Man’s best friend provides pathways to independence

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:48 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Dogs known for their ‘can do’ attitudes were in the spotlight Wednesday night in Rochester.

Can Do Canines held a fundraising reception, Tails of Independence, at the Rochester Art Center.

The organization trains five types of assistance dogs, including those to assist with mobility, hearing, seizures, diabetes and childhood autism.

Started in 1989, Can Do Canines primarily operates in the Twin Cities, but it’s looking to expand its operations.

“We actually have a 10-year goal, right now, of expanding our services in general to serve 40-percent more of the people we serve right now,” Can Do Canines Executive Director Jeff Johnson said. “Right now, we do about 50 dogs a year; we have several hundred of them out there in the community. We’d like to get up to 70 because that’s another 20 lives we get to change each year.”

The organization also offers training services to select inmates at seven Minnesota prisons.