The $5,000 contribution made in April offset the program costs associated with providing highly trained assistance dogs at no cost to people with disabilities. Three recipients, one from each of the remaining Team Training sessions in 2018, will be “sponsored” by Petland Charities’ contribution.
The recipient for May, Laura, received Adler, her second Canine Companions for Independence dog, during the May 11 graduation and matriculation ceremony in New Albany. Laura is from Michigan and works for the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. Service dog Adler will help to pick up items that she drops, get items on shelves that are out of reach for her, and help to open and close her office door.
“Dogs play such an important role in our lives, not only as our pet and companion, but also as a partner or a lifesaving assistant. Canine Companions has such an amazing program and we have seen the impact firsthand with graduates of the program,” said Elizabeth Kunzelman, Petland’s director of Public Affairs. “We are very excited to ramp up our level of support and provide specific financial support to graduates.”
Petland has previously supported Canine Companions by sponsoring graduation lunches and providing support for a local Canine Companion, PJ, who is a facility dog for Ross County Child Protective Services.
Petland’s and Petland Charities’ national community service outreach includes offering support to local police, sheriff and fire departments as well as support for military veteran service dogs. The assistance for protective K9 units is most often a feeding program, supplies or fundraising for specific items, such as bite-suits or training gear. Support for veteran service dogs often goes towards the costs associated with raising, training and on-going care.
This year, Petland also became a supporter of the launch of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife Law Enforcement Program K-9 units. Five dogs are being trained and are part of the new program, with supplies and food provided by Petland.
Additionally, Petland supports service and therapy dogs for children and veterans through various programs and outreach. Petland and Petland franchisees sponsor service dogs for Heartland Canines for Veterans, a 501c3 organization that provides companion, service and therapy dogs for disabled veterans. The average cost to raise and train each service dog is $7,200. Petland, Inc. has committed to supporting the cost of one dog per year for five years. This is in addition to the funds provided by individually-owned and operated stores.