Impact and Programs
The mission of Can Do Canines is to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs. Each assistance dog we train and place is done so with no charge to the client. The actual cost to train and place one team (client and assistance dog) is $25,000.
Here is a summary of the placements that were made in 2016 thanks to the generous support of foundations, individuals, and civic groups who support our mission. We placed a total of 50 assistance dogs with individuals living with disabilities in 2016:
25 Mobility Assist Dogs, 7 Autism Assist Dogs,
8 Hearing Assist Dogs, 8 Diabetes Assist Dogs,
1 Seizure Response Dog, 1 Special Skills Assist Dog.
2016 Service Demographics:
Source of Dogs:
2 Shelter Dogs,
3 Pet Dogs,
20 Donated Dogs,
25 from our in-house breeding program.
Age of Client Receiving an Assistance Dog from Can Do Canines:
Under 18 years old: 9,
Between the ages of 18-54: 25,
Age 55 or older: 16.
Place of Residence:
Twin Cities 7-county metro area: 31,
Greater Minnesota: 19.
• We continued our successful training partnerships with Waseca, Sandstone, and Duluth Federal Penitentiaries and created a new partnership with Stanley Correctional Institution in Stanley, Wisconsin.
• We had 230 dogs and puppies in training to become assistance dogs (a 76% increase), including 76 puppies originating from our own breeding efforts (a 69% increase). Two of the graduate dogs this year originated from rescue sources, two were donated by other assistance dog organizations and three started as a client’s pet dog.
• Together we have provided 50 more assistance dogs to people with disabilities during 2016, a new record for the organization! We have certified a total of 573 teams since our founding.
• In November, KARE 11 news began a 17-week series that tells the story of Can Do Canines and the work we do to raise, train, and place assistance dogs with people who have disabilities.
• Ten University of Minnesota pre-veterinarian students are partnering with Can Do Canines by starting the school year living with and training dogs that may become assistance dogs.
• Our Fetching Ball hosted over 300 people and raised $121,000!
• The Can Do Woofaroo walk-a-thon, and Dog Video Festival included 210 walkers, 105 dogs, and our first-ever Dog Video Contest, which brought in about 100 dog videos!
Goal: Can Do Canines’ overarching goal is to help individuals living with a disability lead more independent lives through the use of specially trained assistance dogs.
Certify a minimum of 56 assistance dog teams during 2017.
Standardize placement procedures & educational materials for volunteers and clients. Have completed Client Handbook by December 1, 2017.
Build breeding activities and breeding stock acquisition.
Increase potential breeding stock lines by making connections with other organizations and breeders in the US and abroad. Add new bloodlines to our program by obtaining new females and using new stud dogs. A minimum of 5 new lines introduced by December 31, 2017.
Increase outside dog acquisition from area shelters and rescue organizations.
Successfully complete our re-accreditation through Assistance Dogs International.
Community or Constituency Served
Can Do Canines provides trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities that involve mobility challenges, hearing loss or deafness, seizure disorders, children with autism and adults with Type 1 diabetes complicated by hypoglycemia unawareness. We proudly serve veterans that qualify in one of our five assistance dog programs. We place assistance dogs in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The average cost for Can Do Canines to train and place an assistance dog is $25,000. Because very few of our clients would be able to afford one, our assistance dogs are provided free of charge. We provide the dog, complete training of the team, veterinary care and all related equipment to each graduate thanks to the generosity of our community. Since our founding in 1989, we have trained and placed 585 assistance dogs with people who want and need one.
Geographic Area Served
We currently service clients living in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Due to the long waiting list for an Autism Assist Dog, that program accepts applications only from Minnesota residents at this time.