Update on Return of CCI Assistance Dog

Update on Return of CCI Assistance Dog

The Canine Companions for Independence National Board Chair and a committee of the Board has upheld the staff decision to ask for the return of an assistance dog back to Canine Companions.

Canine Companions asked for the return of a dog to Canine Companions because we believed the dog’s safety was in jeopardy. We took this difficult step as a last resort after many attempts at resolving the dog management issues with the graduate.

Canine Companions invited the graduate to use Canine Companions’ complaint resolution process to resolve his complaint. An appeal was submitted to the Canine Companions CEO. The CEO upheld the decision, and in turn an appeal was made to the Canine Companions Board Chair. The Board Chair and a committee of the Board met and reviewed all documents; they concluded that the decision to ask for the return of the dog to Canine Companions was based on good reason and they unanimously upheld the decision.

As a practice, we work with a graduate when we are concerned about the dog or the team’s safety. We made repeated efforts for the past year to address the safety concerns and the graduate’s decreasing ability to control and manage the dog. We intervened to ensure the dog's health and safety when it became apparent that the graduate’s ability to control the dog declined and he refused to comply with our suggestions to ensure the dog's safety.

We stand by our record of service with our graduate teams. Canine Companions has placed over 3600 assistance dogs. In 36 years and 3600 dogs we have had to ask for a handful to be returned when the health and safety of the dog is in jeopardy. Only 1 in 500 have been returned, a 99.8% success rate.

We thank you for your confidence and support of Canine Companions and the people we serve.

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