Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back

Twenty-eleven has been a busy year for Canines for Service.  We would like to thank the countless hours our Volunteers dedicate to our mission.  Whether serving as Board members, raising a service dog in the Canines for Service or Canines for Veterans programs, providing animal assisted therapy in the Canines for Therapy program, being a literacy mentor in the Canines for Literacy program, helping us in the office or at events, we thank you.  To our donors, supporters and corporate sponsors, thank you.  Without your financial support we could not continue to serve the people who are waiting for their service dog, or train the therapy teams that visit in our communities.  


This year we served nine individuals waiting for their service dog, visited over 50 facilities for animal assisted therapy, and served several hundred children struggling with reading.  But, there are many more still waiting. Celebrating our 15th year anniversary is just the beginning.  Our goals for 2012 include partnering 12 to 15 individuals with their service dogs, expanding the Canines for Therapy and Canines for Literacy programs to Charleston, SC, achieving the U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program for service dog training in both South and North Carolina, and moving into a facility that will allow us to serve more people, offer job-training to Veterans and civilians and economic development in our community.  


We look forward to a bright and prosperous 2012 and we need you to make that happen.  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Canines for Service Continues to Serve Our Veterans

With the mission complete in Iraq, our brave troops are returning home after serving and sacrificing so much.  Now more than ever, our service members need us. Many will continue in their military careers and many will embark on a career in the civilian world.  Many will be dealing with varying degrees of physical impairment, traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder. 

Serving our Veterans is a priority to Canines for Service in the Canines for Veterans (CFV) program.  Providing a quality trained and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliant service dog to assist those with physical impairment, traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the foundation of the CFV program.  By the ADA, a service dog must do work or perform tasks to benefit an individual with a disability; three key words, tasks, individual and disability.  A service dog is trained to serve one individual with specific skills to help that individual mitigate their disability.  From stabilizing a person when they are walking to retrieval of items, each service dog has been trained considering the needs and variations of the disabilities trained for.  

A service dog is not a companion animal (pet)therapy animal, social or emotional support animal; these are entirely different, do not meet the intent of the ADA and have no legal rights.  Another words a companion, therapy, social or emotional animal does not by law have access to public places such as restaurants, banks, grocery stores, shopping malls, airports/airplanes[1], etc.  Those that perpetrate their pet as a service dog are in violation of the law.

There is a lot of  information about people or groups providing “service” dogs for our Veterans.  The caution to our service members is if you are truly getting a service dog that you need or are you being provided a pet disguised as something it is not. 

Veterans and family members need to do their homework.  Ask questions. 
  • ·         How is the service dog trained? 
  • ·         How long is the training for the service dog?
  • ·         What is the method of the training?
  • ·         Are the dogs trained positively or with negative methods? 
  • ·         How many hours of training does each dog have? 
  • ·         Has the service dog had routine veterinary care and is it spayed or neutered?
  • ·         Are the veterinary records provided?
  • ·         What skills does the dog do?
  • ·         Is there a fee for the service dog?
  • ·         How is the training provided to the person receiving the dog? 
  • ·         Is the person required to train the dog themselves?  
  • ·         Is there follow-up by the service dog provider? 
  • ·         What happens if there is an issue after the dog is received?   


Canines for Veterans stands ready to serve our Veterans as we have done since this program started in January 2008.   A Veteran receiving a service dog from our program can be assured they are receiving a dog trained in skills to mitigate their disability.  They will have individualized training with their service dog and have ongoing follow-up consultation and/or training.  The service dog CFV provides is ADA compliant and meets all intent of the law.  Our staff is available to answer questions before application, during the application process and after the receipt of the service dog.  

Are you a Veteran or do you know a Veteran who could benefit from a service dog? Contact us today to learn how CFV can help a Veteran regain their independence in 2012.

What are you waiting for? 



[1] Aircraft carriers act

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving Thanks

This season as many are celebrating with family and friends let us continue to remember the ones who serve our country every day being away from family and friends so that we can live in freedom.  

Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program
Sienna Rampvan
The American spirit remains and is evident in the people that give every day by volunteering in their community or donating to support groups that help others. This season Canines for Service is thankful for the continued support of our communities near and far.  For the financial supporters that continue to stand with us to change people’s lives; from the special gifts to the monthly supporters, we thank you.  To the thousands that rallied support this past August for the Toyota 100 Cars for Good program win, thank you.  To the corporate sponsors providing in-kind donations and financial support, thank you.  To our funders who have read through thousands of applications and choose to invest in the people we serve, in the work we do and our future, thank you.  To our volunteers, Board members, foster families, therapy teams, literacy mentors, office support and event planners, thank you.  Our mission would not be possible without each and every one of you.  

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season and for Canines for Service it marks a time of celebration of the 15 years of commitment and service we are thankful for.   Thank you to all of our supporters because without you, we could not continue to serve.





As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Exciting Times

There has been a lot happening at Carolina Canines and it has sometimes been a challenge to keep up.  Programs are growing, services are in demand.  We have brought several folks on board to help with the increasing program demands both in Wilmington, NC and Charleston, SC.

This week is exciting.  On Monday, the Toyota our supporters helped us to win in the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program will be delivered.  The delivery is at 4:30 pm at Toyota of Wilmington.  Join us if you can to celebrate this great moment for our organization and the great work Toyota is doing.  On Tuesday, a film crew will be in Wilmington from Toyota.  Carolina Canines was selected as 1 of 3 of the winning organizations to be featured in a documentary about the 100 Cars for Good Program.  Awarding winning directors and producers will be working with a few volunteers and clients to share the work of Carolina Canines with the nation.  This is an incredible opportunity and one we are most grateful for.

The Harry Barker Canines for Veterans product lined launch and a benefit was held at Urban Country in Bethesda, MD.   Watch for some exciting news from Bethesda Row this holiday season.

If you have keep up with the local newspaper, Star News, you would have read about one of our foster families who is a UNCW student raising a service dog for us.  The article, UNCW student trains dogs for Canines for Service by Cece Nunn   demonstrated the dedication and work it takes to juggle a busy college curriculum while volunteering in the community.  

The schedule just keeps getting busier.  On Friday a benefit luncheon will be held at Carrabba's Italian Grill thanks to the proprietor and our supported Jonathan O'Donnell.  There are still a few seats available so call us at 910-362-8181 if you would like to join us to hear about the people we have served.  On Sunday, November 20th we'll be in Charleston, SC for a fundraiser sponsored by Charleston Referral Exchange, Pooches for Patriots.

Team training for our 50th placement begins just after Thanksgiving and will celebrate our 15th year anniversary.   None of this would be possible without YOU!  And, we thank you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's About the Quality


There are some days that it seems we are more about the business of a non-profit than assisting our clients.  With each step we take to spread the word about the work we do, we are raising awareness of the needs for quality trained service dogs and the need to support our mission financially so we can continue serving our clients.  

It is about the quality.  Providing a reliable service dog that meets the needs of the person receiving it.  While others may be producing more, we have taken care to develop the right skill sets for the disabilities we serve and making the difficult decisions along the way.  Our dogs know about 90 commands with a new set of commands that are specific for our Veterans living with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  These commands were developed in the Canines for Veterans program working with the prison handlers, many of which have PTSD.  Each command is specific to address a symptom of PTSD. 


As we share below the places we have been and the people we have met, each step we have taken is working towards building awareness of the quality of service dogs Canines for Service provides and the commitment to the people we serve. 

The first week in August we celebrated the newest Canines for Veterans service dog team in Charleston.  Sgt Chase Jones received service dog Elder to assist him with his mobility, traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder.  After an intense week of training, Sgt Jones returned home with Service Dog Elder re-energized to regain his life with his wife and family. Struggling for years dealing with his injuries, he had isolated himself from the world and his loved ones.  Now with Elder by his side, Sgt Jones has a new leash on life and is ready to re-engage.

On August 12th, the Hairston’s headed to Washington DC to attend an Evening Parade at the Commandant of the Marine Corps home.  As an invited guest, they joined others to celebrate and honor the Honorable Colin Powell. An amazing display of military marching precision, the evening parade is full of tradition and inspires anyone to remember why we are proud Americans.
Then onto NYC to join our friends at Harry Barker Inc. at the NYC International Gift Market to help them launch the Canines for Veterans products. "Harry Barker is honored to sponsor Canines for Veterans," said Carol Perkins, founder of Harry Barker. "We are passionate about our products, and we are excited to begin a campaign with such a great organization. We want to help spread the word about Canines for Veterans because we love what they do, and we will do whatever we can to help the program grow.”

The Harry Barker Canines for Veterans product line features a collar and leash set, fetch balls, and a decorative tin filled with dog treats, all of which are original designs. The products will be available in stores in October 2011 and many retail locations will be holding events on Veterans Day to feature our program and the products.. Visit the Harry Barker Inc to learn more about the products and how your store can offer this exclusive product line to support our Veterans.

NYC was a full schedule but included some time to treat ourselves to a NY style pizza and the all-American past time of baseball at a Brooklyn Cyclones game. US Army Cpt. Leslie Smith, Ret. and her service dog Isaac were honored during the game and the Hairston's along with Service Dog Titus were introduced to the NY fans. The Brooklyn Cyclones stadium is the home of the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance of the First Responders of 9-11.  A reminder to us why we started the Canines for Veterans program as the names and faces of those who gave their lives for others became real and looked back at us as we took a moment to reflex on those that sacrifice for others every day.

As we are reminded of the reason for the need for more service dogs for Veterans consider supporting Canines for Service to ensure the continued availability of quality trained service dogs for the people we serve, Veteran or not.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

CAROLINA CANINES TO RECEIVE NEW TOYOTA VEHICLE TO BETTER SERVE THE COMMUNITY


Wilmington, NC, August 18, 2011 – Carolina Canines for Service is pleased to announce the organization  was recognized as a winner of Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program and will receive a Toyota Sienna Mobility Van to better serve the community. The Toyota 100 Cars for Good program is awarding 100 vehicles over the course of 100 days to 100 deserving nonprofit organizations based on votes from the public.

Public voting began on May 9 and continues for 100 consecutive days. Each day, five organizations are profiled on Toyota’s Facebook page and voters may vote for the charity they feel is most deserving of the vehicle. A vehicle will be awarded each day through August 16 for a total of 100 vehicles. Voters may place one vote per day, each day, over the course of the program. 

“The outpouring of support and interest in the Toyota 100 Cars for Good program has been tremendous,” Michael Rouse, Toyota Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Affairs. “It is amazing to see how this program has brought individuals, organizations and communities together. We are equally excited to see Carolina Canines utilize their new vehicle to do good in the community.”

Carolina Canines for Service was profiled on Toyota’s Facebook page on August 15, 2011, along with four other finalists who were in the running to receive a new vehicle.  Based on support from the community and votes from the public, Carolina Canines was named the August 15th winner.

Carolina Canines for Service is a non-profit corporation dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve greater independence. The group trains and places certified service dogs with the help of volunteer foster families and military prisoners at the Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston, provides pet therapy certification classes and helps children in our community improve their reading skills. Since its inception in 1996, Carolina Canines has placed 48 service dogs and the value of all the programs exceeds $5.0 million in services to our community.  The Toyota Sienna Mobility Van will help us to assist our clients that depend on wheelchairs when they are learning to work with their service dog provided by our organization.

“We are very grateful to Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program and our supporters that made this opportunity a reality” says Rick Hairston, President and CEO of Carolina Canines. “Mostly we are thankful to provide additional services to our clients with the receipt of the Sienna Mobility Van.”

The Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program enables 100 organizations to receive a Toyota vehicle to make a greater impact on the community. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $500 million to non-profit organizations, and has always been guided by a strong belief in serving the communities where it does business.  If you’d like to learn more, please visit http://www.toyota.com/about/philanthropy/.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants, including one under construction.  Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $500 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. 

For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/community.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Celebrating A Month of Independence

This July as we celebrate independence and our freedom, remember not everyone has the pleasure of experiencing independence.    Millions struggle everyday with the simple tasks of life.  Just getting out of bed and getting dressed in the morning could take hours and the pain and discomfort experienced is beyond what many of us will ever know.  


Asher, from New Hanover County Animal Control
For Carolina Canines it's about the people and the dogs.  About 80% of the dogs trained to be service dogs are from rescues or shelters.  In the Carolina Canines for Veterans program, we work with a network of rescues in Wilmington, NC and Charleston, SC to locate and evaluate candidates for the training program.  In the last several weeks,  seven dogs entered the training program.  Melchi, Derbe, Naomi, Asher, Niles, Jericho and  Erza  joined the training program from Frances R. Willis SPCA, New Hanover County Animal Control, Charleston Animal Society, and Horry County Animal Services.  All of these dogs have found freedom and will begin their journey to provide freedom to a Veteran.


To see how these newly freed dogs will be transformed to serve a Veteran, watch the All Hands video about Carolina Canines.

Everyday people are waiting for their chance at a more independent life.  What can you do to help?  Get involved with local organizations that help people to gain more independence.  Get involved by raising a service dog for someone in need or donating to support our programs.  Perhaps you have your own dog and you could train to volunteer as a pet therapy team then visit with people in local nursing facilities, hospitals or help a child learn to read.  Use your independence to help someone else. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happenings

Things have been barkin' at Carolina Canines.  We have recently added a new staff member, Jenny Edwards.  She stepped into our first Director of Member Relations position.  Jenny is quickly settling in and planning some great things for Carolina Canines.  In July she looks to launch the "Power of the Paw", a introduction to Carolina Canines' programs and services.  These will be offered in Wilmington on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month with limited seating at each session; reservations will be needed as these will fill up fast.  "Power of the Paw" will be coming to Charleston too; dates to be determined.

We had a visit from Lydia and Audrey who together with their mom and a friend delivered a wealth of supplies for Carolina Canines Service dogs-in-training. The two sisters collected the items during a recent birthday party in lieu of gifts. Items include kongs, dog treats, leashes, stainless steel bowls, toys, a generous gift card to a pet store, (yes!) the always appreciated "poop bags," and much more! A big "WOOF!" thank you to the Jennifer, Lydia, Audrey, and all their friends and family who contributed to the donations!

Titus modeling the Harry Barker Dog Bathrode

And, Harry Barker Inc. invited Titus to their warehouse to receive supplies for the service dogs in training in the Carolina Canines for Veterans program.  We are not sure who had more fun the staff of Harry Barker or Carolina Canines.  Of course Titus was his usual attention hound soaking up all the love. 


Don't forget, Friday night home games at the Charleston RiverDogs to see Titus the bat dog.  And on July 31st come out for the Bark for Your Brews, a craft beer festival at The Joe to benefit Carolina Canines for Veterans.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

CAROLINA CANINES FOR SERVICE NAMED FINALIST IN TOYOTA 100 CARS FOR GOOD PROGRAM

Toyota to Donate Vehicle to Local Nonprofit Organizations Based on Public Votes
Wilmington, NC – April 25, 2011 – Wilmington based organization Carolina Canines for Service is one of 500 finalists in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program, which will award vehicles to 100 nonprofit organizations based on votes from the public beginning May 9, 2011. 

Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program will showcase five non-profit organizations each day for 100 days on Toyota’s Facebook page, facebook.com/toyota. Visitors to the page can vote once a day for the organization that they feel is most deserving of a new Toyota vehicle.  Carolina Canines for Service will be one of the five organizations highlighted for voting on AUGUST 15, 2011. 

Local residents are encouraged to support Carolina Canines for Service and their quest for a new Toyota Sienna Mobility van. If Carolina Canines for Service receives the most votes and is awarded the vehicle, it will be used to assist our clients when they train to receive their service dog.

 About Carolina Canines for Service.
Carolina Canines for Service, with the corporate office located in Wilmington, North Carolina, is a non-profit corporation dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve greater independence. The group trains and places certified service dogs with the help of volunteer foster families and military prisoners training service dogs for veterans, provides pet therapy certification classes and helps children in our community improve their reading skills. Since its inception in 1996, the value of all the programs is nearing $5.0 million in services to our communities. For more information call (866) 910-3647 or visit www.carolinacanines.org.

About Toyota.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants, including one under construction.  Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. 

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $500 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S.  

For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/community.

Media Contact:                                                                              
Pat Hairston
Carolina Canines for Service
910-362-8181
pat@carolinacanines.org

Monday, March 28, 2011

Carolina Canines for Service Offers Pet Therapy Program in Charleston


Photo by Mike Spencer, StarNewsMedi
CHARLESTON, N.C.- Carolina Canines, the organization that conducts the Carolina Canines for Veterans program at the Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston, will begin offering their Carolina Canines for Therapy program in Charleston in April.
There is nothing like the unconditional love and affection from a friendly dog to help you temporarily forget your troubles.  In fact, studies show that human-animal interaction can help lower blood pressure and heart rate and significantly reduce anxiety and stress.
Carolina Canines for Therapy offers owners and their dogs the chance to become certified pet therapy teams to provide animal-assisted visitations in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, group homes and treatment facilities.  Handlers and their dogs complete a comprehensive six-week course, equipping them with the skills necessary for successful therapy visitations within the community.  The dog must be well behaved, well socialized, in good health, able to handle new situations well and enjoys being patted by strangers.  They also know basic commands like sit, down, stay and come, like people and have gentle temperaments.
The Carolina Canines for Therapy program was established in 2002 and has provided training to over 600 teams and certified close to 400.  The program is currently being conducted in Wilmington and Raleigh, North Carolina where certified therapy teams visit over 50 facilities making a difference in people’s lives every day.
Carolina Canines for Service brought the Carolina Canines for Veterans program to Charleston last September and since then has provided over $500,000 in services to service members and veterans who have experienced injuries while serving our country.  “Offering our therapy training program in the Charleston community is a natural expansion and growth of our programs in this community”, says Rick Hairston, President of Carolina Canines.  “The Carolina Canines for Therapy program offers the opportunity for more people to be involved in our organization and give back in the community they live and work in.  The Unitarian Church has graciously opened their doors for us to offer the course in the community.”
The program will begin on April 12, 2011 at the Unitarian Church in Charleston, Gage Hall, 4 Archdale Street and run for six consecutive weeks.  Interested individuals should review the course prerequisites and policy at http://www.carolinacanines.org/Therapy.html.  The course fee is $145 and pre-registration is required.
            Carolina Canines for Service, with the corporate office located in Wilmington, North Carolina, is a non-profit corporation dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve greater independence. The group trains and places certified service dogs with the help of volunteer foster families and military prisoners training service dogs for veterans, provides pet therapy certification classes and helps children in our community improve their reading skills. Since its inception in 1996, the value of all the programs exceeds $4.0 million in services to our communities. For more information, call (866) 910-3647 or visit www.carolinacanines.org.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Get Your Walk On

The Walk for Those Who Can't is just days away and the Walk Team is working in the background to finalize the details, get the supplies ready, arrange for the last minute pick-up or delivery of items and get ready to analyze the top three teams or individual fundraisers.  The Wilmington weather is looking good with a cool but sunny morning. 

video
There is still time to get involved.  Register today at  Walk for Those Who Can't by clicking here and selecting Register for This Event, click register online and enter your information.  You can register online through Friday or stop by our office through Thursday afternoon.  On Saturday morning, join us at Hugh MaeRae Park beginning at 9 am  to check-in at Shelter #5 and if you are pre-registered as a team (team captain's check-in) or individual.  Or you can register the day of the event with cash, check or credit card. Then pick up your tee-shirt, enjoy some refreshments (Shelter #6), say hello to our sponsors in Shelter #6, pick up some information about Carolina Canines, (Shelter #6) have your photo taken in the photo area for a small donation, pick up some raffle tickets for some awesome prizes, mingle and enjoy the day.

Carolina Canines extends our appreciation to the Walk Team of Volunteers that have worked hard for several months to plan and organize this event and the Volunteers coming out to help the day of the event including Cape Fear Composite Squadron, CAP and our MC's Craig Thomas and Sheila Brothers of SunnyFM 104.5, The Craig and Sheila Show.  Without them, we could not have done this.  

To our sponsors who have made it possible: Saint- WILM-10, Champion - Queensboro, Hero - Carrabba's Italian Grill, StarNewsMedia, Sunrise Broadcasting, Sunny FM 104.5, Coastal Modern Rock 98.7; Partner- Brightmore of Wilmington, DogLiving Magazine, Port City Java, Friend - Bax Photography, Dock Street Printing, PawPrints Magazine and Wilmington Animal Health Care. 

To the Hospitality Sponsors for refreshments for the participants: Costco, Harris Teeter-Porters Neck and Long Leaf, Atlantic Bread, The Bagel Basket, Lowe's Food Store-Pine Grove, and McAllister's Deli.  To the Dog Bandana Sponsors: Companion Animal Hospital, Pine Valley Animal Hospital and Wags & Whiskers.  

And, to the local businesses and individuals that have donated for the raffle: Hilton Riverside Hotel including dinner at Ruth Chris Steak House, Two night stay at the Holiday Inn Resort at Wrightsville Beach, $50.00 gift card at Port Land Grille in Lumina Station, Wilmington, Dinner for two at North End Bistro at Shell Island, Wrightsville Beach, gift card at South Beach Grill, Wrightsville Beach,$50.00 gift card at Kornerstone Bistro in Porters Neck, Wilmington, custom crafted stained Glass Lighthouse window by Joan, James Davis giclee water color paintings and gift certificates from Head to Toe Salon.
A brief ceremony will kick-off the Walk and ribbon cutting then take a scenic stroll in the park with your two and four legged friends.  After the Walk enjoy some refreshments and post Walk announcements for the top fundraising teams or individuals.   

After all, it supports a great cause and it's a walk in the park!