Canine Companions for Independence
provides highly-trained assistance dogs to children and adults with
disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six regional
training centers across the country. 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. Canine Companions is supported by the
generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations, as well as
fundraisers like the Imagine Independence event.
Companions assistance dogs are trained in about 40 commands designed to
make everyday life easier for adults and children with physical and
developmental disabilities. They open and close doors, retrieve dropped
objects and activate light switches. Outside of practical tasks, Canine
Companions assistance dogs provide immeasurable emotional benefits to
their human partners. They are the best friends of children who are
socially isolated because of their disabilities and they encourage peer
interaction when kids want to meet "the cool dog." In adults, Canine
Companions assistance dogs inspire feelings of confidence and security,
allowing them to live life to the fullest.
Canine Companions relies on volunteer puppy raisers to house, love and
provide basic obedience training to future assistance dogs for the first
year and a half of their lives. The dogs are then returned to Canine
Companions for six months of professional training with staff
instructors before graduating to become 24/7 helpers to people with
If you have questions regarding Imagine Independence, please contact Event Co-Chair Linda Weiskopf at firstname.lastname@example.org or Event Co-Chair Kathy Peterson at email@example.com.