On the anniversary of its first year in operation, the Canine Companions for Independence® Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Campus received two generous gifts that will help pair trained assistance dogs with people with disabilities.
Joe and Kimberly Colonnetta recently gave $100,000 and the Meadows Foundation, which has a special interest in both companion animals and programs serving the disabled, gave $150,000 in support of Canine Companions.
After attending a Baylor Health Care System Foundation board meeting where they learned about the program, Kimberly Colonnetta and her husband were inspired to provide support. The Colonnettas also decided to train a puppy for the program, a yellow Labrador named Atlas.
"I've been a community volunteer for years, but this is far and away the best thing I've ever done," said Kimberly, who with her family raised Atlas for 16 months. They recently sent him on for professional training through the program.
Baylor Scott & White Health affiliated with Canine Companions in 2014. The nine-acre campus opened in November 2015 and includes dormitory rooms, kennels, indoor and outdoor training areas, and multipurpose spaces. It also has areas for grooming, food preparation, and a veterinary clinic and lab.
The average cost to train and provide follow-up services for one assistance dog is more than $50,000. The dogs are provided free of charge to people with physical or developmental disabilities, so this philanthropic support is important.
Each participant completes a twoweek course at the campus — designed to match the person and the dog, and to prepare them to work together while becoming responsible for the care, feeding, housing and medical needs of the dog.
We continue to raise funds to develop and support the Kinkeade Campus. For more information on Canine Companions for Independence at Baylor Scott & White Health — Kinkeade Campus, please contact Sarah Burdi at 214.820.4721 or Sarah.Burdi@BSWHealth.org.
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