SANTA ROSA, California – As the first provider of service dogs in the nation, Canine Companions has been enhancing the independence of people with disabilities for nearly 46 years. The novelty of such work never wears off. After all, the impact of a transformative partnership between human and canine is unique and special no matter how many times it’s done – and Canine Companions has created a lot of perfect matches.
Canine Companions, the largest organization to place expertly trained service dogs for children, adults and veterans with disabilities, hit a major milestone this month – matching the 7,000th service dog team since their founding in 1975. Despite the obstacles from the pandemic in 2020 and earlier this year, Canine Companions continued to place task trained service dogs through innovative hybrid training classes. These measures ensured that people with disabilities could still receive a life-changing service dog without severe delays. It also meant that Canine Companions was able to safely place the 7,000th team.
“My partnerships with Canine Companions service dogs have transformed my entire life giving me freedom, independence and dignity I didn’t even know I was missing,” says Thida Cornes, who was matched with her fourth Canine Companions service dog, Jeeves, as the 7,000th placement. Thida has a disability that impacts her mobility called dystonia. “With the help of each of my service dogs, I’ve done things I never thought possible like volunteering on city commissions and non-profit boards, and running for office. I attend conventions, travel and hike.”
Service dogs like Jeeves, and a lifetime of ongoing support, are provided to clients FREE OF CHARGE.
Canine Companions is leading the service dog industry:
- 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability, but less than 1% have a task-trained service dog to enhance independence.
- Through cutting-edge research in canine health and cognition, Canine Companions is identifying traits that make more successful service dogs.
- Ongoing follow-up services are provided, at no cost, for the lifetime of each service dog placement.
- Canine Companions has an aspirational, industry-wide goal to have service dogs available to every eligible individual.
- Hundreds of individuals will be matched with life-changing service dogs this year, but we can help hundreds more.
Learn more about our strategic plan. Visit canine.org/strategicplan today.