Your gift helps provide a highly trained assistance dog to a child, adult or veteran with a disability. Every dollar raised helps to open doors, turn on lights, retrieve dropped items and much more.
Charlie & Devon
"He takes care of the simple task of bending over to get something when I’m in a lot of pain."Read More
Teresa & Igor
"I feel very blessed to have a Canine Companions facility dog and to be able to share him daily with children with special needs as part of my work."Read More
Amy & Yazzen
"Life before Canine Companions was good, but I was dependent on others."Read More
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.
Make Every Day Independence Day – 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 Walk ‘n Roll held around the country.Join the Fun
We are grateful for our committed partners working with us to Give Independence — and Give a Dog a Job.
It takes a distinct form of courage to take on a job called “explosive ordinance disposal technician,” especially while serving in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. Charlie is that kind of brave.
“I stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device),” says Charlie. “When I was injured, I had been in the best shape of my life. Then I ended up in a hospital bed for over a year. My wife had to do everything for me. I was depressed and in bad place. For 18 months after my injury I still had my right leg. I had several surgeries to try to save it, but I was in so much pain I decided to have it amputated and live a happy life.”
Now Charlie has Service Dog Devon to help him be more independent. “Devon has learned to bring me my prosthesis when I'm sitting on the couch or lying in bed. He also takes care of the simple task of bending over to get something when I'm in a lot of pain,” explains Charlie. “Some days I would have chosen not to participate in life and just stay in the house. But Devon is there to put his head in my lap as if to say, 'Let's go.'”
“A child had just received new braces and was refusing to walk in them. All I had to say was, 'let's get Igor's leash and take him outside,' then Igor and the child were walking and eventually running outside together,” recalls Teresa, a physical therapist. Facility Dog Igor III and Teresa work with over 500 children with disabilities every month.
Teresa uses Igor to encourage and motivate children during physical therapy. “They have such a great time interacting with Igor that they often do not even realize how hard they are working. They are working on walking, increasing their balance and soon they are running with Igor trying to keep up,” says Teresa. “Igor helps motivate children to perform activities that are challenging in a way that is non-threatening and comfortable for them. He also helps to calm children when they are experiencing pain or fear.”
During physical therapy sessions Igor will join the children in running relays and obstacle courses. He tugs them on scooter boards to help them with balance and core strength and helps them practice dressing by tugging off socks and jacket sleeves.
Igor not only motivates and encourages the children he works with, but Teresa as well. “Igor teaches me to be a better physical therapist. I could not imagine performing my job without him. He makes me a better person,” says Teresa. “I feel very blessed to have a Canine Companions facility dog and to be able to share him daily with children with special needs as part of my work. I truly have my dream job with my dream partner in Igor.”
“Life before Canine Companions was good, but I was dependent on others,” shares Amy who graduated with Service Dog Yazzen in 2005. “Before I received Yazzen, when I dropped something or needed an item out of my reach, I had to ask someone for it. At college if I needed to use the restroom, I had to ask someone to come with me just to make sure I could get the main door open once it closed,” explains Amy. “With Yazzen, suddenly I had a friend who could get items, tug open doors and help me in so many ways.”
In early 2014, almost nine years after first graduating, Amy knew she had to consider life after Yazzen. “I was on my own for about three to four months due to Yazzen's health. The dogs make it so much easier to be independent. But my expectations were very high. There were very big paws to fill.”
Amy was matched with successor Service Dog Portland II. “I am happy to report he is meeting every single one of my high expectations. Both Yazzen and Portland have been my lifelines to independence.”