Canines Companions for Independence

Camille Rhyne

Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization, formed in Santa Rosa, Calif., with the intent of helping the disabled with furry friends. The program breeds, trains, and pairs their canines, primarily Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever breeds, to provide a loving companion to serve their caretaker.

This organization has impacted people all over the country and is located in six regions throughout the fifty states including Irving, TX.

At eight weeks old, when the puppies are ready to leave their mother’s side, the dogs are placed in the hands of volunteer “puppy-raisers”, who teach basic obedience to the canine as well as attend two “puppy classes” a month at the facility.

After approximately 10 months, the dogs are required to train with the professionals at Canine Companions to learn their more complex and difficult tasks. Once the dog has successfully completed the program, Canine Companions tactfully matches a dog to a recipient. The recipient is then invited to stay at the facility, free of charge, for two weeks to bond and train with their dog.

This program has enhanced the lives of people with disabilities since it was founded in 1975 by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. They unite people with dogs in a powerful program that leads to greater confidence, and serve adults, children, veterans, and professionals.

Our reporter Camille Rhyne visited this facility and experienced firsthand their compassion for people and pups.

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