I have been volunteering at Canines for Service for a few years now and especially love training the dogs and meeting wonderful friends. Rick and Pat Hairston are very dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to provide quality service dogs to people in need. They are always willing to help me and give me advice on how to become a better trainer. I love spending time there and can't think of a better place to volunteer my time
My wife and I have been doing dog therapy work with Carolina Canines for about 10 years. We started in the therapy dog program with our dog Bunker. Bunker is now in doggie heaven. Currently we have 3 certified therapy dogs. Sara age 9 visits patients and families at Hospice and nursing homes. Hannah age 3 and Rebekah age 2 also visit patients and families at Hospice and nursing homes. In the past we have been involved in the elementary school reading program and other programs and events involving the therapy dog program. What a blessing it is to see family members of a person in the hospice bed be able to pet and love the dogs and talk about dogs and for a brief period, be able to get some assistance during their concern and grief.
For the past four years , I've been a foster puppy parent, and have advanced trained the service dogs in training. It's exciting to learn how to train them, it's fun and the friendships developed with other volunteers is an added benefit . Where else can you work with a whacky puppy, share your funny and not so funny experiences with other volunteers, as we marvel at the love these dogs have to please! It's a wonderful experience watching these whacky puppies mature into thinking, loving dogs. The Fun, , feelings of accomplishment, and the love these animals give is priceless! But the best of all is when they're matched with their new partner and that forever bond is formed. They definitely are "Miracles with paws!"
My wife and I learned about Carolina Canines for Service in 2006 when we moved into the area. We retired to the Wilmington, NC area and were looking for areas where we could volunteer our time and energy.
After much searching we decided that Carolina Canines were the group we would like to give our time and money to.
The founder is fully dedicated and works extremely hard to make sure the dogs accepted and trained meet a very high standard. After several years of training the dog is placed with a very needy individual
Carolina Canines mission is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve greater independence and enhanced quality of life and to improving piople's lives through the services of a specially trained dog.
They recently added a Carolina Canines for Veterans due to the number of wounded Veterans returning from abroad.
They also, train Therapy Dogs and have a Paws for Reading Program.
This is a wonderful organization and we are proud to be a small part of it.
Review from Guidestar
I recently trained my dog to become a therapy dog, and I also find it theraputic to me taking Biscuit [our dog] to the elementary school to do "Group" with these two sweet girls. It puts a smile on my face and in my heart knowing that I'm making a difference in their life.
Review from Guidestar
As a recipient of a service dog from Carolina Canines for Service, I am so appreciative for the opportunity to welcome Rivka into my home. I was surprised how quickly things went after speaking to Mr. Rick Hairston the first time. He was very warm and friendly and while going through the training he was very informative. Since having Rivka, she has helped especially when I had passed out while in the bathroom. No one knew that I had passed out until she came in and then went and got my wife who was then able to take me to the hospital. Who knows how long it would have been if it had not been for Rivka. I know that she is not trained for it, but she also helps with my PTSD. She helps me calm down and makes it bearable to go out in public situations when I feel extremely anxious.
We have been supporters of Carolina Canines for Veterans since January 2008. At that time, our foster puppy, Eve, became part of the Carolina Canines for Veterans program. It is a win for the dogs, a win for the prisoners at the Brig at Camp LeJeune and a enormous win for the Wounded Warriors that receive this extraordinarily well trained mobility service dogs. Supporting this organization can only be a win for everyone.
My family - me, my sons Eli (13) and Noah (10) and our dogs Jackson and Nobelle are all involved with Carolina Canines as pet therapy teams. This summer (2009) we have been working at the local library to help children improve and practice their reading skills. It has been very rewarding to be a part of Carolina Canines, to see the progress of the readers each week, and to volunteer together with my children and dogs. We had one mother tell us that her son (a delayed reader) practices during the week so that he can "do a good job for Jackson"!
Though I volunteer in other areas outside of my job, my LOVE is working with Carolina Canines!!! The other volunteers and Staff are wonderful, caring people. I always look forward to meeting them, seeing how their dogs are progressing, and sharing the funny antics of these lovable furry friends. It's exciting and awesome to see a foster puppy progress to become a service dog - to be a partner, companion and friend. When someone asks how could you give up this dog after training? My thought: How could you Not?? You're giving someone a special gift - the gift of life made easier; the gift of a partner that's always there for you - a best friend! It's also a sense of fulfillment for me - to know that I'm helping make this dog a service dog!!! WOW! It's also a lot of FUN, tears, laughs and love.
It is obvious to anyone how much passion Rick, Pat, and Amie have for animals and helping others in need. This is portrayed through their devotion of time and love into the organization. I recently became a foster parent to a service dog in training and they welcomed me with open arms which immediately made me feel like a part of their “family”. I am so proud to be a part of this organization and look forward to being able to contribute my time with training my puppy so one day he can enrich the life of another individual.