Canine Companions, the largest nonprofit provider of service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities, completed its inaugural Team Training and Graduation at the Puget Sound Field Office in Seattle, WA. The new office is an extension of the Northwest Region and enables Canine Companions to better support their existing clients and volunteers in the area while placing more of their expertly trained service dogs with people with disabilities in the Puget Sound area, at no cost to the recipient.
In October, the first three local clients were matched with service and facility dogs. Laurie Karin, a former Canine Companions graduate, received her second service dog from the organization. Service Dog Kit will enhance independence by retrieving dropped items, opening and closing doors and drawers, and accompanying Laurie on trips.
Luca, 12, received his first service dog from Canine Companions. Service Dog Atticus will assist during doctor visits, pick up dropped items and provide deep pressure therapy. Joel Fagundes, Principal at Kokanee Elementary School in Woodinville, was matched with a facility dog. Facility Dog Strong will strengthen his impact as an educator through promoting accessible learning, comfortability and confidence for elementary school students.
The field office serves as a training center for dogs and clients alike. Dogs in professional training work with instructors to learn over 40 critical skills to enhance independence. Dogs advance to team training where they are matched with a client for two weeks of in-depth training with instructors. Students can slowly introduce their dogs into their daily lives and acclimate them to their own cars and homes while coming to class each day equipped with real-world questions specific to their lifestyles and personal experience.
Team Training at the Puget Sound Field Office is made possible by volunteer breeder caretakers and puppy raisers who provide specially bred puppies a safe home, take them to obedience classes, serve up a healthy diet, and provide socialization opportunities. Additionally, volunteer fosters open their homes to care for the dogs, provide love and exercise, and transport them to and from the facility for training each day during the week.
Currently, Canine Companions serves 58 service and facility dog teams in the Puget Sound and over 80 teams in Washington. The organization is supported by over 30 volunteer puppy raisers in the Puget Sound and additional volunteers in other roles, including event planning, fostering and fundraising. Canine Companions looks forward to growing the program so more clients in the area can have this impactful experience.
Canine Companions is always looking for more volunteer puppy raisers and fosters for dogs in professional training at the Puget Sound Field Office.
To learn more about the Puget Sound Field Office, click here to contact Donna Lindsay to schedule a tour or employee engagement event.