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.