Baylor Scott & White Health today unveiled plans to build the first training center in Texas for Canine Companions for Independence, the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs.
The collaboration was announced during an event this morning at Baylor Medical Center at Irving. The campus, to be located adjacent to Baylor Health Center at Irving-Coppell, will be the first Canine Companions training center in the country to be connected to a health care system.
“Together, Baylor Scott & White Health and Canine Companions for Independence look forward to building this training center right here in Texas,” said BSWH CEO Joel Allison. He added that the center “will provide more highly-trained service dogs for the people who need them.”
The initial plans call for between six and eight dormitory rooms and 24 kennels. The ultimate goal is to have a campus capable of graduating about 60 teams of special assistance dogs and people with disabilities annually.
Construction is expected to begin in October and the center should be operating by next summer. It will be Canine Companions’ sixth training center in the country. The organization, which provides the dogs to people with physical and developmental disabilities free of charge, was established in 1975.
“This collaboration with Baylor Scott & White Health will allow Canine Companions for Independence to continue changing lives by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing follow-up services to adults, children, and veterans, all free of charge, for generations to come,” said Corey Hudson, CEO of Canine Companions for Independence. “An expansion to Texas in 2015 – our 40th anniversary year – is an essential step and proof that we’ll continue to be the innovators and advocates we’ve always been, standing at the vanguard of the assistance dog service sector.”
You can find out more about Canine Companions for Independence, including how to apply for dog, on the organization’s website.