Canine helpers graduate with new owners

OCEANSIDE — Canine Companions for Independence, or CCI, will hold a graduation ceremony at noon Nov. 15 at the historic Mission San Luis Rey Parish’s Serra Center, 4070 Mission Ave., to honor the newest class of graduates with physical and developmental disabilities as they formally receive their new assistance dogs. CCI is a national nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. All CCI assistance dogs, training and support services are provided free of charge.
Graduating dogs have been in training for more than two years and know up to 50 different commands including opening doors, turning lights on and off, and retrieving dropped objects. This inspiring ceremony is the culmination of an intensive two-week Team Training course completed by these new human/canine teams at the CCI Southwest Regional Training Center in Oceanside.
The ceremony will also feature volunteer puppy raisers turning in their CCI puppies that they have been raising for the past 14 to 16 months. These puppies will return to CCI to embark on six to nine months of advanced training with professional CCI instructors in the hopes that they will one day become an assistance dog for someone in need.
For details, visit www.cci.org or call (800) 572-2275.

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