This new partnership is a match made in heaven as ICAN has recently merged with another service dog organization called, Our Turn to Serve.
With the two organizations coming together, they will not only going to be helping veterans, but shelter dogs as well.
Nick Bennett, United States Marines Retired Staff Serge, and Sean Diamond, ICAN vice president of programs, joined us Monday on “Life.Style.Live!” to share more about their partnership. Here’s more from their team.
The American Legion Department of Indiana presented a check for $25,000 to the Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN), and their generous gift will enable the service dog organization to provide two deserving Indiana veterans with their own service dog, free of cost.
The highly trained canines will provide tasks for these veterans living with combat-related challenges, to empower them to return to civilian life with pride and independence.
The legion’s support follows the heels of ICAN’s recent merger announcement with Our Turn to Serve, a not-for-profit organization in Fort Wayne that provides service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma.
“We believe that there is nothing more important than caring for wounded veterans who protect our way of life,” said Indiana Legion Commander Mark Gullion. “It is our hope that these service animals will help these veterans for many years to come.”
As part of the recent merger, ICAN will adopt Our Turn to Serve’s process of training shelter dogs, as opposed to using purebreds, for the veteran placement. But just like with a breeding program, the shelter dogs must meet certain criteria to be considered a service dog candidate. ICAN will review the dog’s health history, age, temperament and physical traits before accepting the canine to the training program.
“With this gift, we really are saving four souls,” said ICAN President Jillian Ashton. “We are helping two shelter dogs find homes, and we are helping two American heroes find companionship.”
In addition to serving veterans, ICAN also places service dogs with Hoosiers who need support for mobility, diabetes, autism and more.
Currently, ICAN has 120 active service dog partnerships throughout Indiana—7% of those are partnered with veterans.
ICAN’s mission changes lives on both ends of the leash. Their service dogs provide independence and confidence for children, adults and veterans with disabilities and offer purpose and a second chance for inmate handlers.
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