicide."
Cameron contacted CWAC regarding getting a companion dog several years ago. Romeo seemed like a good fit, he was a young energetic Lab, perfect for an active, young man recently out of the service and getting on with his life. They attended training classes for a short while and seemed to be doing well, little did we know of Cameron's struggles with the young dog and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Thanks to the support of generous donors like you, CWAC will now be able to provide trained assistance dogs, free of charge, to qualified veterans. Our prison-based training program is ready to launch next month. Dogs will be saved from high-kill shelters, from there they will move into a local women's prison where they will live with two offenders who will train and take care of them. When they are able to pass certification testing and have appropriate skills and manners, they will be placed with veterans like Cameron.
The benefits of the program are three-fold. The offenders learn responsibility and skills that can help with employment upon release (dog training and grooming). They are also given the opportunity to give something back to the community. Shelter dogs are rescued and trained to be special companions or assistance dogs for veterans and other individuals in need, and the recipients of the dogs benefit from their service, unconditional love and companionship.
Studies suggest dogs may actually be able to repair certain mental health issues thanks to their positive influence on human brain chemistry and function.
GlobalGiving is offering nine bonus awards (including a $3,000 and $2,000 prize!) to the projects that raise the most money from their supporters in the month of December, beginning at 12:01 am on December 1st. Projects must raise at least $3,000 from 30 donors in order to qualify for a bonus award.
Please help us qualify for a bonus award. Your continued support allows us to expand and improve our programs benefitting those who have served and shelter dogs who deserve another chance.
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