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Canines for Service

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Blind & Visually Impaired Centers, Disabilities, Education, Health, Health Care, Human Services, Primary & Elementary Schools

Mission: Canines for Service is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve greater independence and enhanced quality of life and improving people's lives through the services of specially trained dogs.

Results: Canines for Service, Inc. (CFS) provides people with disabilities independence and improved quality of life through the placement of quality trained service dogs. Founded in 1996, CFS has provided over 85 service dogs since the first placement in December 1999 and trained over 1800 pet therapy teams. CFS provides services within a 10 hour driving distance from Wilmington, NC to non-Veterans and nationwide to Veterans. All of the dogs in the service dog program are rescued from shelters. The three phase training process takes up to three years and a fully trained service dog is valued at $40,000. The client does not pay a fee for a CFS service dog.

Target demographics: people with mobility limitations and Veterans with mobility, TBI and/or PTS

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2016, CFS placed service dogs with 4 Veterans which provided them with independence and improved quality of life. The Canines for Literacy teams worked in 7 schools to help children gain critical reading skills and confidence and there were over 300 pet therapy teams consistently visit hospitals, schools, assisted living facilities, libraries, mental health facilities, hospice, etc. in multiple communities.

Geographic areas served: a 10 hour driving distance from Wilmington, NC for non-Veterans and nationally for Veterans

Programs: Canines for Service, Canines for Veterans, Canines for Therapy and Canines for Literacy- accredited through Assistance Dogs International

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

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.