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.