10 reasons to raise a service dog

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Have you ever considered raising a service dog for a wounded warrior, or a child or adult with a disability?

WUSA9 reporter Andrea McCarren is now raising and training her second service dog, Nigel. He's from Canine Companions for Independence and accompanies Andrea on every news assignment and returns home with her every evening.

Here are Andrea's top 10 reasons to become a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence:

  1. You could save a life. At the very least, you’ll dramatically improve the life of a veteran, or a child or adult with a disability. And that makes life better for their families too!
  2. You’ll meet wonderful people everywhere you go that you’d never have met otherwise. Your puppy will show you there is infinitely more good in this world than bad. 
  3. 3. What a great opportunity to say thank you for the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military families. Raising and training an adorable, loving puppy is such a rewarding way to express your gratitude. 
  4. Canine Companions has placed 250 service dogs with veterans and more than 5,500 dogs overall since its founding in 1975. No other organization comes close. 
  5. I have not met a single Canine Companions for Independence recipient, puppy raiser or volunteer who doesn’t adore this organization. That speaks volumes. 
  6. When you raise a Canine Companions assistance dog, you have a nationwide family of supportive fellow puppy raisers and patient trainers who are there to help you every step of the way. 
  7. There are currently 451 children and adults with disabilities, including veterans, on the waiting list for these highly trained dogs. Can you imagine waiting 18 months to two years for the dog who will give you or your loved one greater independence? 
  8. “I could never do this. It would be too difficult to say goodbye.” It’s true that saying farewell to the dog you love and admire breaks your heart, but this isn’t about you. Your heart will mend. And how often in life do you have the opportunity to fill the heart of a stranger?  And Canine Companions puppy raisers often become very close friends with the recipients of the dogs they raised and trained. In fact, that’s encouraged. 
  9. You’ll be part of a network of more than 3,000 fun, compassionate and diverse volunteers nationwide. What a cool way to meet like-minded people from all walks of life. 
  10. Raising a puppy is one of the greatest, most selfless acts you can do. Your patience will grow beyond your wildest dreams and your heart will expand more than you ever thought possible. 

For more information: www.cci.org/puppyraiser or call 1-800-572-BARK (2275) 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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