Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Paw Prints

Teaming Up for Success.
Rick & Service Dog MalachiTeaming up with Dog Bless You, Air Compassion for Veterans and Holiday Inn Express North Ashley, Canines for Veterans partnered its' 25th Veteran with their service dog.  Rick received Malachi in March and the team quickly bonded and began working together.  Team training was a week long process of intense training for the new team.  Training within the walls of the Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston and in the community, Rick learned how to work with his new canine partner to give him back his independence.  Rick thought he would show up, learn the commands and be all set.  He never realized there was so much to learn and work on with his new service dog.   Click here to learn more in this informative interview by Live 5 News Corey Davis.
As service dogs are placed it gives us the opportunity to bring new dogs into the training program. Jethro (formerly known as Cooper) joined the training from R.A.C.E. Inc. in Brunswick County. The R.A.C.E. team coordinated the meeting and temperament testing of Jethro and having passed that milestone they coordinated getting Jethro to the veterinary practice for his hip evaluation.   Thanks to the help of R.A.C.E. Inc. Jethro is settled into the Canines for Veterans program and beginning his training to one day serve a Veteran. 
To learn more about the Canines for Veterans program click here
Walking for the Cause
Boston Terrier Rescue
The 7th Annual Walk for Those Who Can't was held on March 23 in Wilmington bringing over 150 people, close to 200 dogs and 20 vendors who braved the chilly morning hoping the rain would hold off.  This year the event added a dog dash as a fun run for humans and their canine friends.
The event has become a welcomed spring gathering for dog lovers and helps to raise awareness about our programs and services and funds needed to continue the mission.  Helping to make that happen were the incredible sponsors so here is a big shout out to each of the sponsors that helped to make this event possible. 

Volunteers, The Heart Beat of Our Organization

April 21-27 in National Volunteer Appreciation Week.  Canines for Service volunteers work hard for us giving an average of 4,500 hours each month supporting the Canines for Service, Canines for Veterans, Canines for Therapy and Canines for Literacy programs.  From Board Members to helping in the office or volunteers at events, volunteers are the cornerstone of our organization. We celebrate our Volunteers and give our thanks for your dedication to others. 

Pets Make a Difference Everyday
adellCountless telephone calls come into our office each week asking for pet therapy teams to visit in their facility.  Certified pet therapy teams make a difference in the lives of people in our communities.  Whether it is working with elementary school children as literacy mentors or visiting at the nursing facility or hospital, the Canines for Therapy teams bring sunshine in the form of four paws.   
Our certified Canines for Therapy teams work hard to learn the skills they need as a team, person and dog.  Canines for Therapy is a comprehensive course that provides an active hands-on presentation and teaching the skills needed for a therapy team to make for successful visitations.   Our program will not accept a home-study option in which a person can obtain the course book and then schedule an evaluation. 
Canines for Therapy is the "platinum standard"- one that requires education for both the dog and the handler - and that offers good customer service, professionalism, and support of its volunteers.   Of course, volunteer registration with Canines for Therapy includes liability coverage for the team.  In addition to liability coverage, registration with Canines for Therapy includes a state and national background check including criminal and sexual offender verification - another element we feel is essential for ensuring appropriateness of our volunteers for the work they will be doing.

This program is growing and is offered in Raleigh, Smithfield and Raeford, NC in addition to Wilmington and in Charleston, SC.  Learn more about becoming a Canines for Therapy team visit our website or to learn about becoming an instructor click here.

The volunteers love what they do and so often we are told the teams have received so much more than they give.
In The News
Staff member Laura Conn was recently featured in Beach Carolina Magazine in an article about College of Charleston.  Laura is a graduate of the college and was invited to speak to the criminology students about her work with Canines for Veterans. To read the article, click here. And, staff member Pat Hairston was appointed to the GuideStar User Advisory Panel.  This team of users from a diverse segment of non-profits, for-profits and foundations will help the GuideStar Idea Lab select the products of the future.  Don't know about GuideStar?  It is the most comprehensive web based tool that gathers and publicizes information about nonprofit organizations.