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Canine Companions Assistance Dog Team Sponsorship

by Canine Companions for Independence
Canine Companions Assistance Dog Team Sponsorship
Canine Companions Assistance Dog Team Sponsorship
Canine Companions Assistance Dog Team Sponsorship
Canine Companions Assistance Dog Team Sponsorship
Canine Companions Assistance Dog Team Sponsorship
Canine Companions Assistance Dog Team Sponsorship

How does Canine Companions follow up on a record breaking year that saw our organization place an all-time high of 403 assistance dogs?  

We held Team Trainings and graduation ceremonies in all six regions, resulting in the placement of over 80 assistance dogs -- that's how! In other words, we picked up right where we left off, as we welcomed new graduates and provided successor assistance dogs to a number of our recipients in the first three months of 2018.  Thanks to the donations we receive, our graduates receive their assistance dog and follow-up services free of charge.

The second quarter of 2018 will include numerous Team Trainings and graduation ceremonies. If you are in the vicinity of one of our regional centers, please come to a graduation ceremony. In addition, as the weather improves across the country, the number of events will increase. We're gearing up for DogFest Walk 'n Rolls, and special events, such as Sit Stay Sparkle, which will occur at our Schulz Campus in Santa Rosa, California on Saturday, June 9. 

Toward the end of the quarter, we will hold our annual TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Conference, which features a Volunteer Leadership Conference. That event provides our volunteer leaders from across the country with the opportunity to meet with one another, learn from one another and Canine Companions staff, and take home the latest news and best practices to volunteer chapters and groups around the country. Over 3,000 volunteers, ranging from puppy raisers to event volunteers truly make a difference for Canine Companions and the people we serve. 

One such person is Tammie, who graduated with her second assistance dog, Ferrari in 2017. Tammie shared that having a Canine Companions assistance dog makes it so much easier to be independent and to get around in public. 

Thanks so much for making a difference for Tammie and all of our graduates, and for Giving a Dog a Job.

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Canine Companions for Independence enjoyed a very good 2017.  In 2017, 403 assistance dogs were place.  It is the first time in the 42-year history of the organizaton that 400 assistance dogs were placed in a calendar year. 

One of our 2017 highlights was our continued involvement in a study with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to train and place dogs with veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD).  The study with the VA has ended, but our work in the area of placing dogs with veterans with PTSD is leading us to pilot a PTSD program at our Schulz Campus in Santa Rosa, California in 2018.

We also held 24 DogFest Walk 'n Rolls across the U.S., which both increased awareness of and funds for the organization.  

2018 promises to be a very busy year. We continue to proudly serve veterans through our veterans initiative, and we are improving our facilities across the country -- adding and updating facilities.  We anticipate breaking ground for a new training building in Santa Rosa later this year. We are in the midst of a capital campaign to build a new campus in New Albany, Ohio.  

Our first Team Training classes and graduation ceremonies will take place in the first quarter of 2018.  Visit us at to learn of our 2018 graduation schedule.

The growth of Canine Companions could not occur without the support we receive from our volunteers and donors.  We look forward to providing more assistance dogs free of charge to people with disabilities in 2018. 

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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.  

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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. 

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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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Organization Information

Canine Companions for Independence

Location: Santa Rosa, CA - USA
Project Leader:
Bob Bunger
National Director of Development Services
Santa Rosa, CA United States

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