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Nov 9, 2017

New Program at Canine Companions

2017 is quickly coming to a close, and the year has been another good one for Canine Companions for Independence.  For the third consecutive year, over 300 assistance dogs have been placed free of charge with adults, children and veterans with disabilities.  In our 42 year history, over 5,500 assistance dogs have been placed.  Today, we have over 2,200 active graduate teams.  Despite placing over 300 assistance dogs, we still have over 400 people on our waiting list for an assistance dog.  

Canine Companions is also pleased to announce that we will begin placing dogs with veterans with PTSD in 2018 at our national headquarters in Santa Rosa, California.  This will be a small, controlled local pilot.  We are presently raising funds to build a new training building that will be used for this program.

Canine Companions has been part of a multi-year study with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) which involved training and placing dogs with veterans with PTSD.  The VA study is designed to measure the benefits veterans with PTSD experience when placed with a service dog versus an emotional support dog.  Once the data has been collected from all participating veterans in 2019, the results will be published worldwide in scientific journals.

Serving veterans is not new to Canine Companions, as we have placed more than 250 assistance dogs through our Veterans Initiative.  

The continued support we receive makes programs like our PTSD program and Veterans Initiative possible.  

Aug 8, 2017

A new Milestone for Canine Companions

On Friday, August 4, Canine Companions for Independence celebrated Graduation Day around the country.  68 assistance dog teams were placed from our regional centers located in Santa Rosa, CA, Oceanside, CA, Irving, TX, Orlando, FL, Delaware, OH and Medford, NY.  Over 250 assistance dogs have been placed in 2017, putting us on track to place over 300 assistance dogs for the third consecutive year.

On Friday, Canine Companions also recognized the placement of the 5,500th assistance dog in the 42-year history of the organization.  All 5,500 plus assistance dogs have been placed free of charge to people with disabilities, or to those  Facility graduates who utilize a Canine Companions assistance dog in special ed classrooms, hospitals, court rooms, and more. 

There are still several more Team Trainings and graduation ceremonies scheduled in 2017.  One who hopes to be among the 2017 class is 18-year-old Adam, who is awaiting a successor dog.  Adam has been teamed with Kiki, who recently retired.  Adam shared that "Canine Companions has become a huge part of our lives.  I cannot imagine my life without a Canine Companions assistance dog by my side." 

Canine Companions is growing, and with that growth comes the need to expand our facilities.  Our Southwest campus is breaking ground on a new building, and we soon hope to add an additional training building at our Santa Rosa campus.  We also are planning to replace our current North Central facility with a new campus in New Albany, OH. 

Every donation that is made helps make a difference for Adam and other people with disabilities who are waiting to be paired with a Canine Companions assistance dog.  We appreciate your support of our organization and the people we serve. 

May 16, 2017

More Assistance Dogs Placed in 2017

Spring is the season of new beginnings.  At Canine Companions, new beginnings for people with disabilities come when paired with one of our amazing Canine Companions assistance dogs. On May 5 and 6th the six Canine Companions regions hosted  graduation ceremonies, resulting in the placement of 91 assistance dogs, bringing the total number of placements to nearly 200 in 2017.  We are on track to reach, and likely exceed 300 placements this year. 

Our second Hearing Dog class of the year in Santa Rosa, California  started the week of May 15.  That follows a one-week class that featured the placement of service dogs with veterans with PTSD.  That class was part of an ongoing study with the Veterans Administration.

Whether a dog is placed at our headquarters in Santa Rosa, or our newest center in Irving, Texas, all Canine Companions assistance dogs and follow-up services are provided free of charge to the graduate.  Over 5,400 assistance dogs have been placed since our founding in 1975, and we're looking forward to placing many more dogs this year and beyond.

The cost of training and placing an assistance dog is $50,000.00, but Canine Companions  graduate Karen, who is paired with Service Dog Aruba shared, "To me,  the gift of independence and my sweet Aruba are priceless!"

Thank you for your interest in Canine Companions, and for making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

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