Kirstin Downie, Director of Development and Communications, and Taylor Kulp, Volunteer and a Partner to Laurel, discussed the mission of Canine Partners For Life, to provide trained service and companion dogs for people with physical or developmental disabilities. They offer Service dogs, highly trained dogs who follow their partner everywhere, and Companion dogs, who offer emotional support and comfort. The CP dog training begins as soon as possible, newborns are socialized by volunteers, then live with a volunteer who teaches them the basics and gets the dog used to people and different environments. Canine Partners then works with six area prisons, employing inmates to provide the constant contact and intense training to develop the dog’s skills; some may be able to help with clothing and doing chores such as retrieving items, others may be sensitive enough to become Medic Alert companions to help their human partner with seizures, or heart or diabetic crisis’s. Taylor talked about her journey to meeting Laurel, with a five year wait before getting matched, she became a volunteer to help with the dogs. Taylor described her needs and how Laurel is able to help her with laundry, get her a bottle of water from the fridge, help her stay steady as she walks and performing many more everyday acts that give her an independence she didn’t think possible.
Their services are free, supported by donations and grants, with training for each dog at over $32,000. Learn more at their annual Fall Festival September 17th from Noon to 4 at their Cochranville training facility. There will be food and entertainment, dog demonstrations and tours, as well as Cow BINGO, buy a random square on the field and if it’s ‘marked’ you can win the big cash prize.
For Fall Festival details and to learn more about the programs, to make a donation, to volunteer or request a dog go to K94life.org.
Follow them on social media @caninepartnersfor life