Dr. Robert Gano, a veterinarian at Wilmington’s Orchard Veterinary Clinic, has partnered with Henry Schein, Inc. and Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. to provide essential products and care for Mays, a puppy being raised by local volunteers to eventually serve as a highly trained assistance dog for a child or adult with disabilities.
Dr. Gano presented a “Henry Schein Cares-Canine Companions Puppy Raiser Care Package” to Mays’ volunteer puppy raisers, Rick and Joan McCarren, also of Wilmington. The care package contains items essential to caring for the puppy during its first 18 months of life. With a total value greater than $300, it is designed to help defray the costs that Dr. Gano and the McCarrens will incur while caring for the puppy.
The package is part of a unique program created by Canine Companions for Independence and Henry Schein Animal Health. Dr. Gano is one of 700 veterinarians who will deliver care packages to volunteer puppy raisers during the program, which began in September.
“As veterinarians, we enter this profession because we can think of no higher calling than to provide for the health and safety of animals,” said Dr. Gano. “It is an incredible honor to work with Mays, who will provide a deserving child or adult with greater independence, protection, devotion, and so much more. I want to thank Henry Schein Cares and Canine Companions for Independence for sharing my commitment to this incredible animal.”
Canine Companions service dogs such as Mays are Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers or crosses of the two. They are partnered with individuals with physical disabilities to assist with daily tasks and to increase independence by reducing reliance on other people. A service dog can pull their partner in a manual wheelchair, push buttons for elevators or automatic doors, and even assist with personal transactions.
Founded in 1975, non-profit Canine Companions for Independence created the concept of assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities and has placed nearly 5,000 assistance dog teams. The organization has over 1,600 volunteer puppy raisers that provide early socialization and basic obedience training, both of which are essential in preparing a puppy for life as an assistance dog.