Every gift allows Canine Companions® to professionally train assistance dogs who will increase and enhance independence and confidence.
Knightly & Cadbury
Knightly, who has Down syndrome and apraxia, was matched with an assistance dog named Cadbury, a two-year-old black Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, professionally trained in over 40 commands to help Knightly live a more independent life.
Cadbury has been able to assist Knightly by encouraging communication, behavioral reinforcement, speech production, social inclusion, and so much more. Cadbury is more than a best friend — he is an important partner in independence for Knightly.
“Our family has grown by four paws and an incredible group of ambassadors who show that a life with a disability is full of hope, opportunity, and community,” Knightly’s parents, David and Drexelle share. “Our son has found his best friend who loves and plays with him, no questions asked.”
Chris & Nikko
New Castle County Police Department welcomed expertly trained Facility Dog Nikko to their team. Nikko has made a profound difference in the New Castle community since his arrival.
Nikko visits schools and many community events. He's helped calm New Castle County Police Chief Vaughn Bond during a stressful early morning. But, most importantly for the police department, Nikko helps in criminal investigations, including calming a young girl long enough for detectives to gather necessary evidence from a crime scene.
“The whole situation was causing her stress and anxiety,” said Master Cpl. Chris Gigliotti, Nikko’s handler and a member of the department’s Community Services Unit. “So, we got on the floor and played. We taught her a couple of Nikko’s commands, and after about an hour, she became agreeable to the investigation.”
Nikko has been trained in numerous commands to ease trauma victims in stressful situations, open doors and assist children and other vulnerable populations.
Leigh & Nerf
Leigh Dittman was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, which makes her bones weaker than normal and more prone to fractures. When it was time for her to apply for college, she knew that she would need physical help. That’s where Service Dog Nerf enters the picture.
”Nerf was the perfect match for me and now, with him by side, I am able to attend The University of Tampa and achieve my college dream. This wouldn’t have happened without Canine Companions.” shares Leigh.
As a college freshman, going to public places is a regular part of Leigh’s life, but it is often in these settings when she needs more physical assistance. Nerf assists by retrieving dropped items, pulling Leigh’s manual wheelchair, opening doors, and other tasks that enable Leigh to be more independent and involved around campus and in life.
Grab an item while walking backwards to pull it
Turn a light on with nose or off with paw
Lead the handler to the source of a sound
Retrieve an item and hold it until commanded
Hold and carry an item in the mouth until commanded
Put two front feet up to deliver an item
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Canine Companions for Independence assistance dogs are there for their human partners with disabilities. Expertly trained to perform over 40 commands these dogs help children, veterans and adults with disabilities open doors, pick up dropped items and much more.
Give the gift of independence and give a dog a job.
Canine Companions for Independence is the most highly acclaimed and accredited assistance dog organization in the United States.
Our unique and proven team training sets us apart by ensuring the match between dog and human is powerful and lasting.
of hearing dog recipients report increased feeling of safety or peace of mind.
of facility dogs recipients report increased willingness in clients to participate in activities.
of skilled companion recipients report increased well-being.
Here are some other ways that you can help pair an exceptional dog and a person with a disability for a life of greater independence.
Volunteer puppy raisers provide Canine Companions puppies a safe home, take them to obedience classes, provide a healthy diet, provide socialization opportunities and give lots of love.Volunteer
Grab a leash and get ready for a tail waggin’ good time! Learn how to get involved with our signature national event, DogFest held around the country.Join the Fun
We are grateful for our committed partners working with us to help people with disabilities and giving a dog a job.