SANTA ROSA, CA – Navy
veteran Jason Gieser spent 9 years training fellow military in survival skills.
But nothing prepared him for an accident years later that left him paralyzed
from the chest down. On Friday, May 13th, Jason received a new
battle buddy, Canine Companions for IndependenceÒ Service Dog Sandoval, trained in over 40 commands to help Jason
increase his independence by performing physical tasks that are often more
difficult for someone in a wheelchair.
What’s more, Jason
helped mark a milestone for Canine Companions as they celebrated their 5,000th
assistance dog placement. For over 40 years, Canine Companions has been
enhancing the lives of people with disabilities with highly trained assistance
dogs, including over 140 dogs with wounded military veterans and over 1,500
dogs with children.
Canine Companions CEO
Paul Mundell shares, “We are thrilled about this incredible milestone—placing our 5,000th
assistance dog team. We look forward to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities,
by providing them assistance dogs and ongoing support, for years to come.”
Jason, a California
native, enlisted in the Navy shortly after graduating from high school. He
spent 9 years on active duty in the Navy, including time where he instructed
for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE), providing service members
training in evading capture and survival skills. After leaving the Navy in
2007, Jason immediately entered the Police Academy in Oakland and served as a
police officer in Oakland before being hired by the Antioch Police Department
in mid 2008. In October of 2008, while riding a motorcycle with two other
officers, a car hit Jason head-on. Jason’s accident left him paralyzed from the
Now a wheelchair
user, Jason is excited to be partnered with Service Dog Sandoval to help pick
up dropped items off of the ground and deliver them to him, turn on and off
lights, open and close doors and pull Jason in his wheelchair, as well as offer
assistance dogs start out in the homes of volunteers learning basic obedience
and socialization. The canines then spend 6-9 months in professional training
and are then partnered with their human in a two-week Team Training class. This
amazing milestone—placing 5,000 teams—was celebrated in heart-warming
graduation ceremonies across the country.
To learn more or
volunteer to help veterans like Jason, visit cci.org/veterans or call 1-800-572-BARK
Companions for Independence
Canine Companions for Independence provides
highly trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities.
Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six training centers across the
country, including CA, FL, OH, NY and TX. Canine Companions is recognized
worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the
matches it makes between dogs and people. There is no charge for the dog, its
training and ongoing follow-up services. For more information, call
1-800-572-BARK or visit www.cci.org.