Canine Companions Enhancing Independence for People of All Ages

photo of a puppy and grad dog at Canine Companions

As the leader of the service dog industry, Canine Companions enhances independence for children, adults, and veterans with disabilities through expertly trained service dogs. Established in 1975, Canine Companions is the largest non-profit provider of service dogs in the United States. Here are a few facts about service dogs: 

  • 61 million adults have a disability.
  • 4.7 million veterans have a service-related disability.
  • Canine Companions currently serves people with more than 65 different types of disabilities.
  • Canine Companions has more than 2,700 active teams throughout the country, and we have placed more than 7,300 teams since our founding in 1975. Our dogs require two years of training to do their job. 
  • Service dogs are working dogs, not pets. 

Canine Companions does not charge for service dogs or the lifetime of ongoing support they provide. They depend on private funding through donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, special events, and community organizations.  

Imagine having a dog that knows more than 45 tasks and can turn on lights, pick up dropped keys, open a door, and even assist with business transactions by transferring money, receipts, and packages. They can also assist someone who is deaf or hard of hearing by alerting them to important sounds in their environment, and work with professionals in health care and education. Canine Companions also recognizes the need for programs that provide support to veterans with disabilities. Service dogs can assist veterans with a variety of physical, auditory, and trauma-related disabilities, as well as PTSD.

But it all starts with a puppy. Our service dogs aren’t just born, they are raised by volunteer puppy raisers. Canine Companions volunteer puppy raisers provide specially bred puppies a safe home, take them to obedience classes, serve up a healthy diet, provide socialization opportunities and give lots of love. Each hour spent caring for a Canine Companions puppy is vital to its development as a future service dog. The puppy raising program provides a unique opportunity for volunteers to assist with our important mission. 

The Southeast Region of Canine Companions, an 8-acre campus located in Orlando, opened on Independence Day, July 4, 2000, and is a state-of-the-art facility where training, education and caring come together. 

The demand for our highly trained service dogs is ongoing and growing and you can help. 

Learn more at or call 1-800-572-BARK. 


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Written by Staff Writer

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