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Canine Companions for Independence

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Health, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Rehabilitative Care

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 www.cci.org 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.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Kudos to CCI!!! CCI is a wonderful organization. We have seen first hand how it has helped our son who lost his leg in Iraq. The service dog he received is very helpful to him and is his constant companion. We saw a change in our son immediately after he received his "companion" from CCI. They are now inseparable and go almost everywhere together. It is one of the best things that has happened to our son since his injury. I hope CCI will continue to help other severely injured "heroes" of our US Military. Thank you to all especially the volunteers who spend endless hours training the special dogs. What an awesome way for the volunteers and CCI to give back to these brave men and women who have sacrificed themselves for our freedom.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have watched first hand as a friend raised several dogs as a puppy raiser and then watched her turn them back over to CCI for further training. I have seen the patience and love she gave to these pups. The support she got from CCI as she raised them was awesome. She is able to hand over her trainee every time because she has seen the wonder of these dogs bonding with someone whose lives they can change so dramatically. I have also had the honor of being an adoptive mother to a trainee dog that was released from the program and to see CCI's concern and care over who they let adopt these release dogs. They care about ALL the dogs they breed, not just the ones that go on to make companion status and to me that says it all!