War Vets Heal With the Help of Shelter Dogs

by Canines With a Cause
Mar 15, 2011

How One Shelter Dog Changed a Life!

Oliver smiling although he is very ill
Oliver smiling although he is very ill

Your ongoing support for the "Canines With a Cause" (CWAC) program has made the difference in the lives of rescued shelter dogs, our volunteers and adopters. This story is one of many, this story belongs to you, our donors:

Oliver came to the shelter as a stray, a scared, emaciated little Border Collie mix. He waited, along with all of the other dogs, for the person who never took the time to find him and bring him home.

When Skye Poitras, Salt Lake City, Utah, team leader for Best Friends' Community Training Partners Program and Sherry Woodard, Best Friends behavior consultant came across Oliver while evaluating dogs for the CWAC program, they almost did not see him. He was curled in a ball hiding in a corner, the large dog he had been placed in the small kennel with had been biting him and he was severely stressed out and scared.

Oliver passed his behavior and temperament tests with flying colors, but as it turns out, he was very sick. He had developed a bad infection from the bite wounds and his poor health from lack of nutrition and stress had made it worse. Off to the vet he went and although he missed the first two weeks of basic training, Oliver made up for lost time, he was a dog with a purpose... 

Shea is a local young man who lives with Cerebral palsy. He is outgoing, witty and enjoys outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, his wheel chair and lack of mobility do not slow him down. He was looking for a companion who also loved the outdoors, could help him retrieve items and straighten him in the chair when needed. Oliver was just the dog, unconditional love included.

Oliver is currently finishing his basic training and ready to enter a foster home where he will continue to train one-on-one. He will learn commands specific to Shea's needs, increase his vocabulary and skills like pulling and opening doors. He will also train with Shea and begin "overnight sleepovers". Soon Oliver will be working at Home Depot with Shea, Border Collie's love jobs!

Our adopters are not the only ones who benefit from the dogs. Our volunteer trainers/handlers are not only learning how to train dogs, they are also giving back to the community. This is beneficial to the veterans who are not ready to take on the responsibility of having a dog but like being around them, dogs are great stress relievers. The vets are also learning a trade and getting out into the community, they are training dogs for people like Shea, a win for everyone.

On March 16, GlobalGiving.org is matching at 30% all online donations up to $1,000 per donor per project. 
In addition to the 30% match, GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000 bonus to the project that raises the most funds that day and a $1,000 bonus to the project that receives donations from the most individual donors! This is a wonderful opportunity to continue your support for the "Canines With a Cause" program.

Please take the time to watch the attached news video and see our work in progress, meet Oliver, Shea, our volunteers and dogs.

Thank You,


Shea and Oliver
Shea and Oliver



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Organization Information

Canines With a Cause

Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.canineswithacause.org
Project Leader:
Cathy King
Park City, UT United States
$327,814 raised of $500,000 goal
7,156 donations
$172,186 to go
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