The mission of Canines With a Cause (CWAC) is to unite veterans and rescued dogs to heal emotional and psychological wounds.
All of our future psychiatric service dogs are first evaluated at the shelter for behavior, health and overall temperament before becoming fully vetted (spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchip, etc.) CWAC then places them in the state prisons, where they live and train with inmate handlers, learning basic obedience. After completion of training, dogs are assessed and placed in appropriate programs where they provide unconditional love and companionship. CWAC provides free placement and continual training for those who qualify.
CWAC provides free training classes for veterans after dog placement, enabling them to develop skills needed to train their own dogs and become experienced handlers. Dogs can provide veterans 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.
We also have “Penitentiary Pups”, an adoption program for those dogs who prefer to just be a wonderful, well-trained non-working family addition.
Canines With a Cause started as an "Animal Assisted Therapy" program at the Friends of Animals, Utah, (now Nuzzles), Rescue Ranch. Due to location and demand for service dogs the program became an independent organization and moved headquarters to Salt Lake City, Utah in 2011. Our true home will always be in Park City! We currently train and place assistance/service dogs with veterans in Summit and Wasatch Counties. Check out our current Park City heroes, Oliver and Tasha.
To find out more about our organization, please watch our short small forces video featuring our veterans, dogs, the inmates who train them and the shelters where the journey begins.