03-21 COM Canine Companions

Bruce and Judy Newton with puppy Tate IV. (Courtesy photo)

MEREDITH — Canine Companions for Independence, a national nonprofit organization, provides trained assistance dogs for children, adults and veterans with disabilities. Bruce and Judy Newton have recently started training an assistance dog. 

Puppy Tate IV is a yellow labrador-golden retriever who will learn more than 40 professional commands, and be matched with a person with disabilities.

Volunteers are important to the work of Canine Companions for Independence. Puppy raisers take the pups into their home at eight weeks of age, raise them, and teach them basic commands and socialization skills. The dogs wear yellow capes, and are permitted to go to many public areas where family pets aren’t allowed.

When the dogs reach a year and a half of age, they are returned to Canine Companions for Independence’s regional headquarters in Medford, New York. They begin six months of professional training before they are matched with a child, adult or veteran with disabilities.

For more information about Canine Companions for Independence, or how to become a puppy raiser, visit cci.org, or call 800-572-BARK.

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