Canine Support Teams provides service dogs to those who have been wounded in the service of our country and who
are now seeking the enhanced mobility, independence, unconditional love, companionship, and assistance a dog offers. Whether a vet’s wounds are physical, emotional or both, it is an indescribable reward to see a dog and serviceperson bond together in an inseparable relationship. In many cases, this bond makes the defining difference in the long and painful journey to rehabilitation.
Conceived out of a dream from a tenacious woman named Sister Pauline Quin, in September of 2002, the California Institution for Women became the first prison within the state of California to have a Service Dog Training Program. Once Sister Pauline contacted CST’s founder Carol Roquemore, the wheels started turning and together with John Dovey – the Warden at CIW, the program was implemented. Since then other successful programs have been put in place based on this model so that inmate trainers in California are now playing a vital role in the training of service dogs for the disabled community. These dedicated trainers gain pride and worth from their daily work with the dogs and many go on to a professional, self-‐sustaining career in the industry once released. To date, none have returned back to confinement from CST’s program!
In 2008, After realizing the extraordinary benefits the inmates derived from the Prison Pup Program at the Chino Institute for Women, CST’s Training Director contacted Southwest Juvenile Hall in Riverside County, Ca. CST had a vision of Youth at Risk gaining life skills through a similar program.
The SWJH Youth at Risk Dog Training Program matches dogs rescued from local shelters with a team of two juveniles. The juvenile boys commit to a 12 – 16 week dog training program where they learn to train basic obedience using positive reinforcement techniques. They also learn health care and grooming skills.
This program has been extremely successful since it’s inception. Not only to the young men learn life skills and a trade, they learn about compassion, teamwork, patience and many more life changing skills.
Puppy Raisers are the lifeblood of Canine Support Teams, Inc. Without those generous individuals who open their hearts and homes to puppies for 18 months, donating their time to socialize, teach basic obedience, and attend CST scheduled puppy raiser field trips, our program would not flourish the way that it has. Puppy Raisers turn their pups in for advanced training to CST and about 6 months later, the dog is teamed with a disabled person on our waiting list. Please let us know if you are interested in becoming a part of this wonderful, life-changing experience. Contact Jane Palmer – PuppyRaiserManager@caninesupportteams.org or by phone at 951-306-8285.