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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

112 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

1 Jacinta K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband, Frank, received his mobility assistance dog Diva 2 years ago and she has been a Godsend. I know I can go to work each day and not worry as much because she is there when he needs her. Diva will hop up on my side of the bed after I leave and will stay next to Frank if he didn't sleep that night until he is feeling rested and ready to transfer into his wheelchair.
Can Do Canines is a wonderful agency and is staffed by people who sincerely want to be of service to those that need the love and help from a highly trained dog.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Stephanie174

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a client of Can Do Canines for 20 years and during that time had the honor of having 3 hearing assistance dogs. Each dog was well trained and provided me with invaluable service. The staff at Can Do Canines is responsive and sensitive to my needs and the needs of my assistance dogs. I strongly recommend Can Do Canines. Their work with training assistance dogs for people with a wide variety of disabilities is top notch.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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...

Cheri A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is outstanding in its service to help others. They work hard to raise, train and GIVE AWAY dogs who do amazing things. Their employees are some of the most kind and generous people that I have come in contact with and to know that their employees are all members of Lions Clubs International takes them one step further than anyone else when it comes to the Lions motto "We Serve".

Stein2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I retired in 2007 I tried several volunteer opportunities before finding Can Do Canines. This organization is wonderful. They show heartfelt appreciation for volunteers. Just knowing that what I do for them helps in some small way makes all of the time I spend well worth it. The staff shows total dedication in everything they do. The entire cycle from the time puppies first come to them, placement with puppy raisers and prison programs, then back to Can Do for final training, matching the dog with its person is what it's all about. It is heartwarming to see the final result. So many people benefit from this organization. It's top notch.

Bklingelhofer

Client Served

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines is a fabulous organization! I was blessed and accepted into their program, and received a diabetes assistance dog that has changed my life. I have regained my independence, and am so grateful for their mission. The entire process was so smooth- they are very professional. I especially love the sense of family that the organization fosters for past graduates.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

The work this organization does has changed my life. I was blessed with an assistance dog in January and I have already been able to improve my sugar control and my life. They are professional, so helpful, and they make such a significant difference in their client's lives.

Kristen47

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a Can Do Canines donor, and my daughter hopes to one day have a diabetic alert dog. Can Do Canines does an excellent job thanking donors, telling their clients' stories and promoting volunteer and event opportunities for the public to participate. Their storytelling, in particular, is incredibly inspirational and of a very high quality. I appreciate the fact that they put their clients first (humans and canines!) and that is evident in everything they do.

Rosalyn N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a recently retired physical therapist I knew I wanted to become a volunteer for Can Do Canines. I recently attended one of their "graduation" ceremonies. If you ever are able to attend I would highly recommend bringing along a few tissues. It is so heart-warming to see what these dogs are able to do for people with physical and psychological challenges.

SaraVL

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family became puppy program volunteers in April (2014) when we welcomed a black lab puppy into our home. Since we were going to put so much time, effort and financial resources into Can Do Canines, I did some research before volunteering. I read their annual reports and financial statements, talked to a former board member, and found them to be a very sound, financially responsibly organization. Since becoming involved I've been very impressed with the support they offer to their volunteers. Even more impressive are the amazing life-changing things their trained service dogs do for (and with) their human partners. I'm proud to be associated with this organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer, donor, puppy raiser, and foster for a number of years. I started volunteering with the organization after hearing about their work with the prisons and continue to volunteer to support their mission. Can Do Canines does a great job of training and supporting their puppy raisers and fosters through a variety of ways - electronic, phone and in-person support. I truly feel like they have the dog's best interest in mind throughout the entire training, placement, and beyond. Their trainers are very experienced and work well with both the dogs and puppy raisers. I have always felt appreciated and believe that my time and money is well spent.
There aren't many organizations where you can say your efforts drastically changed lives for the better - both a human's and a dog's.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love that this organization impacts both people in a positive way. The staff really cares about their volunteers and I feel like I make an impact.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been volunteer puppy raisers and fosters for over 2 years and have had a variety of dogs placed in our care. I continue to be amazed by the professionalism of the trainers, the staff and the organization as a whole. One of our service dogs in training had to be career changed at 9 months old due to becoming anxious in public and their only concern was the best interests of the dog and whether this dog could be happy as a service dog. When the answer was determined to be no and that he would thrive in a one owner family, they immediately found a loving home for him as a pet. I see him often and he is doing wonderfully. I appreciate the fact that Can Do Canines looks at the needs of the clients AND the needs of the dogs in order to make great connections, safe interactions, and happy volunteers. They are always looking for ways to increase their outreach, help their volunteers, and serve the community. I consider my time to be very valuable, and I would not still be a volunteer with Can Do Canines if I didn't feel that they were an incredible organization with an incredible goal of making a difference in the lives of others. I've seen the success stories, and what these dogs do for their clients is awe inspiring. I don't hesitate to recommend them as a place to donate, a place to volunteer or a place to visit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My Mom and I are in Rochester, MN at the mayo clinic for appointments and today (5/29/2014) her service dog, Bella, was attacked inside the hospital by one of "Can Do Canines" standard poodle service dogs. It's terrible they place such an aggressive dog with anyone, let alone someone in a wheelchair.. I honestly fear for this disabled persons safety (as well as others in public such as people and animals) A police report had to be made and the dog had to be banned from the hospital. Thankfully my Mom's service dog is ok from the attack but the handler was very shaken up from the behavior of their dog..

Comments ( 1 )

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Al Peters 06/19/2014

I am Alan Peters, the Executive Director of Can Do Canines. We are aware of the accusation that our assistance dog, Mobility Assist Dog Nigel, attacked this visiting assistance dog, Bella. Nigel graduated our program in 2011and has been on duty since, serving our client, and working in Mayo's lobby regularly for years without any similar issues. He is much loved by staff and visitors alike. We take any such accusation very seriously and are investigating thoroughly. Nigel was not banned from the hospital as stated in the original post. However, we immediately instructed our client to not bring Nigel to work with her until we can perform a full evaluation of the dog and the event. We are arranging that evaluation now. In addition, we have requested the security tapes of this event from Mayo to gain a better understanding of what actually happened, as there can be many subjective opinions of any sudden occurrence between two dogs. While waiting for the tapes we are gathering statements from other witnesses. We want to determine the facts as best we can. Our commitment to our 450+ graduate teams is life-long. We provide counsel and additional training to our graduates whenever it is necessary and will do so in this case as well.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I learned about Can-Do-Canines in Sept. 2012 through a spot at the end of a news program. Approximately a year and a half ago we needed to have our wonderful, loving dog euthanized due to an untreatable medical problem. I vowed at that time to never have another dog as a pet; I felt that I couldn't go through that trauma again. Learning about Dan-Do-Canines and the work these amazing dogs do for their recipients completely grabbed my heart and we both became volunteers. The staff is as supporting to humans as it is to the animals.

Since Sept. 2012, we have fostered several beautiful and truly amazing dogs. Knowing that these wonderful animals will make such a difference to people who need their help allows us to return them to C.D.C. for their final training. We are very grateful that we are able to play a part in helping others. I have had the joy of witnessing the love of a recipient greeting her dog as they met for a training session. If you have any doubt that dog and person share a very loving relationship, just visit a Graduation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I could not believe the one star review written here. Granted it is one person's opinion but it does say things are very misleading and downright untrue. I have volunteered with Can Do Canine's and have found completely the opposite of that review to be the case. The dogs are well cared for and cared about from what I see. I've met with puppy raisers at parties and can tell how very much the dogs are loved and socialized when in their care. I believe the same to be true when they leave the puppy raisers and go into training. The relationship the dogs will share with their human partners is dependent on those very things...love and socialization. There would be no purpose served in any training methods other than positive reward. The staff and volunteers I have worked with are dedicated to both the animals and the clients they serve. These dogs have enhanced so many people's lives ~ it isn't even possible to explain the value here in words. Go see the facility, meet the staff, meet the dogs, go to a graduation ceremony and see for yourself the life changing outcome this program has for some very special people or better yet...volunteer and get right into the nitty gritty so you can make your own assessment!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Hey, can do canines is a group that cares about the clients they serve and the dogs they train. I've volunteered by raising and fostering puppies and events etc. Sure they could improve. All companies can. But they put their clients and dogs first and the heart of the organization is in the right place.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

After a long research about autism assistance dogs I came in contact with Can do canines. Even though we have not received the dog for our son with autism yet, so far we have only great things to say about Can do canines. Our questions are answered right away and besides the long wait, almost 3 years on the waiting list, so far no complains, just hope that our son will match with a dog from this wonderful organization soon

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I went to one of the open house is back in July and was very impressed with the organization. I heard stories and met people who have benefited from the dogs they've received and it was truly moving. The organization is so dedicated to helping people but also to make sure that the dogs are well cared for. I also attended the woof a roo had a wonderful time. I plan on volunteering with this organization in the future.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My sister received her hearing assistance dog Autumn last year and it has changed her life. Autumn lets her know when someone is at the door, when the timer on the oven goes off, and can alert her during the night when her hearing aides are out that the smoke alarm is going off. Autumn has greatly reduced the worries our parents and I had about her living on her own. We were always afraid that there would be a fire and she would just sleep through it. Can Do Canines is amazing and really helps so many people have wonderful independent lives!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Can Do Canines is an awesome organization. They truly care about the humans they serve and the dogs they train to serve them. I have researched a number of service animal organizations as I am in need of a hearing dog and Can Do Canines stands out as a quality organizations. If you are in a position to volunteer or contri uteto Can Do Canines I encourage you to do so-

1 Addie M.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with the work of Can Do Canines. Through enormous efforts of volunteers, donors and community support, CDC provides assistance dogs for people with hearing or mobility problems, seizure or diabetes, or for children with autism, at no cost to the recipient.

Some of the dogs in this programs are part of their breeding program, but some are rescued from local shelters/humane societies. Volunteers help raise/train puppies. One thing that really impressed me about how CDC is that they also have a program with two local prisons where prisoners work with the dogs to refine their skills before they are placed with their human partners.

But of course the huge impact is that made by the assistance dog in each person's life. One has only to attend a CDC graduation ceremony and listen to each person's story to recognize that. And seeing the capabilities of these dogs is amazing.

Debra53

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've support Can Do Canines because they not only help people but also give shelter dogs a second chance at life by training them as service dogs

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been helping Can Do Canines for about ten years through the Lions. I am our Lions district Can Do Canines co-chair. I am now ten months into raising and training my first puppy for them. Every day I get more excited about Can Do canines and their mission. They have an awesome, experienced and very helpful staff and many great volunteers. I wish everyone could listen to their clients and hear how very, very much their lives have changed because of Can Do Canines and their dogs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has been volunteering as Puppy Raisers for almost a year now with Can Do Canines. We are raising a black lab puppy that someday is going to go to her "forever human" as a gift of independence, freedom, love and companionship. The staff at CDC is fantastic, always willing to help with the final goal of helping the client and dog meet their full potential. Everyone is encouraging and in it for the right reasons!

1 Martha A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

we are breeders who donate puppies and stud service to the wonderful program at can-do-canines ... we can't say enough about the professionalism of their training program and care given by the puppy raisers ... we trust them with our doggies ... what great work they do, changing lives 1 dog at a time

Gunnhild A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi!

I got involved as a volunteer with Can-Do-Canines two years ago. Prior to that, our family had gone through some rough patches, but I knew I wanted us to volunteer and give back since focusing on others when life is hard, is very life giving. A friend of mine had heard about CDC and since our own dog had died the year before, we wanted to check out what volunteering for CDC would look like. We decided that we would become puppy raisers, meaning, we would have a puppy be a part of our family for about 1 1/2 years and we would be trained to train the puppy!
We are currently puppy raising our second puppy and we just had the privilege of seeing our first puppy be certified/graduate as an diabetes assist dog and that was incredible. We got to meet the client that now has this dog and she could share stories about how her life has changed after she got her diabetes assist dog. She knows her dog will alert her 24/7 and that is an incredible gift. Also, she loves the temperament of her dog; he likes to stay active and so does the client, so now she has a companion for when she runs, bikes and swims. I am so proud of them, and I am so proud of being involved with such an amazing organization. It is life giving to be a volunteer for them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a puppy raiser with Can Do Canines almost a year. I am raising a black lab puppy to one day help her client be more active and independent in his/her daily life. I love working with Can Do Canines and admire the incredible work they do to promote independence for all people. Over and over I see how the good work at Can Do Canines is helping to improve the lives of so many people. I am honored to be a part of such great success.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been puppy raisers with Can Do Canines for 11 years. The first puppy we raised was so much fun and the people we met had such an impact on our lives that we keep coming back for more! We've worked with several dogs from puppy to adult, done short term fosters, and have whelped four litters. It's a lot of work, but so worth it when you get to see what a difference these dogs make in their client's lives!

Wanda8

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I first applied over 5 years ago, even through today, if I have a question about my mobility assist dog, someone at this agency is helpful in answer it or helping me to find the answer. I've been very happy with this agency from the time they came to my home to do the interview, the information they gave me, letting me know what they expect of me, the training with my dog match, even finding a match with the breed I prerferred. The day of our graduation as a service dog team was so new to me, but very exciting, and a person really needs to attend a gradutation to understand the importance of these dogs to the presonal lives of the individuals who receive them. I've been back for someone else';s graduation, and have the same feelings I had at my graduation. The dog placed with me, Redford, was an excellent match. He continues to demonstrate how smart he is and has changed my world in so many positive ways!

Donor

Rating: 5

Our son received his Diabetic Assistance dog in March 2013. She is the best help and friend! Prior to the two of them being matched, our son had unfortunate experiences medically because of Hypoglycemic Unawareness. That's a lack of awareness of low blood sugar symptoms. All the medical/technical kinds of assistance by way of CGM and an insulin pump could not protect him as well as his diabetic assistance dog does. As a family member, we are so very grateful for all the contributions of time, talent and financial assets given by Can Do Canines staff, volunteers and everyone who worked together to build our son and his dog as a team. We feel so much safer knowing that his dog is on duty to alert him when his blood sugar is low or high and persist so that he takes measures to correct either before serious experiences happen. His dog is a very treasured friend to our son.

Deb_28

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization helped to change my life - I should not say helped but was the key to the change in the form of Cyrus, my mobility assist dog. Before Cyrus I was very house bound - afraid of going out in public, falling, and not being able to do those little tasks others take for granted. Since Cyrus my world has again opened up and the fear that kept me in the house is gone. The training he received by the puppy-raisers, trainers, volunteers and staff at the Can Do Canines organization was the reason I have the freedom I have today. There is no way I can ever thank them enough

1 Sharon100

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family and I are puppy raisers so we help raise and train the dogs before they are given to a client. We have been doing this for over two years and have enjoyed our experience with raising the pups. The staff at Can Do Canines is dedicated to making sure the dogs that are given to a client are the best trained dog as possible. Our first dog graduated in October and we were so proud of the accomplishment of our family and the dog we raised. We couldn't have done our job without the support of the trainers and other staff at Can Do Canines. This organization is committed to giving an assistance dog to every person who needs and wants one FOR FREE. I am very proud to be associated with this organization.

Kari12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is no place I'd rather spend my "free time" than helping out Can Do Canines! They are a wonderful organization, run by amazing people who help so many. The hard-working folks at CDC are to be commended for their unparalleled commitment - they bring freedom, independence and peace of mind to the lives of those needing assistance by creating a mutually beneficial partnership with a specially trained dog matched to personal assistance needs.

Robert102

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have Multiple Sclerosis and have a desperate need for help doing the daily tasked that "normal" people take for granted. Can Do Canines has stepped forward by providing me with an assistance dog that helps me with these tasks and, as a sheer bonus, is a wonderful addition to my family.

1 Kathy137

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've worked with dogs, professionally, all my working life. It came to the point, because of my MS, that I could no longer do the work I had done for so many years. I was urged to apply with Can Do Canines. By a miracle of God, they accepted me into the program. It took some time but eventually they showed up at my doorstep with a beautiful, fully trained female black lab. I fell in love with her instantly and the love has only grown with each day. The trainers are AWESOME as are the puppy raisers!

"Karma' helps to balance me when I walk and gets me things I drop. She also will get a phone for me when I fall in the house. She's always with me wherever I go. Before Karma, I rarely went out because I was afraid of falling. Now, with the brace she wears I can hold onto her and I no longer fear falling in public.

She's my best buddy and watches me continuously. She loves to curl up with me to watch TV and snuggles with me in bed on cold nights. She also barks very loud and scares off anyone who comes to our door. Unless she knows them! They get a toy picked out and carried to them by Karma:) She loves everyone but I'm okay with her loud ferocious bark!

Karma has opened my world again. She goes to all my medical appointments which are many! They love her there and she makes the appointments more fun while sitting in the waiting room. She's special and makes me feel special. I love her so much! And, she was given to me by Can Do Canines who do not charge for these awesome dogs! Kathy Schroeder and Karma.