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

On the heels of a successful year that saw us place an all-time best 309 assistance dogs, Canine Companions for Independence is off and running in 2016.  In the first quarter of this year, 75 assistance dogs have been placed with adults, including veterans and children with disabilities.  We're just getting started, as several more Team Training classes and graduation ceremonies are scheduled between now and November 2016.

We have over 2,000 active graduate teams today, and will soon place the 5,000 assistance dog in our history.  Each of our assistance dogs along with our graduate follow-up services are provided free of charge.

The support we receive from individuals around the country enables us to place more assistance dogs than any other organization.

Canine Companions graduate Nancy, who has a neuromuscular disease received her first assistance dog in 1994, and recently received her 4th dog.  Nancy shared that "There are never enough words to express how much Canine Companions service dogs have changed my life and how much they mean to me."  All four of Nancy's service dogs have helped her live more independently by opening doors, picking up dropped items and pulling her wheelchair. 

We are grateful to all who have contributed to Canine Companions and supported people like Nancy.

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Canine Companions for Indpendence celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015, and the special anniversary year was one to remember.  In 2015, 309 assistance dogs were placed free of charge with adults, children and veterans with disabilities.  The 309 placements are an all-time high for the organization.  Today we have just over 2,000 active graduate teams, and nearly 4,900 assistance dogs have been placed over the course of four decades. 

In addition to our record number of placements, Canine Companions also

-  Opened the sixth Canine Companions regional training center.  The new center is in Irving, Texas

-  Conducted follow-up visits with 1,005 of our graduates

-  Continued our partnership with the Veterans Administration for a study that evaluates the benefits of assistance for veterans with PTSD.

-  Expanded awareness of Canine Companions through dozens of DogFest Walk 'n Rolls.

  In 2016, our first Team Training class graduated.  It was a hearing dog class, which took place in Santa Rosa, California, where Canine Companions is headquartered.  Team Trainings and graduation ceremonies will be held in February throughout the country.  More than 20 Team Trainings and graduation ceremonies will be held in 2016.

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The last Canine Companions for Independence 2015 graduations took place on November 6 and 7. Graduation ceremonies included the South Central graduation in Irving, Texas, which was held at our brand new center in Irving.   With the November graduations, the number of assistance dogs placed in 2015 topped 300 for the first time in our 40-year history.  We're so pleased to have reached this milestone and are grateful to all who make our work of providing highly trained assistance dogs free of charge to adults, children and veterans with disabilities free of charge possible.

2015 is a particularly special year for Canine Companions, because our organization turned 40 years old on the 4th of July.  The year featured not only the opening of our sixth center, but we also placed assistance dogs with Veterans with PTSD.  The placement of assistance dogs with veterans with PTSD is part of a study being conducted by the Veterans Administration.

We broadened our reach thanks to the 28 DogFest Walk 'n Rolls held across the country.  These events educate and inform the public about Canine Companions and the amazing things that our assistance dogs can do. 

With over 4,800 assistance dogs placed in organization's history, our instructors are training dogs now that will graduate in the first quarter of 2016. All who contribute through this program truly make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

One such person who benefits is four-time graduate Jeanette, who  has spinal muscular atrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy that causes muscles to deteriorate.  Her current service dog, Thelma helps make Jeanette's life easier by turning lights on and off, picking up dropped items and carrying Jeanette's briefcase.  Thelma can even open the refrigerator and get items out and put them on the counter where Jeanette can reach them.  Jeanette shared that "She is so receptive to my needs and wants to please me no matter what."

Thank you for helping us place dogs like Thelma III with people like Jeanette.

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2015 is a special year for Canine Companions for Independence.  We turned 40 years old on Independence Day, and have much to celebrate this year.  Highlights include the construction of the South Central Region Center in Irving, Texas, which will be completed this fall, numerous campaigns that have increased awareness of our orgranization, the growth of DogFest Walk 'n Rolls, placing assistance dogs with veterans with PTSD, and placing over 230 assistance dogs so far this year.  

With several Team Trainings remaining this year, we anticipate that our assistance dog placement goal will not only be met, but exceeded by a significant margin.  Today, we have over 2,000 active graduate teams, and over the course of four decades, over 4,800 assistance dogs have been placed.  While much has changed over the course of four decades, one thing has not, and that is our assistance dogs and follow-up services to our graduates are provided free of charge. 

The support we receive provides assistance dogs to individuals like Bruce.  He is a three-time graduate, currently partnered with Takoda.  Bruce shares "I couldn't have found a better partner or friend."  Takoda has given me a sense of security that I didn't have prior to receiving a service dog."

Canine Companions also provides assistance dogs to Veterans with disabilities, through the Wounded Veterans Initiative.  One veteran who has benefited from having an assistance dog is Justin, who is partnered with Service Dog Gnome.  Justin lost both of his legs while deployed in Afghanistan.  He stated " I haven't let my injuries slow me down.  I still try to do everything I did before.  There's nothing I can do to change the past.  It's not going to bring my legs back.  I'm not going to sit around and mope about it.  That's what Gnome is for -- to help me move on and strive to do my best."

Canine Companions graduates are extraordinary people, and thanks to friend who support us, we're able to enhance the lives of adults, children and veterans with disabilities.  We look forward to providing more assistance dogs in 2015 and beyond. 

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On July 4, Canine Companions for Independence celebrates 40 years of providing highly trained assistance dogs and follow-up services free of charge to children, adults and veterans with disabilities.  In four decades, over 4,700 assistance dogs have been placed, including over 160 in 2015.  There are 2,000 active graduate teams today.

In 2015, we have already held 16 Team Trainings and graduation ceremonies.  We're on tract to reach, and likely exceed our placement goal again this year.  In addition, we've held numerous puppy raising work shops and volunteer appreciation events.  Our volunteers mean so much to us, as we couldn't do what we do without the support of over 3,000 volunteers across the country.

Our sixth center, located in Irving, Texas is under construction.  We anticipate that our newest center will be open in the fall.  The new center will afford us the opportunity to serve people with disabilities in the state of Texas.

We're spreading the word about our organization in a number of ways, and are reaching out to more people through our DogFest Walk 'n Rolls, which are being held throughout the country.  To learn more about DogFest and how you can participate, visit us at

Bari, a four time Canine Companions graduate shared "Having a dog by my side makes me feel like I really can do anything." 

We look forward to helping more people like Bari in 2015 and beyond. 

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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
$23,089 raised of $50,000 goal
601 donations
$26,911 to go
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