Bonsall, CA — Canine Companions for Independence is a national organization, established in 1975, which provides expertly trained assistance dogs that enhance the lives of people with disabilities. These dogs are provided free of charge. The organization is a 501(c)3 charity that also provides ongoing support to recipients to ensure a quality partnership.
The assistance dogs are bred, raised, and trained to be the ears, hands, and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often, their best friends.
Canine Companions breeds Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and a cross of the two to be assistance dogs. Volunteers care for the breeder dogs and nurture newborn puppies for eight weeks. The puppies then spend the next 14-18 months with volunteer puppy raisers who provide basic obedience training, socialization, and care.
Professional Canine Companions instructors teach the dogs to master over 40 commands during the first six to nine months. After this phase of the training is successfully completed, the dogs go through Team Training and are matched with adults, children, or veterans with disabilities. Additionally, the dogs may be assigned to professionals who assist clients with special needs. Team Training culminates in a joyful graduation ceremony for graduates beginning a new journey and for puppy raisers witnessing their puppies’ achievements. Canine Companions is staffed by the finest of assistance dog instructors at training centers across the country. These professionals possess hundreds of years of cumulative experience in both assistance dog training as well as providing instruction to people who may have any of over 60 different types of disabilities. The demand for highly trained assistance dogs is ongoing and growing.
The Bonsall Woman’s Club presented a check for $20,000 to the facility in Oceanside.