Can Do Canines is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs.
We envision a world where people with disabilities live free and independent lives.
VALUES Commitment to Clients • Respect for People • Respect for Dogs • Integrity • Innovation • Teamwork
On August 25, 1989, the Companion Dog Connection, Inc., doing business as the Hearing Dog Program of Minnesota certified our very first assistance dog. In 1992, the organization’s good work began to be recognized in the community. Although we had only graduated a total of 22 teams, we still received both the Nonprofit Mission Award for Innovation from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Distinguished Service Award from Minnesota and from the State Council on Disability. In 1995, we certified our first Mobility Assist Dog, Chance, a black Lab we adopted from the humane society. In 2000, we merged with the Master Eye Foundation, Inc. of Minneapolis, the first and oldest guide dog training organization in the country, which had previously ceased dog training activities. Assets from the merger set the stage for our future facility.
Things continued to accelerate through the first six years of the new century as we graduated our first Diabetes Assist and Seizure Assist dogs and began placing dogs in surrounding states. In 2005, we started our first prison puppy program with Faribault Correctional Facility. In 2007 our organization became a fully accredited member of Assistance Dogs International to ensure our dogs were meeting the highest of standards, our first Autism Assist Dog team was placed and we adopted a new logo and new name: Can Do Canines.
In 2010, we moved into a new building in Plymouth, MN. At the end of 2020 the founding director retired. Since the graduation of our first team, Marcy and Annie in 1989, more than 800 Can Do Canines assistance dog teams have been placed.
At the center of Can Do Canines’ impact is our specially trained dog’s relationship with a person with a disability. Together, they bridge barriers to inclusion and advance a person’s freedom and independence. Surrounding this unique relationship are our five pillars of staff, volunteers, clients, dogs, and supporters whose partnership enables and sustains this impact. Our strategic plan, adopted in 2022, endeavors to strengthen and broaden our five pillars of partnership to elevate our impact.
Over the next three years, we envision achieving three growth goals:
1. Enhance and deepen engagement among clients, volunteers, supporters, and staff
2. Extend our reach by building a broad, diverse, and inclusive constituency
3. Elevate impact to serve more people in need.
Annual Budget: $2,800,000 – Foundations, Individual Contributions, Other
Can Do Canines is seeking BIPOC board members with skills in the following areas:
- Human Resources
- Management and Leadership
- Marketing and Communications
- Strategic and Business Planning
- Number of members currently: 13
- Meeting time and frequency: 6 meetings annually
- Meeting location: Western Suburbs
- Time Expectation: Up to 5 hours/month
- Financial Contribution Required: Yes
- Service on Committee Required: No
- Current Committees – Executive, Finance, Governance, Other
- Length of Term: 3 Years
- Renewable: Yes
- Does nonprofit carry liability insurance? Yes