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Nov 9 - Dec 31, 2023

Canine Companions


Canine Companions provides children, adults and veterans with disabilities expertly trained service dogs so the individuals can live with greater independence. Canine Companions also provides professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice, and educational settings Facility Dogs to engage with clients in stressful settings. Since its founding in 1975, 7,608 Service and Facility Dogs have been provided to individuals and organizations at no cost, including follow-up services.

The Big Idea

Canine Companions is leading the service dog industry so our clients and their dogs can live with greater independence. We provide service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities and facility dogs to professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice and educational settings. Our dogs are expertly trained in over 40 tasks, including retrieving dropped items, opening doors, and can even assist with making purchases. A Canine Companions service dog not only assists with physical tasks but also provides meaningful companionship.

Canine Companions does not charge for service dogs or the lifetime of ongoing support they provide to the service dog teams. As a result, they depend on private funding through donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and community organizations. A Monterey County Gives gift of $10,000 would fund the cost of a Monterey County resident’s two-week training course where they will be matched with their own service dog.

"This mission is so needed. These dogs are truly transformative." Navy veteran Randy Wight of Marina, CA has a spinal cord injury from his time in service, causing him mobility, balance and stamina issues. His independence was enhanced with Service Dog Niosh “Neo” by his side for nearly a decade. When he saw Neo slowing down, he applied for a successor service dog. Randy was matched with Service Dog Virginia. “Virginia greeted me with affection from the very first day we met in class,” shares Randy. “Virginia is always keeping her eye on me,” says Randy. Expertly trained in over forty commands, Virginia opens doors for Randy. She picks up dropped items like his wallet and car keys – even his crutch! “She continues to perform commands with such energy and enthusiasm that it causes me to smile and laugh, bringing more joy to my life.”

- Randy Wight