Canine Companions For Independence

Rating: 4.83 stars   29 reviews

Issues: Animals, Health, Human Services

Location: PO Box 446 2965 Dutton Ave Santa Rosa CA 95402 USA

Mission: Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) is a nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. CCI serves people all over the US with training centers in Northern and Southern California, Ohio, New York, and Florida, as well as dozens of volunteer groups and satellite offices. Visit our website at or call toll-free 1-800-572-2275 to reach the CCI training center in your region.
Target demographics: Trained assistance dogs for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 240 teams placed in 2009.
Geographic areas served: National
Programs: This process includes breeding and puppy raising, training and follow-up, public information, and veterinary expenses. See specific training results below.

Service Dogs: We train golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers (and cross-breeds of the two) to retrieve dropped items, pull wheelchairs, turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and many other tasks for people with limited mobility.
Hearing Dogs: We also train dogs to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing by alerting them to important sounds.
Facility Dogs: We train dogs to work in therapeutic settings such as hospitals, clinics, hospices, schools, and other places where the unconditional love and soothing presence of a loving animal can help people feel better.
Skilled Companion Dogs: We train dogs similar to Service Dogs that work with clients and a third person, usually a parent or caregiver.
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EIN 94-2494324
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I could never give enough thanks to Canine Companions for Independence and everyone involved with this wonderful organization. My Hearing Dog Tatiana has given me a second chance at independence, happiness and life, and has touched countless lives. My life has been forever changed and saved (literally) because of her. Heroes are not born, but are madeā€¦ And Canine Companions made Tatiana. I can never return the gift I have been given, but I can do my best to keep paying it forward. Thank you CCI!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I was given a service dog at no cost to me. Oscar VI helps me be indepandant. He picks up my clothing by name: shirt, socks, undershirt, slippers, etc. He opens drawers, pulls off my socks, and helps me get dressed. Opens and closes doors, turns lights off and on and much more.

Canine Companions for Independence started in California where they breed their own dogs. When these exceptional dogs are 8 weeks old they are sent to one of several regions to initiate their puppy raising and training with volunteers. Then they ascend to advanced training at a Canine Companions for Independence location, Oscars is Orlando, Florida. After 9 months Oscar was ready to be considered for placement with a disabled person that would be helped to be independent. My wife and I went to CCI Orlando for 2 weeks of training to learn how to lead, care for, manage and think like a dog.

Canine Companions for Independence does this all with a very small professional staff of highly motivated and very dedicated people. They provide highly-trained, exceptional dogs at no charge to disabled Veterans and others with disabilities. This is why I recommend CCI.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Our 12 year old has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and a rate immune disorder. We received our skilled companion working dog in February of 2013. Nickel III has been a Godsend. He's a faithful companion, he can help retrieve objects when our son has bad JRA days and he been a great social bridge for our son.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We received a CCI skilled companion dog in 2007 for my daughter born with spina bifida. The independence she gained was unimaginable. I never would have guessed how her world opened up for her by the addition of a dog. But, CCI dogs are so much more then just a dog. They become extensions of their people. They become their arms, legs, eyes, and ears. The fact that my daughter can tell Gladys II ( lovingly known as Glady) "get mom" and she will run to me and tug my clothes until I follow her back to my daughter is awe inspiring. There are no words to express our gratitude for all the hard work that goes into the raising, training, and placement of these incredible dogs. CCI is simply put, AMAZING!!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My organizations which serves children who are deaf or hard of hearing has been fortunate in receiving a Facility Dog from CCI. This dog is a miracle maker! Children who never smiled, now smile when they see her. Kids who are having a tough day, relax when she is with them. She is an integral part of the curriculum, helping kids solve puzzles, find the right words during speech therapy, encouraging them to be physically active in the play yard. I cannot state strongly enough how great the benefits are from the services of this one dog.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My husband and I received a facility dog that works with injured servicemen and women at military hospitals, support groups and sports rehabilitation events as part of CCI's Wounded Veteran Initiative. Our facility dog, Tali, lends her support by snuggling with injured troops as they heal in the hospital, she walks with them when they receive a new prosthetic limb and waits for them at the finish line after they compete in their first triathlon. Over the last year we have seen several CCI service dogs placed with permanently injured servicemen and women. Some of these individuals were not able to live on their own without assistance. However, with their assistance dogs, they can now live on their own without a roommate. Independence doesn't mean living alone. Many of these veterans now have "Battle Buddies" as they move on with their lives. We are grateful to have Tali and enjoy watching her as she connects with those in need. The Wounded Veteran's Initiative has and will continue to help our veterans regain independence.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the staff's passion to help veterans regain independence by placing assistance dogs with those who have permanent physical injuries. They truly care and are only a phone call away. They take the time to get to know you and place you with the right dog.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

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