The mission of Canine Partners of the Rockies (CaPR) is to positively impact the lives of Colorado residents with disabilities by placing highly skilled service dogs with individuals who have mobility limiting conditions and facility dogs with professionals who provide therapeutic services to people with disabilities. CaPR also is dedicated to educating the public about the role assistance dogs play in the lives of people with disabilities.
Canine Partners of the Rockies enables Coloradans with disabilities to lead more independent and gratifying lives through partnership with highly skilled assistance dogs.
Service dogs dramatically change the lives of people with limitations by assisting with the activities of daily living, enhancing their self-confidence and social interactions, and increasing their independence and activity levels. Well-trained service dogs improve the lives of the people with whom they are in partnered, as well as the lives of their partners' families and colleagues.
By raising and training skilled service dogs, Canine Partners of the Rockies (CaPR) works to meet the needs of Coloradans whose lives are severely limited by disabilities. We recognize that the number of Coloradans who qualify for an assistance dog far exceeds the number of dogs that are ready to place - for each dog we train, there are 14 qualified applicants waiting for a service dog. We are responding by placing more service dogs in partnerships each year. In 2014, CaPR committed to a Five Year Plan to reach more Colorado residents with disabilities and we are on track to meet that commitment. In 2015, we increased the number of CaPR dogs in active partnerships, as well as the number of puppies preparing to enter advanced skills training. We have also partnered with other accredited service dog organizations in North America to share breeding and puppy progeny from proven service and guide dog gene pools. The result has been a three-fold increase this year in the number of dogs partnered with individuals and families whose lives are affected by disabilities. Our goal is to continue to increase this number as new sources of sustainable funding are identified. CaPR is making a positive impact on the lives of Coloradans with disabilities through partnerships with skilled assistance dogs.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 out of 8 adults in the United States are functionally disabled by a mobility limitation. Every day, more than 275,000 Coloradans who live with disabilities face significant barriers and feelings of isolation. Coloradans don't need to be socially isolated, shut-in, or excluded from the workforce. A solution is available. Over 140 Coloradans with severe mobility limitations are eagerly awaiting an assistance dog from Canine Partners of the Rockies (CaPR), anxious to experience the increased mobility, independence and social interactions made possible by a trained service dog. These dogs allow people to remain engaged in their communities and become employed, stay in school, or return to their jobs after traumatic injuries or debilitating illnesses. In 2016, we are able to report a three-fold increase in the number of dogs placed with partners. We have expanded our fundraising efforts and are finding new sources of income to sustain this rapid expansion. Our goal is to place a skilled service dog with every qualified applicant on our waiting list. Funding generated through Colorado Gives Day and the Community First Foundation goes directly to meeting the needs of the Colorado community. We are grateful for the support of caring Coloradans and the commitment of the Community First Foundation to invest in community-based organizations like Canine Partners of the Rockies.
CaPR is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2002 to raise, train and partner skilled mobility assistance dogs with Coloradans who have severe disabilities from spinal cord injuries, illnesses and psychological challenges. We also train and partner dogs with professionals who use Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) as part of their treatment programs at educational, medical and behavioral health facilities. We are actively engaged in educating government representatives and the public about the role of service dogs in our community. We are also consulting school districts and counties to help them identify and address requirements for service dog and animal assisted intervention programs. Our all-volunteer Canine Ambassador Program provides service dog demonstrations and presentations at schools and events throughout the year to educate the public about what it is like to live with a disability and the role these dogs play in the lives of the people they assist.
Canine Partners of the Rockies (CaPR) trains and matches highly skilled service dogs with individuals and families who live with disabilities. We support each dog throughout the lifetime of their partnership, and if the dog's partner is unable to care for them upon retirement, we place the dog in a loving home.
In addition to opening doors for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Colorado, our dogs: turn lights on and off, retrieve valuable items, get food and water for their people, go shopping, pay cashiers at check-out counters, do laundry, enable their people to access transportation, and get help for their partner when it's needed.
CaPR accomplishments in 2018 included:
• Placed six dogs in partnerships with individuals limited by disabilities
• Expanded our social networking to raise awareness and share information with a younger demographic. Our new Web site, launched this year, encourages volunteerism and philanthropy through the use of on-line donation tools and easy-to-access forms and information.
• Participated in the Assistance Dogs International North American Breeding Cooperative by sharing a qualified male's progeny with Pacific Assistance Dogs Society and Kansas Service Dogs Society.
• Participated in a number of fundraising events to raise program funding.
• Provided educational programs in schools and other venues to increase awareness of how service dogs affect peoples' lives.
• Expanded our reach to support families and children affected by autism and anxiety disorders
Canine Partners of the Rockies continues to serve disabled Coloradoans by training and placing service dogs. We placed a record number of dogs last year and we are excited to be in a position to place even more service dogs this year. Our dogs create opportunities for the folks we serve, opening doors and easing social activities that can be so difficult for people in wheelchairs. The need for highly-skilled mobility service dogs in Colorado continues to grow and Canine Partners of the Rockies' staff and volunteers work hard every day to meet that need.
"I greatly appreciate the support that CaPR has instilled as part of their mission. In the three years I've been with my dog [Jack], I have always felt this support; no matter how trivial or big my concern may have been. The accessibility to support goes beyond placement - which, in my experience, is uncommon to have with a service dog agency." Nicole, Greeley, CO
"Before Ruby, people used to avoid eye contact because of my wheelchair. Now, everyone is extremely friendly, and we receive lots of positive attention and smiles. CaPR knew Ruby would be a great fit for me. We had an instant connection. I cannot say thank you enough." David, Aurora, CO
"CaPR has been very supportive and responsive." Rich, Fort Collins, CO, partner of CaPR service dog Monte.
Shannon had been researching different service dog programs and chose CaPR because, "they are a local company, require little travel and really work with you and your individual situation." Shannon, Aurora, CO, partner of CaPR service dog Rowena. She has also asked CaPR to visit her elementary school and teach the kids about service dogs.
"I still fondly remember during partnership placement how [the CaPR staff] would say 'oh, just wait, the bond will only intensify and deepen'. Now a little over two years later, I can't imagine what life was like before Morgan entered it and I can't imagine it without him." Peri, Denver, CO
"My experience with CaPR has been extremely positive, everyone is very positive and friendly and whenever I need help they are always willing to help." Joshua, Grand Junction, CO, partner of CaPR service dog Rico.
Founded in 2002, Canine Partners of the Rockies (CaPR) raises, trains and places assistance dogs with Colorado residents who have severe physical mobility limitations. We also train and partner skilled dogs with professionals who employ them in Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) at schools, treatment and residential facilities. Our volunteers provide service dog education at schools and special events. Our puppies are raised and socialized in the homes and workplaces of trained volunteer puppy raisers and we use only positive reinforcement training. When a dog retires, if his partner can no longer care for him, we ensure the dog is placed in a safe and supportive home.
The demand for skilled mobility assistance dogs in Colorado, and nationwide, has never been greater. American service men and women severely injured in Iraq or Afghanistan have returned home and joined a growing community of Americans struggling with spinal cord injuries and physically debilitating diseases. A study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in eight adults in the United States is functionally disabled by a mobility limitation (Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type among Adults - United States, 2013, 2015). But Coloradans with severe mobility limitations need not be socially isolated, homebound or excluded from the workforce when a solution is available. Canine Partners of the Rockies (CaPR) recognizes the value and unlimited potential of these unique members of our community and since 2002, we have been raising, training and placing skilled assistance dogs with Coloradans who have severe mobility limitations.
2. GOALS. CaPR goal is to train and partner skilled assistance dogs with Coloradans who have severe mobility limitations. Most CaPR partners have paraplegia or quadriplegia due to spinal cord injuries and are in wheelchairs full-time. We also place dogs with professionals in therapy programs for autistic children, people with seizure disorders and other health issues. We are an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI).
We currently support 37 active assistance dog partnerships throughout Colorado and pre-screened and/or accepted applications from 122 Coloradans requesting placement with a CaPR assistance dog in 2018 alone. CaPR currently has seven dogs in advanced training for partnership placement in 2019.
Assistance dogs dramatically change the lives of people with disabilities by assisting with the activities of daily living, facilitating access to public transportation, increasing their owners' self-confidence and independence and reducing feelings of isolation.