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About Our Program

Who We Are

We are a registered 501c3 nonprofit that pairs rescued dogs with military veterans living with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST) to become psychiatric service or assistance dogs. Thanks to our generous donors, CWAC is able to provide training classes to veterans completely free of charge. Our classes are designed to give veterans the confidence to not only train their dogs but become experienced handlers.

Canines With a Cause (CWAC) is proud to be an accredited member of the Association of Service Dog Providers (ASDP).

Classes are currently being offered in Salt Lake City area, Northern Nevada, and Northern Idaho.

Our Mission And Philosophy

The mission of Canines With a Cause is to unite veterans and rescued dogs to heal emotional and psychological wounds. 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.

By having veterans train their dog, it helps get them 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.

Our Process

CWAC first assesses canine candidates from both local and out-of-state shelters and rescue organizations. Candidates who show signs of being a good fit for our program are adopted and then placed in our prison program at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) for several weeks to learn basic obedience skills and pass their Canines Good Citizen (CGC) test. Learning these skills gives both the dog and veteran a leg up so they can start their training as a team with a foundation in place. When it comes to placing a dog with a veteran, we always take into consideration the veteran's personality and needs to ensure a proper fit. Once we pair a veteran a with a dog they become a service team and attend weekly training classes.

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