Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 A Year in Review

Looking back at 2009, it has been a busy year filled with challenges and blessings.

In January, we launched Carolina Canines for Therapy as our own program after spending months developing the course material, registration and assessment. The program includes an affiliate through Teamwork’s Dog Training, Raleigh, NC and for the first time, the therapy program spans multiple locations in North Carolina. The third wounded veteran received his service dog from the Carolina Canines from Veterans (CCV) program in mid-January.

In February we were in full swing preparing for the 3rd annual Walk for Those WhoCan’t having pre-registered close to 30 teams stepping out to support the mission of Carolina Canines.
March found us saying good-bye to the first service dog placed, Saint. Joshua, the service dog placed in January was named the Booker Willoughby Service Dog of the Year by Chapter of Mega Tau Sima (OTS) at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blackburg, VA. And, the Walk for Those Who Can’t was held raising $20,000 thanks to the many volunteers, supporters, teams and individual walkers.

April brought us to the Coastal Living Show and the Azalea Festival Parade with preparation underway for PawJam in early May. We had to say good-bye to another friend, Service Dog Samson as he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We also welcomed a new compliment of Board Members that are truly dedicated to Carolina Canines mission and services and share the passion to continue to service our community.

May events included PawJam and Vets Helping Vets, a fundraiser sponsored by North College Road Animal Hospital providing wellness checks for dogs and cats for a donation to the Carolina Canines for Veterans Program. And, the Ms. Atkinson’s 6th grade class of Shallotte Middle School raised over $500 in a fundraiser for Carolina Canines for Veterans.

June was busy serving two more wounded veterans with their service dogs from the CCV program, adding new dogs into the CCV program one coming from Tails U Win and Adopt-An-Angel, a new puppy in the civilian service dog program and Carolina Canines for Veterans was named the SPCA Shelter of the Week for our work with rescue dogs.

July celebrated a new pup into the CCV program donated by Carolina Animal Protection as a training exercise for the prisoners to learn how to train a young dog and we fully engaged in the world of social media managing a FaceBook page for Carolina Canines. August kicked off a fundraiser, Power of Ten, in which 10 people donate $10 each and ask 10 friends to do the same.

September we recognized our Volunteers for all their service in the annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, welcomed two new puppies donated by Georgette and Jim Lynn, Serendipity Dry Pond Kennels, into the civilian training program, worked with our 6th wounded veteran as she received her service dog Isaac, and celebrated national recognition as a recipient of a Newman’s Own Award through Fisher House Foundation to reward ingenuity and innovation for programs that benefit service men and women and their families.

Service Dog Titus finished up his advanced training with a training mission to Disney in October. Our very own volunteer, Donna Sweetman was awarded the New Hanover County Volunteer of the Year and was one of 20 recipients of the North Carolina Volunteer Service Award Governors Medallion of Honor. October also found advanced trainers, Stephen LeQuire and Caroline O’Brien working with clients Kathy and Diane as they received their service dogs. Ms. Atkinson’s 6th grade class at Shallotte Middle School was at it again, this time over $600 was raised for the CCV program. The first annual VolleyPaws tournament was held at Captain Bill’s, Shallotte Rotary sponsored the first annual Coastal Hounds Walk the Town and at the end of October we were excited to launch a newly designed website for Carolina Canines thanks to our corporate sponsor and their creative design team, Talk Inc. and Home Health Testing provided an incredible look at the work done by Carolina Canines in a new video titled Triple Win.

We welcomed November with the 7th wounded veteran receiving his service dog, Titus and a new relationship with Air Compassion for Veterans making transportation possible for our wounded veterans to attend team training in Wilmington, NC. A new puppy for the civilian program donated by Richard and Carolyn Burton joined the family and a team of dynamic volunteers came together to plan the 2010 Walk for Those Who Can’t with a new location at Hugh MacRae Park

And in December the President/CEO reflected upon how he began his passion for service dog training and commitment to continue to service those in need. Christmas week found us celebrating the arrival of Stella, a 9-week old Anatolian Shepherd donated by Nancy and Ken Wargas of Full Circle Farms.

As we look back on 2009, we were faced with many challenges that we managed to deal with. Special thanks to our funders, volunteers and supporters for their unwavering commitment to support our mission. Without your support, we could not have accomplished all that we did. Carolina Canines for Service provided $280,000 in services to people with disabilities. Our volunteers logged an average of 2500 hours each month with their time valued at just over $600,000. We registered 79 Carolina Canines for Therapy teams who continue to touch the lives of thousands of people in their communities with pet therapy visitations. The total value of services provided by Carolina Canines for Service exceeded just over $800,000 for 2009.

We look forward to continuing to serve our communities. Wishing you and yours a Happy 2010!

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