Category : Disabilities : Canine Assistants
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Organization Number: 58-1974410
Organization Name: Canine Assistants
Address: 3160 Francis Road
City: Alpharetta
State / Province: GA
Zip / Post Code: 30004
Country: United States
Phone: 1-770-664-7178 Ext: 202
Fax: 1-770-664-7820
Organization Email:
Website Address:

Detailed Description: Canine Assistants is a non-profit organization that trains dogs to enhance and improve the lives of children and adults who have physical disabilities, seizure disorders or other special needs. Our organization has been part of the Atlanta nonprofit community since 1991 and we are proud of our accomplishments.

Our programs have enabled us to place close to 600 service dogs nationally, reach more than 300,000 students through disabilities awareness educational presentations, and provide communities with over 95,000 hours of animal assisted therapy. Last year alone, Canine Assistants placed 70 service dogs to individuals through out the United States.

Service dogs can provide assistance with many physicals tasks including, turning on and off lights, opening and closing doors, pulling wheelchairs, retrieving dropped objects, summoning help, and providing secure companionship. In addition to physical commands, our dogs are wonderful social outlets breaking down barriers that might remain indefinitely without their presence. Dogs in service and training are an invaluable asset to the communities in which they reside. Like fully certified service dogs, dogs in training have full public access to venues open to the general public.

Canine Assistants readily utilizes its service dogs-in-training for disabilities awareness education and animal assisted therapy programs.

Canine Assistants is supported by the private donations of individuals, foundations and corporations. Approximately 97% of all donations are directed towards our various programs and sponsorships. Contributions can be made in honor of individuals and can be directed towards specific programs, such as service dog sponsorships, training camp sponsorships, disability awareness education, K-9 Kids, and our puppy adoption program.

Service dog and training camp sponsorships are setup to insure no monetary costs are passed on to our recipients. In lieu of payment we ask our recipients to perform a minimum of 60 hours of community service in their home town. Service dog sponsorships are instrumental in providing the necessary care our dogs require while at our facility and post placement. Training camp sponsorships assist in covering food, boarding and transportation expenses during each two-week camp. When an applicant reaches the top of the waiting list, we assign them to one of our two-week training camps where the individual will meet and be trained to work with his or her new best friend. We currently conduct five training camps per year, with an average of twelve to fourteen recipients per camp. During these two weeks, our recipients attend lectures on dog management, participate in training sessions at our facility, and go on numerous outings to venues of public accommodation such as restaurants, malls, and schools to practice handling skills in public.

As part of the Noah Elliott Stowers Center for Animal Assisted Education, Canine Assistants animals and representatives conduct educational presentations and recreational therapies for various schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and community organizations. Educational presentations are tailored to each audience and range from a disability awareness program for students to a service dog demonstration for a local community organization. Animal assisted therapies also serve to educate children and adults at special needs schools, assisted living facilities, physical rehabilitation facilities and include interactive sessions where the participants can experience the unconditional love that our dogs provide. With a growing trend towards mainstreaming in schools and the workplace for those with disabilities, it is absolutely essential for the public to have the knowledge to understand and accept individual differences. Our Animal Assisted Program addresses these issues and the animals from Canine Assistants prove to be the most powerful of all educational tools…a good example.

Canine Assistants established a K-9 Kids literacy program in 2004 focusing on elementary school students. Scientific and anecdotal evidence has demonstrated that dogs are instrumental in enhancing emotional well being as well as academic achievement. As part of the reading program, Canine Assistants representatives and service dogs visit schools once a week for two hours in order to “listen” to the students as they read. Children who are uncomfortable reading in front of their peers for fear that they might make a mistake are quite at ease reading in front of a dog. Dogs are both supportive and nurturing and give children the confidence to overcome challenges in reading. Canine Assistants is proud to utilize our service dogs to act as academic ambassadors for children in the North Fulton area and hopes to expand this program to include other schools in the near future.

Currently we are conducting an assessment project which will allow us to substantially increase the ability of our dogs to help people who have special needs. We hope this work will ultimately help our clients achieve greater success in education, employment and activities of daily living. In order to increase our productivity and efficiency, we need to learn how to best establish communication between our clients and their dogs. The assessment of a dog’s ability to recognize and respond to minimal visual and verbal cues will give us badly needed data. This information will allow us to formalize training and handling templates that will be used by our clients and the service dog industry as a whole. An enormous auxiliary benefit of this project is the training of an additional twelve dogs as the study dogs will be available for placement upon completion of the study. As a result, our placement capacity for 2007 will be increased by 20%!


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