Picking up a dropped item, opening a door, turning a light switch on. Those daily tasks are often taken for granted. But, for a disabled individual, those tasks are anything but routine. Put a Canine Companions for Independence assistance dog in the picture, and everything changes. An assistance dog performs up to 40 tasks. More than 5,900 assistance dogs have been placed with people with disabilities since our founding in 1975. Canine Companion assistance dogs are provided free of charge.
People with disabilities often require help and assistance to do tasks that we take for granted - open doors, pick up items out of reach, hear the door bell ring and switch on a light. People with disabilities are often not accepted, sometimes ignored or people only see that they are in a wheelchair and not see what their abilities are.
No longer is the person in a wheelchair, they are the person with the cool dog. The dog opens up social opportunities and helps with physical tasks to work and live on their own. The dogs allow individuals life-transforming opportunities. These opportunities include individual returning to work, a person who is deaf interacting with families, friends and others in public. A child now has friends because of the assistance dog they now have. A disabled veteran regaining independence.
The placement of an assistance dog is a long-term benefit to a person with a disability. Canine Companions dogs also help groups of people, impacting thousands of children and adults with disabilities in schools, hospitals, courtrooms and more. In addition, the public learns of the value an assistance dog has in society, and the public also learns how those who are disabled contribute so much to our communities.