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  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

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. 

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! 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Walk for Those Who Can't Just Weeks Away

The 5th annual Walk for Those Who Can't is just a couple of weeks away, there are a number of questions for individuals and teams. Here are the most frequently asked and how Carolina Canines is handling this:
  • People have registered under Join This Team and the amount I've raised is not showing. How do I know how much I've raised? Online registrations are tallied separate from donations in Carolina Canines will be totaling online registrations + donations + offline donations and registrations for a Team and Individual Total.
  • When can a Team Captain pick up the T-shirts for my team? Team t-shirts can be picked up the morning of the Walk on Saturday, March 26, 2011 beginning at 9 am. There will be a Team Registration table at Huge MacRae Park, Shelter 5 for all pre-registered teams. Only the Team Captain needs to check in for the entire team.
  • Can I bring by teams registrations and donation to the office before the Walk? Team Captains can bring their Teams registrations to our office (1200 N. 23rd St., Ste 101, Wilmington, NC) until  Wednesday, March 23, 2011 if the Team wants to be included in the Top Fundraising Team and be eligible to receive special recognition the day of the Walk. If you need to make arrangements to come to the office after 4:30 pm, please call us to make an arrangement.
  • I have not registered for the Walk, can I register the day of the Walk? People can certainly register the day of the Walk.  Registration/sign-in begins at 9:00 a.m.
  • I registered online to I need to sign in on the day of the Walk? Yes. We ask you to check-in at the Registration area, Shelter #5 the day of the event to receive your t-shirt.
  • Can I bring my dog to this event?  This is a pet friendly event as long as your pet is friendly. Please only 2 dogs per person.  A 6ft non-retractable leash is a must.  You must clean up after your pet.
To register for the Walk, click here.
The 5th Annual Walk for Those Who Can't is made possible by our sponsors including 
CBS10WILM, Queensboro Shirt Company, StarNewsMedia, Carrabbas's Italian Grill, Sunrise Broadcasting, SunnyFM 104.5, 98.7 Coastal Modern Rock, DogLiving Magazine, Port City Java, Brightmore of Wilmington, PawPrints Magazine, Dock Street Printing, Bax Photography and Wilmington Animal Healthcare.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Moses Last Walk

For those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself.  My  name is Moses.  And I am very proud to say I was the Founding Pup of Carolina Canines for Service.  

I was born on October 15, 1996 and I came into Ricks life on December 1st of that year and actually the very moment Carolina Canines went from a dream to reality.  I know the elaborate temperament test that Rick does now, and let me tell you the night he picked me, there was no such test.  I was one of 13 puppies, it was cold and rainy and Rick was literally knee deep in mud, so as he held up each of us, he looked at me second, and then after looking at all the rest of the puppies, the same way he chose me!  Actually I chose him, he just didn’t know it yet.  I was the biggest and  most wiggly in the litter.  

And so it began.  It has been a tremendous ride, and I do mean ride.  As a service dog in training, an actual service dog, a demonstration dog, a therapy dog and a Paws For Reading Dog, I have flown and/or driven from Washington State to Florida, from Salt Lake City to our marvelous capital of Washington D.C.   Near as I can figure Rick and I have traveled well over a half a million miles together. I have met Senators, Congressmen, men and women of all ages, sizes, and shapes.  I’ve seen the organization grow from an idea and dream to one that has provided more than $4 million dollars in services to the communities we serve, free of charge.  

It is now March of 2011, and I am very old.  And I have done my job.  It is time for me to rest.  So on Friday evening Rick has invited our veterinarian over to our home and Rick will escort me to the Rainbow Bridge.  I will be surrounded by the ones who love me the most, and Rick will hold me in his arms one last time as I cross over the bridge to be met by a whole host of people and animals that will welcome me to the land where there is no pain and I can play like a little puppy again.  

I am asking for your help one last time.  I have had Rick and Pat create this fundraising page for me on The Walk for Those Who Can’t page, please donate.  I have given everything I have had to this cause and would do it all over again.  Let this be my biggest fundraising event.

I’ll be waiting patiently and will welcome all who knew me when you come to this place called the Rainbow Bridge.

Moses - October 1, 1996 to March 4, 2011