We are very happy to report that we have partnered with the California Service Dog Academy and will work together this year to provide service dogs to people that legitimately need them!
Our partnership became official this month when representatives of the CSDA, Renee Cardoza and Brygette Branco, met Rey, an adorable 3-month-old German Shepherd mix we had in our care.
Renee previously worked with Creature Coach Dog Behavior Consultant and Trainer Kit Perry and was familiar with our organization, as we’ve had a wonderful partnership with Creature Coach for many years.
“I used to mentor [at Valley Animal Center] with Kit Perry,” Renee said. “That’s why I was familiar with the place. I love this facility. You guys do a really good job, so I wanted to reach out.”
When Renee reached out to our animal care manager, Camala Siebeneicher, Camala thought Rey would be a great potential CSDA candidate.
“Rey has shown all the criteria necessary for a pet to be considered to be trained as a service dog,” Camala said.
As it turned out, Camala was right!
Upon meeting Rey, Renee and Brygette found that Rey was confident, people-oriented and willing to take treats.
“We started doing a little bit of training with her,” Renee said, “and she took to it very well. She was very focused. Even with things that made her nervous, she worked herself through it, and it was really good.”
In the next year, the CSDA will use positive reinforcement training methods on Rey, and they’ve agreed to give us updates on her journey.
After Rey’s first night with the CSDA, Renee let us know that Rey was settling in well.
“She will be going to her new foster later this week,” Renee wrote, “but for now, she is with me. I am already in love with her. We were able to start some training, and she is catching on so quickly! We believe she has so much potential.”
The CSDA hopes to recruit 15 dogs this year and train them to assist veterans with their disabilities. With an average success rate of 50%, we believe Rey’s journey with the CSDA will be highly successful, and we can’t wait to share it with you!
We thank the CSDA for giving us the opportunity to give back to our community!