VIDEO: Canine Companions For Independence Supported By Devoted Volunteers
By Maria Sonnenberg // October 22, 2015
Central Florida Humanitarian organization
ABOVE VIDEO: Canine Companions for Independence, established in 1975, provides highly trained assistance dogs for children, adults and veterans with disabilities on the Space Coast, as well as facility dogs for local healthcare facilities such as Viera Hospital, Vitas Hospice and 7 Senses Therapy in Melbourne.
INTELLIGENT AND MAGNIFICENT CREATURES
The dogs from Canine Companions for Independence take the term “man’s best friend” to a supreme level, for these intelligent and magnificent creatures devote their lives to serving their human companions.
Imagine not being able to open a door, pick up the telephone, turn on a light switch or get a set of keys without asking for help from caregivers.
Now image the relief and self-confidence a person with disabilities will feel when a Canine Companions for Independence dog helps him with these tasks of daily living.
Canine Companions for Independence, established in 1975 in Santa Rosa, California, provides highly trained assistance dogs for children, adults and veterans with disabilities on the Space Coast, as well as facility dogs for local healthcare facilities such as Viera Hospital, Vitas Hospice and 7 Senses Therapy in Melbourne.
Facility dogs such as Paco at Viera Hospital provide comfort and love to the ill.
At 7 Senses Therapy, Tinder the Labrador is the gentle mentor of children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism, rolling a ball back and forth with the child to encourage bilateral coordination, swinging the child on sensory equipment and even being a role model to show the child when it is appropriate to be calm and ready for learning.
The dogs are provided at no cost to the persons or organizations.
Having an assistance dog may mean the individual can return to work and reduce his dependency on caregivers. They are again able to maximize their potential as productive members of their community.
Currently, 10 working assistance dogs are partnered with individuals with disabilities in Brevard.
Some help adults with disabilities perform daily tasks. One of the dogs helps a deaf individual by alerting the person to important sounds.
At the heart of the Canine Companions intensive training are volunteers.
The puppies are born in the homes of volunteer breeder caretakers who raise them until they are eight weeks old, when the puppies are then placed with volunteer puppy raisers for 14 to 18 months.
Puppy raisers, who welcome the pups into their homes and socialize them before their furry charges graduate to “canine college” to complete an intensive six to nine-month professional training to be taught to respond to more than 40 commands, including pulling wheelchairs, retrieving items and closing doors.
After graduation from this course, the pups are matched with human partners for a two-week intensive training.
Seven puppy raisers from Brevard currently devote their time to helping give a perfect start to a future assistance dog. Two more are on the waiting list.
Since its founding, Canine Companions for Independence has graduated 4,797 teams of dogs and people nationwide. Several hundred Canine Companions released dogs are currently serving in search and rescue, border patrol, customs, therapy, medical alert and guide dogs.
The nonprofit, perhaps one of the purest examples of man and beast working together for good, is founded by gifts from individuals, businesses and civic clubs, as well as grants from corporations and foundations.
ABOUT THE 2015 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS
Recognizing Outstanding Individuals & Organizations Who Dedicate Their Time, Talent and Treasure
The 2015 Central Florida Humanitarians include outstanding individuals and organizations from the medical, business, education and governmental communities.
The Central Florida Humanitarian honorees will be recognized during a Gala event on Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place in Melbourne, Florida.
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created six years ago by Maverick Multimedia, publisher of Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and Space Coast Daily, to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their time, talent or treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
TIME: In this category consider candidates who have selflessly and consistently devoted their time as volunteers at hospitals and nursing homes, in activities for the less fortunate and as organizers, administrators or operatives in the many other altruistic endeavors in our community.
TALENT: In this category give consideration to those who have volunteered their special talents and expertise to address specific circumstances in which the lives of those in need are improved.
TREASURE: The humanitarians in this category will include those who have generously shared their monetary good fortune and/or volunteered their time and efforts in fund raising for the advancement of a philanthropic cause.
All 2015 honorees will be featured in the Oct/Nov 2015 edition of Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com.
The first Gala was held in 2010 and is produced by Brevard Productions.
ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS SELECTED TO BE HONORED INCLUDE:
• Brevard Family Partnership
• Brevard Neighborhood Coalition
• Brevard Special Olympics – Debbie Spence
• Lila Buescher
• Canine Companions for Independence
• Childrens Hunger Project
• Circles of Care
• Ginger Davis
• Cove Merchants Association
• Dr. Brian Dowdell
• Early Learning Coalition of Brevard
• Betsy Farmer
• Darcia Jones-Francey
• Harris Corp. Foundation
• Malak Hammad
• John & Cynthia Handley
• John Harper
• Mike & Stephanie Haridopolos
• Sheriff Wayne Ivey
• Robert Jordan
• Dr. John Lovejoy Jr. & Dr. John Lovejoy III
• Victor Luebker
• Rita Pritchett
• David Schmitt
• Oscar & Turney Sieveking
• The 2015 Central Florida Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement honoree is Dr. Anthony Catanese.
HONORING SELFLESS VOLUNTEERISM
As always, the Central Florida Humanitarian committee will also honor hospital and hospice volunteers from Health First Hospice, the Dr. Jey Pillai Center for Hospice Care at Wasdin Woods, VITAS, Hospice of St. Francis, Health First Cape Canaveral Hospital, Health First Viera Hospital, Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center, Health First Palm Bay Hospital, Wuesthoff Medical Center – Melbourne, Wuesthoff Medical Center – Rockledge, the VA Clinic in Viera, and Sebastian River Medical Center.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“For the sixth consecutive year, we will once again produce the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala on the first Thursday of November. This year, more than 42 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala.”
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards will be part of Space Coast Medicine Week, a comprehensive series of health and educational events produced by Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and Space Coast Daily.
JOIN US FOR AN INSPIRATIONAL EVENING
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by M.H. Williams Construction, Parrish Medical Center, SOAR, Brighthouse Networks, Wuesthoff Health System, First Choice Medical Group, Clear Choice Health Care, Florida Pain Institute, Brevard Geriatrics, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Dr. Mark Pinsky, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com. Each honoree or organization will be presented the Central Florida Humanitarian Crystal Globe.
“We would like to thank our long list of sponsors who support the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards and who make this wonderful event possible,” said Giles Malone, a partner with Maverick Multimedia and Brevard Productions, who annually produce all the events of Space Coast Medicine Week.
COMPELLING MULTIMEDIA TRIBUTE VIDEOS & STORIES
Stay tuned to SpaceCoastDaily.com and Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine for exclusive and comprehensive multimedia coverage of each honoree as we present their compelling stories.
“Please join us on Thursday, Nov. 5 to celebrate and be inspired by these incredible individuals and groups,” said Maverick Multimedia President & Publisher Tom Palermo.
“In the meantime, please click the link below that showcases the distinguished Central Florida Humanitarian Alumni.”
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN ALUMNI
FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a reservation to attend the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultiMedia@gmail.com
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS
ABOVE MAP: The 2015 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards will take place Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, located at 200 Rialto Place in Melbourne, Florida.