Impact and Programs
In 2019, Can Do Canines certified 51 high-quality assistance dog teams, a new record for the organization.
We added three full-time training staff in 2019 and started and ended the year fully staffed. Total income for the year is $2,546,042 compared to our budgeted income of $2,227,789. Total expenses for the year are $2,542,240 compared to our budget of $2,506,565.
Charitable Solicitation Registration
We achieved charitable solicitation registration in all required states towards the end of the year.
Our 30th Anniversary year was a huge success. We did the following to recognize the event:
• Produced a 30th Anniversary video that was shown at the Gala, facility presentations and graduations.
• Included our anniversary logo on all stationary and publications
• Produced numerous “Throw-back Thursday” postings on Facebook
• Distributed 2,000 30th Anniversary pins
• Nominated the organization for a number of awards and received:
• The Executive Director received the Lasallian Service Award from St. Mary’s University
• The Hero Award for Diabetes Assist Dog, Morrie from the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association.
The organization grew in many ways this year. We improved communications, volunteer acquisition, revenue from events, internal systems and more. Can Do Canines placed it 700th assistance dog in 2019!
Based on the number of dogs we have going into 2020 that will be of age to be placed and certified with a client, we are setting our team goal at 54-65. With the staff we currently have in place we feel this is an obtainable goal.
With our current resources we can realistically breed approximately 13 litters in 2020. After accounting for misses, girls who don’t end up pregnant, we can expect to whelp at least 11 litters. This is based on the current breeding dogs that we have. If we are able to add extra whelpings either for ABC or in partnership with another organization that number could increase. A minimum of 3-4 of our 11 litters would be ABC litters. Based on our litter sizes in 2019 that would mean adding at least 68 puppies from our litters to our program.
To boost the number of dogs entering the program in 2020 we are going to pursue the following avenues –
• Add at least 4 shelter dogs to the program. We will add more if appropriate candidates can be found. We have 11 volunteer families that have said they would consider taking a shelter dog this year.
• Look at purchasing not only additional breeding stock but also puppies to add to the program
• Reach out to breeders to see if we can lease an adult female from them for a breeding
• Increase the number of donated puppies we accept. With the two breedings that didn’t result in a pregnancy near the end of 2019 we have volunteer homes open. That allowed us to take in some donated puppies. I am hoping to be offered more puppies in early 2020 to help boost numbers as well. We accepted 12 donated puppies in 2019. I would like to take in a minimum of 20 in 2020.
We will also be adding puppies we receive from ABC. The average pups received from ABC over the last four years was 14 puppies.
Using the goals above I expect to add a minimum of 106 new dogs to the program this year. If some of the initiatives listed above pan out this number would increase.
Community or Constituency Served
Can Do Canines trains the following five types of assistance dogs to support our clients –
Hearing Assist, Mobility Assist, Diabetes Assist, Seizure Assist, and Autism Assist Dogs. Prospective clients who are deaf or hard of hearing, have mobility issues, seizure disorders, type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness, and children with autism may apply.
In brief, here is how each type of assistance dog helps our clients:
* Hearing Assist Dogs alert a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing to sounds by making physical contact with them and then leading them to the source of the sound. This type of assistance dog is often selected from animal shelters.
* Mobility Assist Dogs work with people who have mobility challenges and other needs. They pick up and carry objects, pull wheelchairs, open doors, and help to pay at tall counters.
* Diabetes Assist Dogs detect low blood sugar levels by sensing a change in the small of their partner’s breath. The dog alerts their partner by touching them in a significant way.
* Seizure Assist Dogs respond to a person having a seizure by licking their hands or face, retrieving an emergency phone, and alerting other family members. Their role is to help keep them safe (not to alert to an oncoming seizure, although some are able to) and the contact (licking) can bring them out of a seizure more quickly.
* Autism Assist Dogs keep children with autism safe in public settings and help them experience the world more fully by offering comfort and assurance. These special dogs also serve as a social bridge between the family and the public
All assistance dogs are provided to clients free of charge, less a $50 application fee. The reason Can Do Canines maintains this policy of providing them at no cost is that a significant number of people with disabilities live at or below poverty. In Minnesota, the poverty level for people with disabilities is 19%, whereas for people without disabilities it is 9% (American Community Survey). The total cost to raise and train one assistance dog is over $25,000, a price that is out of reach for our clients.
Geographic Area Served
All but Autism Assist Dogs are placed in Minnesota and Wisconsin; Autism Assist Dogs are placed only in Minnesota.