At Healthy Paws, we seek out like-minded companies and projects that focus on helping animals, either by finding homeless pets fur-ever homes or strengthening the human-animal bond. Recently, we had the pleasure of getting to know the team behind Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). Since 1975, the organization has provided highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support free of charge to recipients, enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.
What is Canine Companions for Independence?
Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that gives assistance dogs and ongoing support to those in need of these canines. Located in California, they service the entire United States at six training centers across the country. The professionals they hire to train assistance dogs possess hundreds of years of cumulative experience in both assistance dog training and instruction to people with over 60 different types of disabilities.
“The assistance dogs we breed, raise and train aren’t just the ears, hands and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often, their best friends,” says their site. “They open up new opportunities and new possibilities, and spread incredible joy. We unite people with dogs in a powerful program that leads to greater independence and confidence.”
The organization is entirely funded by private contributions from individuals; gifts from businesses, civic groups and service clubs; grants from corporations and foundations; and ongoing fundraising activities such as special events and mailings.
What Type of Assistance Dogs Do They Train?
CCI trains four types of assistance dogs:
- Service Dogs – assist adults with physical disabilities by performing daily tasks.
- Hearing Dogs – alert the deaf and hard of hearing to important sounds.
- Skilled Companions – enhance independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities.
- Facility Dogs – work with a professional in a visitation, education or healthcare setting.
Canine Companions is the largest provider of assistance dogs in the world and all follow-up support is also provided free of charge to recipients. Demand for their highly trained assistance dogs is ongoing and growing. For more about how their efforts have personally affected people in need, please see the “stories” page. If you’re interested in donating funds, please visit their donate page for more ways to give.
The Healthy Paws Foundation was started in 2009 and it has helped hundreds of pet rescues and animal shelters by providing grants to help fund medicine, food, shelter, and operating costs. Through our Every Quote Gives Hope™ grant program, the foundation has donated over $700,000 to deserving shelters and rescues. Click to find out more on how we help homeless pets.