Canine Companions continues to advance the key initiatives of our transformational long range plan, “Foundation, Sustainability, Optimization,” taking bold and essential steps to sustain and grow our life-changing mission. Core initiatives in the plan include:
* A dedicated canine center to support volunteer breeder caretakers and improve puppy wellness
* Enhancements to our renowned training and graduate support programs
* Outreach in communities all over America through DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, Canine Companions’ signature national event
* Partnerships with companies that support our mission with financial and promotional resources
* A corps of development professionals dedicated to helping our most philanthropic donors realize their dreams for Canine Companions
The execution of this plan will strengthen our financial and programmatic foundation, and ensure that we continue to be the innovators and advocates we’ve always been, standing at the vanguard of the assistance dog service sector.
Canine Companions began in 1975 in a home office and a garage, and, true to its core values then and since, the first Canine Companions assistance dog was trained and provided free of charge to a person with a physical disability.
In the 40 years since, thanks to the unparalleled generosity and dedication of our community, we’ve grown tremendously. The finest assistance dog trainers in the world staff five Canine Companions training centers. This elite corps possesses hundreds of years of cumulative experience in both assistance dog training and instruction to people with over 30 different types of disabilities. Our trainers’ dedication and spirit are a testament to Canine Companions’ identity as a people organization utilizing great dogs to serve humankind.
Canine Companions places excellent graduate teams and conducts follow-up visits to ensure quality partnerships, entirely free of charge. It’s no coincidence that as we’ve provided more and more assistance dogs free of charge, more and more people with disabilities come to understand the life-changing benefits of assistance dogs. Demand for our highly trained assistance dogs is ongoing and growing.
“Foundation, Sustainability, Optimization” is a statement of our commitment to meeting that demand. Working together to advance its core principles, we’ll continue changing lives by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing follow-up services to adults, children, and veterans, all free of charge, for generations to come.
Highlights from 2014
As we continue to advance our long range strategic plan, we are excited to bring you these updates from 2014:
* We placed 289 assistance dogs, a new record!
* We exceeded our fundraising goals over the last year. Our major gifts program has thrived with multiple five- and six-figure gifts.
* 719 Canine Companions puppies born
* 970 graduates received in-person follow up visits with our professional trainers (a number that we weren't expected to reach until 2018!)
* We graduated the first teams in the new South Central Region (the South Central Training Center is still under construction)
* DogFest Walk 'n Roll events, thanks to dedicated volunteers across the country, exceeded expectations and raised nearly $900,000 in the national signature event's second year.
* We started training our very first PTSD service dogs (and our first two dogs were matched with veterans in need, through a project with the Department of Veterans Affairs).