Canines With a Cause (CWAC) was established in September of 2010 in Park City, Utah. CWAC provides training classes for veterans, enabling them to develop skills needed to train their own dogs and become an experienced handler. The dog can provide the veteran with many benefits: simple companionship, motivation to get out of bed in the morning, and unconditional and non-judgmental love. Learning to train the dog also helps to get veterans out of their homes
and involved again in civilian life; it helps them develop their emotional coping skills and resiliency, and the positive training techniques our instructors use teach them to guide their dog and solve problems using methods that are enjoyable for the dog and healthy for the veteran. The dog and the handler create a strong bond through working together, and the dog is trained for specific tasks to help the veteran lead a more productive, less stressful life.
CWAC Utah works directly with the VA Hospital in Salt Lake City and Vet Centers in Salt Lake City, Provo, and St. George. Our veterans are referred by their health professionals.
Dogs are sourced from local shelters by our well-trained professional staff. The dogs are further assessed and trained by offenders in the Utah State Women’s prison-Timpanoogas and Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino.
CWAC began as an Animal Assisted Therapy Program of “Friends of Animals Utah,” an animal rescue program in northern Utah. Based on increasing demand for veteran assistance programs, CWAC became a separate organization in 2011 with a focus on training shelter dogs to assist veterans with support, comfort and specific tasks needed.
The mission of CWAC is to pair veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with well-trained assistance dogs. By adhering closely to our mission, CWAC works to move veterans from a state of PTS toward Post Traumatic Growth (PTG). In committing to positive “growth,” we become one of many steps on the veterans’ path toward healing. More importantly, we’re able to develop creative-individualized training solutions that meet the mental, emotional and economic-stability challenges veterans face today.