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Can Do Canines

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Health, Human Services

Mission: 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.

Results: More than 600 people with disabilities have received their own fully trained assistance dog, free of charge.

Target demographics: people with disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 50 people with disabilities by pairing them with their own assistance dog.

Geographic areas served: Minnesota and Wisconsin

Programs: 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.

Community Stories

134 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Tiffany62

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have actively volunteered for Can Do Canines for 2 and a half years so far and I can honestly say it is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. The staff truly appreciates our efforts and the end result changes lives. I get to snuggle puppies, learn how to train service dogs, and meet lots of new people...I have made so many new friends. The clients are so grateful to receive their service dog...it is amazing to be a part of that process.

Brian S.9

Client Served

Rating: 1

We have been on the waiting list for more then 3 1/2 years to find out after an hour and a half interview a letter comes two weeks later to say we are not a good fit?! What! So an hour and half interview let’s you know my sons needs. Wasted over three years for something my son needs not wants but needs

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter Andrea Miller received her seizure assist dog, Drake, from Can Do Canines in 2011. Before Drake, Andrea didn't have the independence she wanted and did not feel comfortable being alone. A friend suggested applying for an assistance dog from Can Do Canines. The first time Andrea met Drake she was surprised at how calm and well trained he was. The staff and trainers worked with Andrea on finding her the perfect dog. After weeks of training and then graduation she began to rely on his ability to be there for her, which gave her the confidence she was looking for to lead a more independent life. Having Drake made Andrea more comfortable after seizures by getting help and making her feel safe. Her family also felt a sense of relief knowing Drake was always by her side. The staff at Can Do Canines are exceptional at placing the client with the perfect dog! Andrea was blessed to have Drake in her life for 10 years.

Rachael M.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are learning so much with Can Do Canines and have really enjoyed being able to volunteer! We get to share new experiences with the pups and they give unconditional love in return! It’s a very rewarding organization to work with, especially when you see the changes the dogs make in the recipient’s lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing group of staff and volunteers who work extremely hard to match their medical assistance dogs with deserving clients.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering with Can Do since 2012 and have loved every minute of it. I’ve had around 60+ dogs in my home for short term fosters (mostly from prison) and long term fostering. Each dog has been unique in personality and ability but every one has been a pleasure to have.
The staff is beyond great. Always there for me to answer and help with any questions I have.
I also help with public outings for the in final training dogs and train new volunteers/fosters on how to conduct a successful outing with their dog. Can Do always has everything covered to make sure everyone feels supported and valued. They are the best of the best!
Below are a few of the dogs who have been a part of our family during their learning years.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been volunteers for about 4 years now and have never experienced such a great group of committed, wonderful village of volunteers which truly reflects the dedication of support from all of it's staff members. CDC is such an amazing non profit and we are so proud to be a part of!

Katie P.5

Client Served

Rating: 5

This an an amazing group of people. The benefit of my son being paired with his Autism Assist Dog is beyond words. We will be forever grateful for everything they have done, do, and continue to do for not only our family, but everyone who comes to them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My seven-year-old granddaughter kept pestering me to get a hearing assist dog. Even with advanced degrees it is difficult to argue with a determined young lady convinced that your life could depend upon it. She enlisted her uncle, an avid hunter and outdoors-man, to scout out a canine assistant, and over the next year together they zeroed in on a beautiful, irresistible, intelligent litter at Royalty British Kennels. Three trips to RBK and three one-hour interviews with dedicated breeder John Pesek, bought Bentley Fox to the rescue, to at least end the proddings of Grandaughter Claire.

We didn't know at the time that we were doing everything backwards, but many queries and searching, an a suggestion from a ticket seller at the Children's Theater in Minneapolis--herself a volunteer with Can Do Canines--eventually brought us to Can Do Canines of New Hope, MN. Patient and helpful from day one, they confirmed that owner-provided dogs are rarely accepted into their program, and we already knew that was also true of other programs we had contacted.

Nevertheless the folks at Can Do Canines were of tremendous help in walking us through the normal procedures, and encouraging us to school Bentley to the point where he could be accepted into the program.

Bentley was accepted, and Elizabeth Reberk of CDC, assisted by field trainer Kelly Brunson in Dululth, patiently and expertly formed Bentley and Tim Roufs into a qualifying team.

From the very first day we walked through the CDC office in New Hope to the CDC e-mails checking in on us this week the volunteers and staff of CDC have without exception been the finest group of individuals that we have interacted with with of any charitable organization with which we have dealt in the last fifty years of our marriage. Bentley and I have attended the meetings of and appeared before the Board of Directors of CDC, we regularly travel from Duluth, to the Twin Cities for their major fund raisers, Bentley and I have become part of the CDC Northern Minnesota-Wisconsin outreach team, giving public presentations for the Cloquet community at the Cloquet Public Library, and for the staff of the Superior Animal Hospital in Superior, WI. Elizabeth Reberk has also participated in the staff training with Dr. Jenny Shamla and the staff at the Superior Animal Hospital. Bentley has also become the "spokesperson" for assist dogs at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he is by my side in my office and the classroom (pre-covid).

Over the last three years Can Do Canines has become our number-one favorite charity. They are an organization made up of staff and volunteers who without exception genuinely care about their clients. Their activities harness the energies of their staff, volunteers, and clients. Their works give meaning to the lives not only of those they help with assistance animals, but also to those--such as volunteers in the states' correctional institutions who participate in the early stages of the dogs' training.

In our particular case, HAD Bentley not only stands guard on the life of his deaf partner, but together as a team they bring peace of mind to three generations of our extended family.

And the Can Do Legacy with us continues, as contributors and supporters of their program and staff. Kelly Brunson continues her role as field trainer for other dogs for CDC, John Peshek has in recent months contributed Royalty British Kennel genetic services to the CDC litter development, Tim & Bentley regularly consult with the veterinarians at the Superior Animal Hospital, and stand by as CDC representatives to the media and citizens of northeastern Minnesota.

Can Do Canines truly is one of our stellar Nonprofits.



Donor

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines provides an amazing resource to people with disabilities with increased independence and confidence. These canines are amazingly well trained to meet the needs of the individual they are partnered with, not to mention the deep bond of unconditional love and support they share. Can Do Canine staff develop a team with each person they serve through training and on going personal contact to assure a successful partnership.

Supporting this incredible organization in their work is an honor.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines is Amazing! I am so thankful for all of there hard work and time spent to help others just like me! I can't imagine life with out my mobility service dog Opal! This has been a life changing event for me and my family and we are Blessed beyond words to be part of this wonderful family!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It’s been my pleasure to volunteer with Can-do-Canines for 5 years. The staff is committed to helping those whose lives will be enhanced by the addition of a service dog. They take great care to make sure both the client and dog are well matched, happy and fulfilled.

Deb Feyereisn M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering as a puppy raiser back in June 2018. Since then I have fostered 8 different puppies/dogs. Each one has been a joy. Working with CanDoCanines has been such a pleasure. They have provided me all the tools and training I need to support these amazing future service dogs. I find the organization to be authentically devoted to providing amazing companions to people whose lives can be dramatically improved by these service dogs. I would highly recommend the fostering experience or volunteering in others critical ways.

Melissa K.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been so blessed to be able to volunteer for CDC. The staff are so helpful and informative. We have now fostered 2 dogs and are enjoying every minute. Thrilled to be a part of a great organization

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Can Do Canines for 10 years now. It was a perfect fit for me, a good cause and my love of dogs. The are very helpful, clear in their expectations and above all friendly and funny. A beautiful place that helps a lot of people, the perfect combination.

1 Catie S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We love Can Do Canines! My husband, son and I are proud volunteers and financial supporters. As a volunteer I have a small view into where financial contributions go and am so impressed with how hard the staff works. Especially during Covid - keeping their program going safely!

Addyson M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines has been such a wonderful organization to work with! They matched me with a Mobility Assist Service Dog named Aggi and it couldn't have been a better match. They were very easy to work with, are super responsive with getting back to me with needs related to Aggi and I and just overall are amazing! If you are looking for a service dog organization to work with here in Minnesota/Wisconsin I highly recommend them!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My boyfriend and I volunteer with Can Do Canines and have loved every minute of it! We have two puppies (Logan and Peyton) in our home right now and have found this way of volunteering to be SO rewarding. These two dogs are so special and it has been amazing to help teach them vital skills that they will use when helping their future person!

Donor

Rating: 5

Has provided Service dogs to help people with disabilities improve the quality of their lives.
If you heard the impact that people have had by getting a dog it will bring tears to your eyes.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Years ago my back started to really hurt. Bending over was excruciating. I learned how to pick up with my toes. Anything to save my back. I have had a pain pump and internal stem unit. Before that I was on Fentanyl and Percocet. That messed with my memory.

Enter Kirby. He carries things for me. Gets the phone. Helps with the laundry and gets things off the floor. A side thing he does is putting his head on my lab when all those measures do not cover all the pain. And when I feel alone, he makes me laugh trying to lick my lips.

Can Do Canines has impacted my life in a dozen ways. Even now 5 yrs later I am still getting support from my awesome trainer. Yea Leslie.

I had looked at dogs and could not afford to buy one. It takes over$25,000 to raise a dog from birth to being joined with their life partner. The awesome fundraising they do to give the dogs for the cost of an application fee.

Thank you birth families, puppy raiders, foster parents, trainers, walkers and all the corporate staff who make this program happen. Love you Kirby.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"When you support Can Do Canines, as a volunteer, as an employee or as a financial contributor, you save lives." These words were spoken by a person who experienced the life giving benefits of a Can Do Canines service dog.

As a long-time volunteer, financial supporter and former board member, I can tell you that Can Do Canines really does save lives - over 500 to date. What's more, it's not just the life of the person who is paired with the dog that benefits. It is their family, their neighbors, their co-workers, their community. The ripple effects of a service dog are immeasurable.

On top of that Can Do Canines is an excellent steward of the financial gifts they receive, using almost every penny to support their clients and programs.

As if that's not enough, Can Do Canines has been a leader in developing innovative training for their service dogs teaching them to detect sudden drops in low blood sugar, help children and families living with autism, and delivering life saving support for people suffering from seizures.

If it sounds like I am exaggerating, I am not. Go to a graduation, take a tour or talk to someone who has benefited from a Can Do Canine service dog and you will agree. A Can Do Canine really does save lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a long time volunteer that fills in as receptionist and a monthly donor I see the Organization’s volunteers and staff raise puppies to become adults that have been nurtured and trained to become assistance dogs and the thankful and well deserving clients that receive these dogs free of charge. Their prison program is inspiring as inmates raise and train puppies as well. It is an inspiring organization to work for as a volunteer and I live the work that they do.

Kim Hale S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’m a 9 year Veteran of the Marine Corps. I was strong, in control and a wife and mom. I’m 2013 I started getting symptoms of weird neurological things. I thought omg I have MS. ALS. It took 3 years and 7 doctors to finally get my diagnosis of Adult Onset Cerebellum Ataxia. Even the Mayo had no idea what I had. I went from a strong Marine to walking like I was drunk, slurred speech, no fine motor skills-as I progressed people kept telling me to look into an assistance dog. I was like a typical stubborn Marine in that no way I needed help nor was going to ask. I finally got on a list at a different organization and after almost 4 years I said forget it. I walked into Can Do Canines and was given the utmost professional communication and coaching as they fitted me with a dog. In months I was working and learning along with this organization that changed my life. I no longer am afraid to be alone. I no longer wish I could go for walks but now can do. My dog has spoken volumes to me about trust, patience and unconditional love. These are highly trained dogs that fit many needs. I can’t thank them enough!!!

Bonnie Hill J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have watched how this program has grown and how supportive they are from the moment the puppies come into the program, to how they are handled and trained. But the most beautiful part is when they pair these dogs with their "person". WOW is the only way to describe it. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

1 Angie49

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve had my assistance dog from Can Do Canines for six years now. Each one of those six years Can Do Canines has been there for us! Anytime I have needed their help, which honestly isn’t that often because of how well they trained both of us for this journey I’m on in my life. They provided me with a four-legged life saver whose got my back in more ways than I can count. Thank you Can Do Canines!!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received the most loving, crazy, intelligent, life saver from Can-Do-Canines on 10/03/2013!!! Bubba is a Schipperke that alerts me to dangerously low blood sugars before they become to low to correct on my own or cause me to have a seizure or pass out. He does this all for love and treats. He keeps me safe everyday at work, at home, at hockey games, and everywhere else we go. He had the best training, I hear quite often "I didn't even see your dog". When we are at home is a typical Schipperke, but when we are at work or out in the public he is all business. Can-Do-Canines has been there for me every step of the way, they have made Bubba and I a great team! I can never thank them enough. Can -Do-Canines has done all of this for me for free. The love have for their dogs and their clients is priceless!

Jackie T.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a high school student I volunteered to raise money by working at the Renaissance Festival Pet Gate. I believe in this nonprofit Because I have two daughters with special needs and I have seen the power of these amazing animals helping children and adults like my girls!

Brittani F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

❤️❤️❤️❤️
Patient
Clean
Kind
Dogs everywhere
Woofaroo was a great time

Lindsey B.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer there regularly and the work they do is amazing and ever one is super friendly and supportive

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love what Cab Do Canines is doing for all of those in need of a service dog. I know a bit about what it takes to train service dogs, and what it takes is a village! These people work tirelessly for these dogs and their future humans that they will service.

Claire R.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, I have seen first hand the amazing commitment of the organization both to the clients and the dogs, and they respect and treat the volunteers amazingly!

Cheryl H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have only had positive interactions and respect; even when conversations are tough. They (CDC) treat both assist dogs and potential clients; but initially, the main focus is the dogs. Your application is reviewed, your resources and recommendations are contacted. Once your application for a service/assist is approved, you are interviewed in your home via video. This is shared with all staff to help match you with the best assist dog for you. All Staff are aware of what the dog and you need. That’s how it starts and that perspective never ends. I have had my combination assist dog since July 2018 and I have had the ear of the trainers for myself and Catalina; needing feedback, directives on an issue, or sharing an “Atta Girl!

Mary S.13

Client Served

Rating: 3

My son has Caudal Regression Syndrome which affects the lower portion of his body making walking and getting around difficult. Just getting out of bed and normal everyday activities were difficult and he was starting to get depressed. We applied to Can Do Canines for a mobility assist dog. A few months later he was matched to Mobility Assist Dog Kane. Kane has been a god send as he has provided my son with a reason to continue to get up and move around, he helps him with walking and picking things up when dropped and he has become Jake's best friend. The Can Do Canine program is so wonderful and so appreciated by the people and families they have impacted as they do such a fabulous job of training and preparing these hard working and loveable assistance dogs.

Joan S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are short-term foster dogs for this wonderful organization. What a difference they are making in people's lives. It's a whole network of volunteers to raise a dog for such worthy causes. Proud to be part of it!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing nonprofit!! 100% class act from top to bottom!! Such an amazing resource for anyone with a disability need!!

Ruth L.3

Donor

Rating: 5

The work they do is extremely valuable to the people who need service dogs. They can become independent with the help of a service dog. The care and training that goes into these service dogs is unbelievable. Keep up the great work!!!!

Haddayr C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received a beautifully-trained service dog, months of training, and constant access to a trainer afterward. All at no fee. They are incredibly well organized, compassionate, responsive, and helpful. Tristan has helped me in ways I never could have imagined.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was a recipient of a Can Do Canine and was helped immensely! He loves his assistance dog and will periodically ask me if Cooper will last forever. The trainers were wonderful with training the dog and me as the dog's handler. They followed up with us and were there to answer any questions we had after we brought him home. They do not charge the clients for these dogs so to continue their mission, they need generous people to come alongside them. If you are looking for an organization to donate your time and money to, this is certainly a worthy one.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We started volunteering with Can Do Canines to be a puppy raiser. They have been very thorough with their orientation to the organization and their expectations for volunteers. The Can Do Canines staff are very supportive and are always available to answer questions. We have gone through several training sessions held by Can Do Canines. The training is done in a very professional manner; sessions are very well organized and extremely informative. Can Do Canines has a very clear mission statement and they hold fast to this mission. They seem to do everything possible to serve their clients and support the volunteers that help with this fantastic organization. We look forward to volunteering with them for a very long time.















Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is no finer Nonprofit! We have been working with CDC for several years and it is an all around first class organization. Win, win, win, seems to be the worthy goal of CDC. It is a win for the clients who are served in the most honorable way by receiving service animals who enhance every day of their lives. It's a win for the volunteers who help each other and incarcerated individuals achieve goals they never thought possible, and it's a win for the CDC employees who work hard every day to help these two groups of people come together. This is an organization that continuously strives to reach higher goals and it proves itself deserving of its volunteers' time and its donors' dollars time and time again.

Karen Deans Debee F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Years ago, while I was raising my 4 young children and family dogs :), I happened upon an organization that was requesting volunteer foster families for their puppies who would, after about 2 years, become military or law enforcement canines. The idea struck me as a wholly rewarding experience for both the pup and the family, and I kept the idea in the back of my mind. Years later, my own children grown and on their own and me without a furry friend, I searched for a canine organization to attach myself to. I found and researched about 4 different organizations in the area before deciding upon Can Do Canines. What really impressed me was not only the scope and experience of the organization, but especially that the clients were carefully matched with a *Free* service dog! W-O-W. The education, support, and flexibility given to all the volunteers is enormous! The amount of individual persons learning from, loving, training and benefiting from each pup/dog is sometimes hard to fathom and I often get a lump in my throat thinking about it: everyone from the whelping home, to the prison inmates and personnel, to the fostering families, and ultimately the paired client! The word 'lucky' doesn't say enough. I am so Blessed and Honored to be included in this wonderful service dog organization family! Can Do Canines: THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!

Sheree G.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Can Do Canines is a fabulous organization helping disable clients to live independently as possible. I received a hearing dog in 2001 and was amaze how this organization worked with clients putting a dog into a client's home. I highly recommend this organization to all people who are thinking of getting a service animal to help in their daily life and living. This is a top notch nonprofit as I ever seen and they love what they do to help disable people live life to the fullness. Thank you Can Do Canines for being a part of my life and to enrich my life to the best of my capabilities. Proud of YOU everyone for doing an outstanding job for our great community and for the state of Minnesota.

Linda E.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I love this organization and what they do for individuals in need. I have been to a graduation ceremony where the trainers officially hand over the dogs to their people. Brings me to tears every time at the amazing skills of the dogs. I use this organization as the beneficiary when I make memorial gifts for loved ones that have passed away.

Donor

Rating: 5

We wish to donate $115.00 in memory of Mr Tom Untiedt. Sincerely, Ken and Betty Pierskalla

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family lives were changed the day we started puppy raising for Can Do Canines. We thought we would try to help raise a puppy that would go on and make a huge difference in the life of someone in need and 8 dogs later we can say the joy and laughter these puppies have brought into our lives and the feeling of accomplishment is just the start of the pride we feel.
These four legged friends can go out and be the difference for so many families and knowing we have a little part in the process is amazing. The staff at Can Do Canines are the best people a company could ask for. I love being a part of this organization.

jproell72

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to this wonderful non profit Volunteer opportunity this summer, by friends who donate their time. I wanted to do some volunteer work, AND I have also fostered dogs in need before for other organizations. THIS organization is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to get involved, on many different levels. This is a truly Pay It Forward volunteer experience! All the work with the dogs, the trainers, the finding volunteers...goes forward to matching an Assistance Dog with a needing client. What could be better satisfaction for your efforts! Loved my first time volunteer for three months raising a puppy to go on to be his best for someone...Look them up, Volunteer, Do It!

Kathy G.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been volunteering at Can-Do-Canines for more than 15 years. We have puppy raised 10 dogs, 7 have graduated, we have fostered many, worked the Ren.Fest. pet gates, manned many a booth and met some AWESOME people. The rewards that the clients receive is not only the dog but their freedom! So many lives have bern changed through this organization, they are truely Wonderful!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is amazing! I am so impressed with the care for the dogs, the volunteers, the clients and all that goes in to the mission. I have been a foster home volunteer for a year now and as much as I love the dogs, I love the people just as much. Great cause!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely love this organization and love fostering the dogs. I'm proud to take the dogs out i the community and share their story with people I encounter.

Len H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am privileged to say that I and my family has been blessed with one of Can Do Canines dogs, a true superhero.
My girl, Rogue is a Diabetic Alert Dog. What she does is alert me inadvance of a hypoglycemic incident. I no longer feel the warning from my body, haven't for years. This means she keeps a visit from the EMT's at bay.
One of the truly amazing thing about Can Do Canines is their staff. Without whom these life changing dogs would not be possible.
They are always there for a client, with an encouraging word or a bit of advice to help ensure the success of a team.
No questions asked, they also remember us, no little feat, considering the numbers of people helped by Can Do Canined says alot.
Rogue has removed a good portion of the fear, concern and helpessness that are things commonly felt by every diabetics family, that alone is life changing!
Rogue is a life saver, on an on going basis, she keeps me out of the danger zone, the area below a Blood Sugar reading of 70. It is not uncommon for a person to have readings below 40. For me that is no longer a area I experience.
That's what makes Rogue a true superhero for me and my family.
When you think about it everyone, has an innate desire to touch a life, to improve someones life in a positive way.
This organization does this multiple times a day, in a number of different areas.
For those looking for the opportunity to help others in a significant way, to significantly change someones life, you would be hard pressed to find a better place to focus your efforts.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CDC is fantastic! I have volunteered as a puppy raiser, foster and great start and am amazed at the grace and goodwill with which this organization operates. Everyone involved works for the same goal of training these dogs to be assistance dogs and pitches in to do whatever to help out. The staff is great and this is a well organized for those of us who like that. As a volunteer your time and effort is valued. There is just no down side here. Love ❤️ CDC. This is Miss Tikky, showing off her ‘leave it’.

Madison S.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a client for this incredible organization, and I'll do my best to really sum up how wonderful Can Do Canines really is.

I'm a Type 1 Diabetic that was diagnosed at age 19. After managing my diabetes on my own for several years, I wanted to live alone and truly be independent. Because of my low blood sugars and more frequent hyperglycemia unawareness, my family was concerned and warned me against living independently. I looked for alternate options, and my father saw a news segment about Can Do Canines on a local station.

After looking them up, I applied and eagerly waited to hear. I got an interview over the phone, an in home interview, and days later I was placed with my diabetic alert dog (DAD) Willy. This is a pretty quick turnaround, but Willy had just come back from training and was ready to be homed.

We started training a few weeks later, and I ran into issues with my work not willing to accommodate. Can Do Canines was with me every step of the way, and supported me until they changed their minds.

Later that year, before graduation, Willy had alerted several times to dangerous crashes and low blood sugars. One night, after I over-corrected for a meal and went to bed, Willy saved my life by repeatedly alerting me until I woke up and checked. He even stayed up with me while I corrected my dangerous low, and only went to bed when he knew I was safe.

If Willy wasn't there that night, I may never have woken up. Can Do Canines has not only provided me and my family peace of mind, but they gave me a medical tool I never knew I needed. They continue to check in and be a system of support even almost two years after placing Willy. I know I can count on them, even after all their hard work is technically over.

I would give Can Do Canines a million stars if I could. I only hope that they will live on forever so others can feel the same way I do.

Kelly Carlson K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our little boy received his best friend on June 1st. Her name is Georgie and she is a 2 year old Golden Retriever/labrador mix autism assistance dog. We had absolutely no idea of the impact Georgie would bring to our lives. Our son isn't drawn to people or things in particular and hasn't shown interest in any sort of pet. We are able to go shopping with our son - something I never thought would be possible. Gone are the days of lifting his 80 pound body into the cart and running out of the store when he's had enough. My son has a belt tethered to her cape and he holds onto the handle while we are out in the community. He remains calm and doesn't run off. She goes with us to doctor appointments and she provides a sense of calm when the anxiety spikes. He can pet his "Georgie girl" and everything will be OK. Our son craves compression and this gal just loves to lay against him and will lay on top of him when he wants to be squished in his bed. Although our son cannot speak we can see the love in his eyes and feel the love he has for her as he is quick to jump off the swing so we can walk his puppy. This organization has given our family a much needed support and our son a friend to count on when his world becomes overwhelming.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines is a great organization. I have volunteered for 6 months and have had the opportunity to already learn so much. I participate in the "Great Start" program for young puppies, teaching them basic obedience and letting them become a part of my family for about 6 weeks. It has been such a rewarding and fun experience, I can't give enough praise about the people who work there and the other volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Can Do Canines for about 20 years. They are a wonderful organization. Very well run and forward thinking. They see a problem or a need and they figure it out. They have tons of opportunities for any level of skill set and also for people with no previous experience. They are always very gracious towards their volunteers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines is 27 year old 501(c)3 nonprofit which raises and trains Assistance (Service) dogs and provides them with personalized training free of charge to people with Type I Diabetes, Mobility Challenges, Hearing Loss, Seizure Disorders, and Childhood Autism. These dogs give our clients and their families freedom, independence, and confidence to go out and be involved in the community. How can we do this?—only with many, many committed volunteers, donors, and supporters.

I'm Pam Streiff, a volunteer from St. Louis Park, MN. I help plan events and lead the Silent Auction at the Fetching Ball Gala. The nice thing about volunteering at Can Do Canines is that I come into contact with so many great people that I would not otherwise meet.

My regular full time job is a Quality Manager at a family owned machine shop which manufactures medical devices. So I'm "doing good in the world." However, there is such a great separation between my work and those who benefit from it. So I wanted to do good in my community, and see the results.

Can Do Canines gives me that opportunity. There are many different ways people can pitch in and help. There are events such as tours showing people the facility and introducing them to the process. Graduations are celebrations where you see dogs transferred from their 'puppy raisers' hands to their final placement with a client. Videos of them showing off their skills are generally part of Graduation. We have fundraising events such as the The Can Do Canines Woofaroo dog walk, fundraising luncheons, and the Gala event, the Fetching Ball.

Volunteers can direct traffic to parking at events, hand out refreshments, write articles for newsletters, support event games for dogs and/or humans, or participate on committees to plan, organize, and realize events. They can walk dogs living at the Can Do Canines facility. They can mow the lawn, or do handy jobs around the office. They can call donors to advise about events. Volunteers can reach out to businesses to find donations and sponsorships. There are important roles for every skill level.

Volunteers can also open their home and lives to raise a puppy, going to obedience classes and events to help mold a small wriggly puppy into a eager and loving assistant for a disabled person. Some puppy volunteers are short term, and others raise a dog for approximately a year and a half. Then the dog goes to "college", and learns final key skills. Staff determine which type of assistance dog skills this dog will most enjoy and succeed at performing. Finally, it is partnered with a person whose temperament and needs match, and they work to learn to be a team and get certified.

I've seen so many stories of successful, life-changing partnerships, and met so many great people helping this mission happen. You think you're volunteering to help others, and end up learning that you're really helping yourself.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines has given me independence and confidence! And, I am so impressed with their program. I had a neurological disorder that left me with balance problems and frequent falls. After breaking my leg in a fall last year I became extremely fearful about getting help if I needed it. Can Do Canines provide me with an assistance dog that not only fetches a phone, or a person to help me, but does many tasks that keep me from having to bend and turn so much. This reduces my fall risk and I haven't fallen since. He opens and closes the frig, gets my cane, carries a bag for me (or mail, or recycle), tugs the walker or a laundry basket to me, gets his leash or food bowl, etc., etc. etc.
The training program for the dogs is impressive; they learn so many skills. Then, the training for the clients gives us all the tools we need to be a successful team. I have been incredibly impressed with all the details they have covered, e.g. even how to travel with your service animal.
We are so lucky to have access to this program here! It is amazing!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines is such an amazing organization! Volunteering is extremely rewarding and has added so much puppy love and excitement into my life! Any questions/concerns I have had have been quickly answered by staff - someone is always there to help! It is humbling to know I am just one small part in these Assistance dogs' journey to greatness!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a fantastic organization to work with! The prison I work for in Wisconsin has a program through Can Do Canines and it has been such a blessing to this institution, the community and the organization. The staff at Can Do Canines are wonderful to work with and are very responsive to any needs or questions we have. I can't say enough good things about this organization as a whole!

2 Sable R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have Parkinson's disease and many other medical issues. This is what I wrote to my pup on on our second anniversary together, when I was given this miracle, my girl from Can Do Canines. I realize it is written to my pup, but in reality it is a thank you to Can Do Canines.

It is hard to believe that two years ago today I was given a true miracle, you. When I applied for a dog at Can Do Canines never in my greatest dreams did I KNOW you would become my hope, my independence, my confidant, and my reason to get out of bed and try. Learning to live again was tougher than I thought it would be, challenges I never dreamt of. You see Teenie, I did not realize, nor want to acknowledge, I was getting so tired of struggling to simply exist. I was losing my life inch by inch. But with you there by my side, each step of the way, you helped me start all over again. Independence can come as a surprise when you think you are living; I sincerely thought I was doing okay, but in reality was not. I was giving up on just about everything….. Yes, I was doing what was necessary but not much more. I was only surviving the challenges placed before me.

Because of my condition I had lost most of my friends, it is hard to have a friend with a chronic and terminal disease. You become more work than most people honestly want to put into a person. And suddenly there you were, my friend, my confident. You licked away my tears and cheered at my successes. I could even see you roll your eyes at my stupid moments! Your sarcasm makes me laugh; which is one of the greatest gifts you have given me. You have encouraged me to take that next step; to persist, to become much more resilient, to search for the security that I once thought was within myself. You have helped me to rediscover myself. All these gifts, and so many more, I honestly do not believe I could have recaptured without you. Your quiet, unassuming personality was the perfect match for me. You accepted all of my moments, no matter where I was emotionally, mentally and physically and I truly believe that is what helped me to reengage with life.

You have given me an entirely new family, from your puppy raiser, "KC" and her family to other puppies she has raised and their families. You have given me dear friends through FB, some I have met, others I dream of meeting. You have given me a family at Can Do Canines. I wish I had the words to express my gratitude for all of these incredible people. Teenie, you are the axis of my flourishing life.

My dear Teenie to say I am grateful for you is simply not enough. To say that I have become stronger, out of love and necessity, simplifies our relationship. To say thank you for the patience, kindness, silliness, dedication, and ultimately your love, compassion and trust sounds so small in comparison to the fullness you have given me. You have showed me what it is like to leave the limited light of the stars at night and enter the sunshine, to feel alive once more.

Your skills have given me security and let the fear leave my life. You understand my anxiety and have replaced it with genuine love and trust. I may encounter raging rivers and challenges I did not think I could endure; but yet you ensure my safety each day. You remind me that these are only winds and they can bring a lifetime of change. You show me each and every day what the saying, “this is but a moment,” means.
You have, in these two short years, reminded me that life is meant to be lived by and through love….isn’t that what life should be about?

Without Can Do Canines none of this would have been possible. To say thank you seems minute compared to the gifts I have been given from Can Do Canines. This organization has given so much and asks for so little. All they want to do is makes lives independent, safe and ultimately loved by the dogs they put their heart and soul into.

Harold J. F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines changes people's lives, and I love being involved with an organization like that. They provide assistance dogs to people that need them free of charge. And all I have to do to aid in that mission, is the soak up some love from puppies. Sure, I've spent some money and time doing that, but it is well worth it. And the have volunteer opportunities involve donating your time without a financial commitment. The trainers and staff are just phenomenal, and I find it very rewarding being involved with Can Do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been involved with Can Do Canines since 2013 when we began fostering for the CDC Prison Inmate Program. Since that time we have fostered, puppy raised, whelped a litter of future "superstars" and learned to appreciate the depth and value of what CDC offers to its clients. Over the past number of years we have come to realize how important Dogs can be in the lives of humans and the miraculous things they can be trained to do. We have witnessed the impact that each of these dogs have from the moment they enter the program until their ultimate placement. The CDC dogs change so many lives for the better!! We have witnessed inmates turn their lives around, people finding a purpose in life and ultimately seeing persons with disabilities getting their freedom, dignity and lives restored! CDC dogs truly do change the world...one dog at a time!! CDC has high standards and instills strong work ethics in their Service/Assistance Dogs while also being one of the most financially efficient non-profit organizations we have ever supported! Being part of CDC (at any level) provides you with an extended family in which you are treated with so much respect and kindness. CDC has one of the best training programs that focuses on five distinct disciplines of assistance dogs, all managed by an outstanding Team who work "hand in hand" with volunteers to unite together to bring out the best in the dogs, clients and all involved. Without question, CDC makes a difference!!!

Melissa Cohen S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Can-Do-Canines for more than two years now. This is one incredible organization and I am so proud to be involved. I walk/exercise the assistance dogs in final training every week. They are a joy. I also participate by volunteering at fundraising events, such as the "Woofaroo" and the "Fetching Ball" gala.

These canines are the smartest creatures on earth and have been so dutifully, patiently and lovingly trained by such a professional and talented Can-Do-Canines staff. And, the fact that they utilize the talent incarcerated in Minnesota state prisons to help initiate some of the training is such a win-win for both dog and prisoner on so many levels. And, so many volunteers are involved with breeding, whelping, Good Start, puppy training and fostering. THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!!!!

(Please, please, please check out the Can-Do-Canines website for more information.) What an esteem-builder for everyone involved! I love and admire everything Can-Do-Canines does with and for the dogs and clients. Attend a "Tails to Tell" -- the stories will melt your heart, make you cry and laugh. Do NOT hesitate. Check it our RIGHT NOW!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Can Do Canines for the past 3 years. They are an amazing agency to work with. They truly care about their dogs, their volunteers and making the world a better place for those who are in need!

1 Tiffany62

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have actively volunteered for Can Do Canines for 2 and a half years so far and I can honestly say it is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. The staff truly appreciates our efforts and the end result changes lives. I get to snuggle puppies, learn how to train service dogs, and meet lots of new people...I have made so many new friends. The clients are so grateful to receive their service dog...it is amazing to be a part of that process.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer on multiple capacities for this organization and I can't say enough positive things about this organization! The people involved from the top down passionately care about getting these life changing and life saving service dogs into the hands of those who desperately need them free of charge. It takes a village to do great things and Can Do Canines has one of the most compassionate, generous, and caring village I have ever been a part of.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered for Can Do Canines over several years. The mission is extraordinary and staff and volunteers are excellent. I've seen other assistance animal training organizations who do not use the same sensible and cost-effective methods of sourcing and training dogs. I respect their methodology and keen attention to high quality outcomes for both the client and the dog.