Monday, March 30, 2009

Thank you for a Great Event!

Thank you to our event sponsors, donors, in-kind donors, volunteers, teams and individual walkers for a great 3rd annual Walk for Those Who Can't. Over 360 walkers and 250 dogs came out for a beautiful day that started cloudy, but ended as a sunny morning. Dogs of all sizes from a Yorkshire Terrier to Great Danes walked the John Nesbitt Loop at Wrigtsville Beach, North Carolina in support of the programs of Carolina Canines for Service. Master of Cermony, Jon Evans of WECT provided highlights of Carolina Canines and inspired the teams and walkers in their quest to finish the walk.

The Top Fundraising Team was the Association of Nursing Students with Team Captain Kacie Nifong raising $1,285.

Runner-up Fundraising Team was Harrells Academy Key Club raising just over $800.

The Top Individual Fundraiser for the second year in a row was Nina Newell and Jaxson raising $1,275. Nina topped her fundraising events of last year by nearly $400 and she and her finance, Greg, have registered Carolina Canines as their charity of choice for donations for their upcoming wedding in September 2009.

The Runner-up Individual Fundraiser was Stacey Sears and her service dog in training Luke. Stacey raised $535 to support the programs of Carolina Canines.

Photographs from the event will be available on the Walk website soon.

To learn more about Carolina Canines, our programs and how you can help visit

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away.....

We want a great Walk Day!

Remember the U.S Postal motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” In reality that was not the official motto, but an inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street.

But what does that have to do with the 3rd Annual Walk for Those Who Can’t? The Walk is rain or shine this Saturday, March 28th at Wrightsville Beach Loop and, while warm temperatures are in the forecast, there is also a chance of rain.

Are you registered? Join the 270+ people and 175+ dogs that are already registered. It’s easy. Visit and click on the Firstgiving page. You can join a team or registered as an individual. Follow the instructions on the screen to register. If you really get stuck, call us at 910-362-8194 and someone here will help. Online registration closes at Noon on Friday.

Registration begins at 9 am on Saturday, March 28th at the Wrightsville Beach Loop.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Amble, creep, dawdle, limp, shuffle, plod....

ramble, roam, step, stride, tramp, tread. Call is anyway you want, just Walk with your friends, family, co-workers or favorite dog for the 3rd Annual Walk for Those Who Can't on March 28, 2009 at the Wrightsville Beach Loop.

One week to go and there are about 20 teams already registered and working to help us, help others. We're almost half-way to our goal of $20,000 but we can't do it without you! We need teams and individuals to rally to continue to help people with disabilities gain more independence with a quality trained service dog, put a smile on someones face with a visit from a therapy dog, have a child learn the joys of reading or keep the pet of a victim of domestic violence safe for one more night.

The top 2 fundraising teams and individuals will be acknowledged by Carolina Canines for Service. And, it is going to be a close race!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Join us for the Walk for Those Who Can't, March 28th 2009

The 3rd Annual Walk for Those Who Can't is Saturday, March 28, 2009 at the Loop at Wrightsville Beach.

There is still time to form a team or walk as an individual. Register online at . On site registration the day of the Walk begins at 9 AM. Dogs are welcomed to walk with their owners. This is a rian or shine event.

Help us, help others! See you there.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Carolina Canines service dog leaves lasting legacy

WILMINGTON, N.C.- Saint, the first service dog trained and placed by Carolina Canines for Service (CCFS), passed away last week, but will leave behind a legacy of friendship and service that is not soon to be forgotten, said CCFS President & CEO Rick Hairston.

Saint was rescued by SOAR from abusive owners and placed in the service dog training program in January 1997. The friendly mixed breed was trained as a mobility service dog who could pick up things as small as the back to an earring and open doors.

In December 1999, Saint was partnered with David Mickler and made his television debut on the University of North Carolina Wilmington program “Let’s Talk” where he was given as a Christmas surprise to Mickler. Unable to find a parking space for his handicap accessible van, Mickler nearly gave up on attending the show. However, once inside he received a gift that changed his life, Saint.

Mickler said that one unexpected advantage of owning Saint was the way that Saint helped him to connect with other people. For example, when Saint accompanied Mickler to his son’s soccer games, people would talk to Mickler about him which helped Mickler meet new people that might not have approached him otherwise. “Saint could break down barriers,” said Mickler, “People would see the dog and not the wheelchair and feel more comfortable approaching me.”
Throughout his career Saint did many presentations in the community to educate the public about service dogs. After faithfully serving Mickler for nearly a decade and withstanding a spleen removal and cancer, Saint retired in 2007. During retirement he remained living with Mickler.

Saint’s legacy consists not only of faithful service to Mickler but also of the education of the Wilmington community about the Carolina Canines For Service organization, service animals, friendship and compassion. “We couldn’t have trained a more loyal companion for David and we couldn’t have asked for a more noble spokesdog for our organization,” said Hairston. “Saint touched the lives of everyone he met. He will be dearly missed.”

For those who have been touched by Saint’s story and would like to memory him, contributions can be made in Saint’s name by visiting These contributions can help someone have the love and assistance that service dogs provide, which they may not be able to afford otherwise.

Carolina Canines for Service is a non-profit corporation dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve greater independence. The group trains certified service dogs with the help of volunteer foster families, matches the dog to an eligible recipient and provides the dog free of charge. Since its inception in 1996, Carolina Canines has placed 31 service dogs, valued at more than $1.2 million. For more information, call (866) 910-3647 or visit

Monday, March 9, 2009

Joshua named 2009 Booker Willoughby Service Dog of the Year

Competing against numerous service dogs across the east coast, Joshua was one of five Carolina Canines Service Dogs nominiated for the Booker Willoughby Service Dog Award sponsored by the Lambda Chapter of Mega Tau Sima (OTS) at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Balckburg, VA.

The award was first presented to Booker Willoughby whose owner, Mrs. Carol Willoughby, established the the Sanit Francis of Assisi Service Dog Foundation. A unique nomination, it is written from the dogs perspective about how the dog helps their human partner. The nomination are open to dogs trained to service including service dogs, search and rescue and law enforcement.

We are proud to have one of our service dogs trained in the Carolina Canines for Veterans program win this award. The hours of dedication of all of our prisoner handlers, foster families, trainers, volunteers and staff are acknowledge through this award. Here's what Joshua had to say about himself:

"I help my person by retrieving dropped items, retrieving drinks from the refrigerator, opening the door, retrieving the telephone, cell phone or remote when Joey asks. Joey is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom was severely injured in Iraq in October 2004 and is a triple amputee. I was trained for him in the Carolina Canines for Veterans program at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Brig. One of the hardest tasks I do for my person is help him take off his prosthetic legs. This takes us about 5 minutes for each leg, but it is a lot faster than the 15 minutes took Joey before he got me."

Congratualtions to Joshua, Carolina Canines for Veterans and of course, Joey!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gifts Come in All Forms

The gift of giving is one of the greatest acts of kindness for humankind. Many of us stand on the side lines never to know the joy of giving to others. Quietly observing, wanting to take the next step, but not always sure how.

Taking he next step is easy with Carolina Canines Walk For Those Who Can't. Just taking a step will help us to train one more service dog for a person in need, help another prisoner learn a new skill while saving a shelter dog, visit with one more patient in a nursing facility, help one child find the love of reading or keep a victim of domestic violence safe for one more night.

How? By supporting Carolina Canines through the Walk for Those Who Can't. It is not too late to form a team or register as an individual, gather your friends and family to help you make that act of kindness reality. Feel awkward asking your friends and family to support you, then sign on to Firstgiving,, register and start a page, then send it to your entire email address book. Ask 50 people to give $5.00 and you raised $250.

Don't miss your opportunity for a random act of kindness today!