The Planet Dog Foundation Supports Canines
People often ask how Leader Dogs for the Blind honors its lifetime commitment to the dogs bred for work as guides, but then must be career changed. In April 2013, Leader Dog received its first grant from the Planet Dog Foundation for its provision of dogs as court canine advocates, which is facilitated by Michiganbased Canine Advocacy Program (CAP).
CAP provides dogs to justice system agencies throughout Michigan that assist young victims of crime with their deposition, testimony and coping during court proceedings. The mental and emotional support provided by court canine advocates helps the youngest and most vulnerable victims understand very complex processes by finding and supporting their voices. CAP works exclusively with Leader Dog to place court canine advocates and gives our dogs another means to serve after being career changed.
The Planet Dog Foundation receives 2% of every sale made by Planet Dog (www.planetdog.com) to fund the training, placement and support of dogs helping people in need. Kristen Smith, executive director of the Planet Dog Foundation, was excited about the grant noting, "We had been looking for a court program that helps kids and people with a strong caninecentered component." The grant is especially noteworthy since it was received in a decade-long grantmaking period that resulted in over $1,000,000 of grants to worthy service dog organizations.
To view their investment in Leader Dog and its partner CAP firsthand, Smith traveled to our Rochester Hills campus in September and met with program stakeholders, including the Honorable Joan E. Young, presiding judge of the Oakland County Family Court. The group was also able to observe canine advocate Amos use his cadre of skills to provide muchneeded support.