Canine Companions for Independence is one of the top dog service organizations in America. Their job is to supply guide dogs to adults, children, and disabled veterans. These dogs allow their owners to do things by themselves and feel self-sufficient. Canine Companions provides dogs for people in the educational, penal law, and healthcare industries. All of the dogs and services given by Canine Companions are free of charge, and have been that way since the organization's beginning. Canine Companions wants all of their clients to be independent, no matter what. They will provide their dogs and services to whoever needs them.
Canine Companions came about in 1975. While she was away, a woman named Bonnie Bergin noticed that burros were assisting disabled people to get around. Recognizing what services like these could do for people in America, Bergin founded Canine Companions. The next year, a canine named Abdul made history by being the very first service dog to be placed. In 1978, the organization placed their first hearing dog. 1985 saw the beginning of official dog rearing for the organization. Between 1981 through 1989, training facilities were built in Santa Rosa, CA, North Central Region, Southwest Region, Southeast Region, and Northeast Region. In Oregon, the organization's first Prison Puppy Raising Program started in 1995. In 2007, Canine Companions started an enterprise to bring their dogs to veterans. To see more of the organization's history, click here: https://canine.org/about/history/.
Today in America, one in four people live with some type of disability. Canine Companions is here to make things easier for those with disabilities. Their service dogs allow people to live their lives with the freedom they deserve. The dogs that work for Canine Companions undergo rigorous instruction and teaching to make sure they are well equipped to serve their new masters. Canine Companions has been around for 45 years, and they have the statistics that show just how much they’ve done in that time. Since being established, they've had 7,108 teams placed. There are 4,700 volunteers working for Canine Companions. 2,653 teams graduate across the board. Canine Companions was the first member of Assistance Dogs International to be fully authorized.
During the 45 years of their service, Canine Companions has made amazing changes in so many people’s lives. One of these people is a woman named Jeanette. Jeanette was born with a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This disease made her muscles weak, which made it hard for her to move around. Though her mobility is limited, Jeanette has no fear, because she has Canine Companions service dogs to help her out. For 35 years, their dogs have allowed Jeanette to live the life she deserves. Since November, 2021, Jeanette has been assisted by Fiji, the fourth dog she’s had since 1987. Jeanette says of her service dogs: “These service dogs give me the dignity and independence to survive my daily challenges and make anything possible.”
Rodney Sparks is another person whose life has been positively influenced because of Canine Companions. For 20 years, Rodney served in the United States Army. Like many people who served, he experienced terrible post-traumatic stress disorder. A Canine Companions service dog called Novella was matched with Rodney to help him adapt to a regular life. After training for two years, Novella was ready to assist Rodney with his PTSD. According to Rodney: “She does nightmare interruptions. If I’m sleeping and start to kick or move, she’ll pull the covers or jump on the bed.”
To donate, click here: https://canine.org/donate/.
Companions, C. (2022, January 10). Who we are. Canine Companions. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https://canine.org/about/who-we-are/
Companions, C. (2022, January 25). History. Canine Companions. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https://canine.org/about/history/
Companions, C. (2022, March 1). 35 years of Enhanced Independence. Canine Companions. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https://canine.org/about/stories/jeanette-fiji-enhanced-independence/
Companions, C. (2022, March 25). A tale worth celebrating. Canine Companions. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https://canine.org/about/stories/a-tale-worth-celebrating/
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