Canine Assistants, Inc.

Alpharetta, GA   |  http://www.canineassistants.org

Mission

Our founder and Executive Director, Jennifer Arnold, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a teenager and spent two years using a wheelchair. It was a difficult time for her as she felt isolated, alone, and dependent on those around her. Her father, a physician in Atlanta, heard about an organiztion that trained service dogs to help people in wheelchairs. The program, which was located in California, had a long waiting list and worked mainly with those in their own region, so her father decided to start a similar program in Georgia. Three weeks after the first planning meeting for Canine Assistants, her father was hit and killed by a drunk driver while he was taking a walk. Determined to accomplish her dream and complete what her father had started, it took Jennifer and her mother ten years of hard work and dedication to open the program. Fortunately, Jennifer no longer needs a wheelchair, yet she fully understands the needs and concerns of others with physical disabilities. We no longer want people with disabilities to feel isolated and dependant on others. The dogs trained at Canine Assistants can turn lights on and off, open doors, pull wheelchairs retrieve dropped objects, summon help, and provide secure companionshieven more important than the physical skills they possess, is their ability to eliminate feelings of fear isolation, and loneliness felt by their companions. One Canine Assistants' recipient made the value of this skill quite clear when asked by a reporter what she like most about her service dog, immediately she responded, "My service dog makes my wheelchair disappear."

Ruling year info

1992

Principal Officer

Ms. Jennifer Arnold

Main address

3160 Francis Rd

Alpharetta, GA 30004

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EIN

58-1974410

NTEE code info

Other Services (D60)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Our Service dogs can provide assistance with many physicals tasks including, turning on and off lights, opening and closing doors, pulling wheelchairs, retrieving dropped objects, summoning help, and providing secure companionshiour dogs are wonderful social outlets breaking down barriers that might remain indefinitely without their presence. Dogs in service and training are an invaluable asset to the communities in which they reside. Like fully certified service dogs, dogs in training have full public access to venues open to the general public. Canine Assistants readily utilizes its service dogs-in-training for disabilities awareness education and animal assisted therapy programs.

Service dog and training camp sponsorships are setup to insure no monetary costs are passed on to our recipients. Since Canine Assistants does not charge anything for the services we provide we must raise all funds necessary to support the placement of our service dogs. Service dog sponsorships are instrumental in providing the necessary care our dogs require while at our facility and post placement. Training camp sponsorships assist in covering food, boarding and transportation expenses during each two-week camwe assign them to one of our two-week training camps where the individual will meet and be trained to work with his or her new best friend. We currently conduct five training camps per year, with an average of twelve to fourteen recipients per camour recipients attend lectures on dog management, participate in training sessions at our facility, and go on numerous outings to venues of public accommodation such as restaurants, malls, and schools to practice handling skills in public.

Aftercare is Canine Assistants fastest growing cost and greatest need as it relates directly to the health and wellbeing of our recipients and their service dogs. Canine Assistants commitment to cover the medical, food and training costs for the life of every service dog placed is perhaps our greatest asset but it is also our greatest obstacle. The end of 2007 will mark our 600th service dog placement and we are very excited to have reached this milestone but with an average annual aftercare cost of $1,000 per dog, we need considerable help to continue our mission. Canine Assistants has established the Zoe Fund in an effort to meet our growing aftercare costs. We have recently received donations which will be used to match all future commitments in the area of aftercare, thereby enhancing our ability to provide necessary aftercare to our dogs in service.

As part of the Noah Elliott Stowers Center for Animal Assisted Education, Canine Assistants animals and representatives conduct educational presentations and recreational therapies for various schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and community organizations. Educational presentations are tailored to each audience and range from a disability awareness program for students to a service dog demonstration for a local community organization. Animal assisted therapies also serve to educate children and adults at special needs schools, assisted living facilities, physical rehabilitation facilities and include interactive sessions where the participants can experience the unconditional love that our dogs provide. With a growing trend towards mainstreaming in schools and the workplace for those with disabilities, it is absolutely essential for the public to have the knowledge to understand and accept individual differences. Our Animal Assisted Program addresses these issues and the animals from Canine Assistants prove to be the most powerful of all educational tools?a good example.

Population(s) Served

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Financials

Canine Assistants, Inc.
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Operations

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Canine Assistants, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/30/2012
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Valorie Vliek

Kathi Goddard

Melissa Summers

Rowland Williams

Scott Shamblen

Chris Brandon

Drew Keller

David Scott Chairman

Gerilyn Robbins