Puppies Race to be Assistance Dogs

Puppies Race to be Assistance Dogs

Puppies took over the racetrack at the Verizon Festival of Speed presented by SPEEDCOM on May 15-17. Canine Companions for Independence, the national nonprofit that trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities, attended the event for the first time in partnership with Morris Animal Foundation and Eukanuba.

Racecar fans were invited to the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. to learn what it takes to be a volunteer puppy raiser and meet assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities.

Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence has been uniting people with disabilities with assistance dogs in a powerful program that leads to their greater independence and self-esteem. Highly trained Labradors and golden retrievers learn over 40 commands to help their human partners – for example pick up dropped items they cannot reach, switch on a light switch or open a door etc.

"Puppy raisers are the very foundation of our program," says Esther Molina, Canine Companions national puppy program manager.  "A volunteer puppy raiser provides early socialization and basic training, both of which are essential in preparing a puppy for the life of an assistance dog.  Puppies accompany their puppy raisers to work and on everyday errands where they learn public behavior appropriate for a working dog. "

Every rewarding hour spent training and socializing with a puppy, lays the foundation for a dependable and trustworthy companion to a person with a disability. 

“Eukanuba Pet Foods is proud to be a part of this exciting event with two of our long-time partners, Morris Animal Foundation and Canine Companions for Independence,” said Krenda Frushour, Eukanuba Pet Food Brand Manager, “we’re proud to lend our support to these worthy causes, service animals and canine cancer research.”

View the press release.

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