LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - There are several different nonprofit organizations that offer trained service animals. One of the groups is Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) and they need your help. There are only three dogs in this organization in the Lubbock area. One dog is a trained service animal and two puppies are in training.
Chelsey Price is the handler of the only CCI service dog in the area. “Pablo helps me with everything. From doing laundry to help me turning on lights to picking up things at work that I drop.”
Leianne and Bleu are the two pups in training. Leianne is 8 months old and Bleu is 12 weeks old.
Leah Thye is one of two puppy raisers locally. “You’re pretty much training them to provide a service in the future doing all the basics for them,” said Thye, “It is a lot of work raising them and making sure they can be the best dog they can be for someone in the future.”
But if you cant commit to helping on a full time basis, there are other ways you can help.
Julie Wilson is the other local puppy raiser. “We are hoping that we will be able to find volunteers who just want to help out at events. We have fundraising events.”
She explained that they need puppy sitters and puppy god “paw-rents” (godparents) and people who are willing to be involved part time.
Wilson is raising her second puppy with CCI. She said she does this because, “you meet all kinds of people that have been through all kinds of experiences and to see how these dogs changed their lives is incredible.”
Thye is raising Bleu, her first puppy with CCI. “I think that in itself is just really rewarding thing to be able to (say), ‘Oh I’m raising a puppy that will help someone in the future.’”
Once the puppy reaches the age of 1.5 years old, it’s sent to advanced training camp where the organization will decide if the pup is cut out to be a service animal. If the pup passes advanced training, they will be matched with someone and then graduate from the program.
Price said that having her service dog, Pablo VI, has changed her life.“Pablo has kind of brought me back to kind of where I was before. Before, I had a free spirit, I went and did things. But after I lost my legs I kind of lost that. I stopped going out as much but now with him being brought into my life, I’m confident to go out and do those things. So, he really has helped me gain more independence. “
Find info on the West Texas chapter of CCI here.
For more information on National CCI organization, click here.
For more information on how to become a puppy raiser, click here.