Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Carolina Canines for Service receives grants for one-of-a-kind veterans program

Carolina Canines for Service, Inc. recently received a total of $6,500 in grants from the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation, the Brian A. McAleese Memorial Foundation, Officers’ Wives Club of Camp Lejeune and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International (SPCA).

These grants will be used to support the Carolina Canines for Veterans program, which teaches prisoners in the Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. prison to train service dogs for wounded warriors. The pilot program is the first of its kind in the United States and is funded by private donations and grants to Carolina Canines. It costs $38,000 to train one dog, but dogs are provided free of charge to wounded soldiers.

“These grants are going to allow us to continue providing service dogs to the brave men and women who have come forth to protect our country,” said Carolina Canines President/CEO Rick Hairston.

The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation awarded Carolina Canines $1,500 as part of its mission to improve the quality of life for others. The Piedmont Natural Gas foundation was established in 2004 with the goal of assisting specific, well-defined areas of the nonprofit community throughout its three-state service area in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Brian A. McAleese Memorial Foundation granted Carolina Canines $1,500. The Brian A. McAleese Foundation was established to honor McAleese, who was a New York City firefighter that lost his life on 9/11 while trying to save the lives of others at the World Trade Center.

The Officers’ Wives Club Camp Lejeune awarded $2,500 to assist with team training of a wounded warrior with his/her service dog.

Carolina Canines was honored as the SPCA Shelter of the week and received a $1,000 grant. SPCA International recognizes animal organizations that are doing an exceptional job of helping animals, but could benefit from extra financial assistance.

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 32 service dogs, valued at more than $1.2 million. For more information, call (866) 910-3647 or visit http://www.carolinacanines.org/.

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