Can Do Canines

Rating: 4.74 stars   53 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Animals, Health, Human Services


9440 Science Center Drive New Hope MN 55428 USA


Can Do Canines is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs. We envision a future in which every person who needs and wants an assistance dog can have one.


More than 470 people with disabilities have received their own fully trained assistance dog, free of charge.

Target demographics:

people with disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year:

32 people with disabilities by pairing them with their own assistance dog.

Geographic areas served:

Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin


Our assistance dogs fetch amazing things. They provide the gifts of freedom, independence, and peace of mind to our clients and their families. These wonderful canines are often adopted from local animal shelters and are specially trained for our clients who live with disabilities that involve mobility challenges, hearing loss or deafness, seizure disorders, autism, or diabetes complicated by hypoglycemia unawareness. Dogs, training and supplies are provided to each client free of charge thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers and contributions from generous individuals, corporations, foundations and service groups like the Lions.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

More Info


Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on

Reviews for Can Do Canines

Rating: 5 stars  

My family has been a Can Do Canines volunteer since 2010 and over the years, we have had the pleasure of sharing our home with 16 puppies. We have done both short and long term fostering as well as puppy raising two of them. One of the puppies was donated from a breeder the other one came from a shelter, but all of them have a special place in our hearts. The staff is always professional, supportive, patient and very knowledgeable. It is apparent that this is so much more than a job for them. The health and safety of the dogs is a top priority at Can Do Canines, however, they are just as concerned about the people they place the dogs with. It's a bond like no other so it's important that it's a perfect match. We are so proud to be a part of this amazing organization and would highly recommend it to volunteers and prospective recipients alike. Three cheers (and barks) for Can Do Canines!

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

Can Do Canines has opened a whole new world for our family. Raising two teenagers can be challenging but when our two mentioned interest in having another dog, we encouraged them to check out what we would need to be volunteers and raise a puppy for someone else. Can Do Canines answered our call. Our kids have been 100% involved in raising puppies and are eager to share with others about the impact these puppies have on individuals who haven't been as fortunate as we have been. They truly have become more selfless, compassionate young adults. They go to classes, outings and even run errands because the pups need to be socialized. WE ALL know the impact the dogs have on individuals who need the service of these dogs, but the impact they have had on our family, coworkers and friends has been just as valuable. We love being ambassadors for Can Do Canine and have committed to continued support for an organization that POSITIVELY impacts, every individual who comes in to contact with one of the dogs. Our only regret is that we didn't begin sooner! Can Do Canines makes a difference!

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Contrary to another review, I can say that Con Do Canines DOES use rescue animals in their program. I am a volunteer who has trained rescues animals to be service dogs and want to continue to do so as it is double duty in helping Can Do's clients as well as dogs who may not have another opportunity for a life such as they have with their clients. I was introduced to Can Do in a presentation at my place of work. I was looking for a volunteer opportunity after retirement helping people and dogs, and there it was! I couldn't wait until retirement so am juggling it all now and have never been more satisfied. Wonderful organization, wonderful people who truly love these animals and work hard to produce the best service dogs at not cost to the client.

Flag review
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Can Do Canines does NOT use rescue animals and relies on breeding programs for their dogs...tells the volunteers that volunteering is not enough, they expect financial donations too. Too much focus on autism-not enough focus on service/hearing dogs etc. Shady organization that I have washed my hands of.

Flag review
(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

I'm Al Peters, Executive Director of Can Do Canines. We make no secret of our breeding program or the fact that we need financial support from everyone possible, so that we can provide our well-trained assistance dogs free of charge to people with disabilities. I'm not sure why this reviewer is so unhappy and would be glad to share information with them if they would contact me directly. We continue to use shelter dogs when we can find qualified candidates there, but the demands of our specialized training requires dogs that are nearly perfect, both physically and in temperament, and those are hard to find in shelters. We have about 187 people waiting for assistance dogs right now and the largest disability type is children with autism. However we continue to serve all five areas of service each year. Who receives the next dog is determined by both who has waited the longest and what the next dog's skills and temperament are best suited to perform. For example, some dogs are better suited for autism work but would not work well as mobility dogs. The dog's needs are considered when we decide which person and which disability type is the best match.

Rating: 5 stars  

Being a veterinarian and dog lover I was able to give back to the community by raising 2 eager to please puppies for Can-Do-Canines, an assistance dog organization in New Hope, MN. The staff devotion and knowledge, the volunteer dedication and compassion and the great needs being met make this Nonprofit one of the most awesome that I have ever been involved with. Seeing and hearing the struggles with everyday living that the dog recipients have and how one dog can give them independence and comfort makes giving up the puppies I have raised and loved worth it. I take for granted being able to bend over to pick up something I've dropped or ( when my children were that age) for my toddler not to run off in a panicked meltdown at the mall. Seeing the puppies I raised perform a simple task to help a person in need is more heartwarming than I can explain. Being a part of something bigger and bringing peace of mind to the families who have the dogs now has blessed me as much as it has them. although it has been over a year since the second puppy went to his new owner people ask me about him all the time, where he is and how he is doing. I learned so much through the experience too.

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

10 dogs ago we received our first service dog in training. Not knowing squat about dogs we were a little nervous. But Can Do Canines, actually Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota at the time, gave us direction and training to help us do what was needed. Jordan went on to certify as a seizure assist dog. What a rewarding experience! We were hooked. Can Do Canines has come a long way in there puppy raiser program and have done amazing things for the clients that have come to them for an assistance dog. All free of charge to them. We have now raised 7 dogs that have gone on to certify as service dogs, and are training our tenth. I still get a tear to my eyes when I think of the great opportunity I have provided to others with life challenging issues. Can Do Canines is TRUELY an AMAZING non-profit organization!

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

It's been remarkable to observe the growth of this organization over the years. The basic idea of training canines to assist folks who need help due to hearing loss, and physical limitations has grown to include assistance for those with diabetes, autism and PTSD. Part of the appeal of volunteering with Can Do Canines was their ability to train dogs from rescue places such as the pound and the Humane Society. They continue to train and match homeless dogs with people who needed assistance - talk about a win-win mission!

Years ago I started volunteering at the office and then began to provide a temporary home for dogs that were being considered for the program. Trainers wanted to know if the dog was compatible with my cats, since some clients already had a cat in their home. Other temperament/behavior issues were carefully considered also and only those dogs with the appropriate personalities were accepted for training.

This wonderful organization continues to professionally train and place exceptional "can-do" canines with deserving clients at no cost to the recipient. Can Do Canines is truly a great non-profit!

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

My wife and I had been looking for an opportunity to work with a group that could use our help and we would also enjoy helping. Can Do was the perfect fit for us. We are Dog People, with three Labradors of our own already.
To understand how much this group and the dogs they provide really mean, just attend a graduation or an event when the amazing dogs are helping their clients. To see the bond and the support these dogs give to their clients is just incredible and this group is doing phenomenal work.
We are so pleased to be associated with Can Do Canines and are volunteers and donors.
Stu Wicklund, Greenfield MN

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the profoundly humbling experience of helping Can Do Canines as a field trainer several times. I say humbling because both the staff and the clients are amazingly committed, and the dogs are such a gift to a person struggling in ways most of us cannot imagine.

To be able to help a deaf woman find a sense of security in her home with the help of her hearing dog and a young man with CP continue his work, gain independence and become an outspoken advocate for CDC and people with disabilities in general made me more aware of the small things I could do to change my little corner of the world.

Everyone at CDC, from the Director to the Receptionists are knowledgeable and passionate about the program, and have the best interest of the clients and dogs in mind at all times. This organization has always used it's funds wisely and is committed to providing service dogs to it's clients free of charge.

I too "envision a future in which every person who needs and wants an assistance dog can have one".
Sarah G.

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I was volunteering at the Pet Gate at the Renaissance Festival to raise money for Can Do Canines. I met an autistic 4 year old and his service Dog along with the boy's mother. I was impressed with how well the dog waited for the boy to stand up and how calm the dog was around this 4 year old. What dog waits for a 4 year old? This dog did. Now mom starts heading for the gate, the boy veered off in another direction and the dog stopped so the boy had to stop as they were tied together--tethered more like it--for the safety of the boy so he did not wander off. I am so impressed by the time taken by another volunteer to train this dog to be able to do what he did today and take care of this boy. I foster dogs for a rescue organization and my dogs are not taught this well. Hats off to the volunteer that accomplished this training in order that this special needs child can now be safe and his parents do not have to worry so much about him running off and getting hurt or worse, getting lost. This nonprofit gets an A+++ in my book for the time and training they put into these special dogs. Thank you for what you do...

Flag review