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


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

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