This past month two beautiful litters of ICAN puppies were born. On November 6th, mamma Alpine gave birth to nine female pups. Yes, an all girl litter! Then, on December 8th, Holly gave birth to six boys and three girls. At 3 l/2 weeks, Alpine's puppies were moved to one of our training facilities, Pendleton Correctional Facility/Indiana Reformatory, where our handlers will care for Alpine and her puppies until they are ready to be puppy raised around 12 weeks. At 16 weeks, they will return to the prison to begin their two year journey on becoming a service dog for a child or an adult living with a disability. The above photo is one of the handlers, Jason, holding one of Alpine's puppies at four weeks old.
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My journey begins on November 11th, 2004. While getting ready to either go out on a mission or go to gate one where I was assigned as part of my duties as base security, my life was changed forever by a 107mm Chinese Rocket. I was a Marine serving in Mahmudiyah Iraq when I was hit. I sustained five different injuries from the back part of my right leg getting ripped off, to shrapnel chipping a bone in my lower back, taking the shell casing in my right shoulder, taking more shrapnel in my upper left arm, and in the midst of getting spun around I ripped off the back side of my left hand along with four of my wrist bones and a bone in my hand. I also live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
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Dakota has changed Scott's life in many ways; they have become inseparable and spend their days together in each others company. Dakota gives Scott more responsibility, more independence, and a better overall quality of life. After Scott's stroke he nearly lost all of his responsibilities in the household. With Dakota, Scott has a job again, to take care of a dog who adores him and who he loves just as much in return.
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ICAN is celebrating Holly's recent delivery of twelve beautiful Golden Retrievers! And daddy, Kash, has been handing out the milk bones taking credit for adding more celebrity pups to the ICAN family! (Kash is famous for his Petsmart ads and doing mattress commercials on TV in the Northwest!). After ten hours of delivery, seven boys and five girls were born.
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Before Harmony appeared in Yeahsen's world, he would not go outside to play. In desperation his mother would physically carry him outdoors, only for him to turn around and run back inside. Her heart would break as she was unsure how to give her little boy some normalcy. She was unsure how to release him from his prison of fear and uncertainty.
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On December 11th, we will be graduating seven service dogs and placing them with an individual living with a disability. For those of you who have never attended one of our graduations, we hope you and your friends or co-workers will be able to join us. It is an inspiring, empowering and uplifting evening in which you will personally experience how our inmate handlers and dogs are bringing hope to other people's lives.
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Recently, fourteen clients received a service dog from ICAN. Four were placed as successor dogs to clients who's service dog had passed away. Each dog was placed with a client living with a disability including autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, seizures, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy and heart disease. ICAN extends a special thank you to Positive Perspective Assistance Dogs in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Two of the graduate dogs were provided to ICAN as a joint partnership. Approximately 300 guests attended the graduation ceremony in June at the Indiana Women's Prison.
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Puppy Love Valentine's Day 2014 was once again a big success! ICAN's newest pups in training, the J&J litter, wiggled their tails as they surprised children and adults distributing nearly 400 gift boxes, throughout the city of Indianapolis, with their sloppy wet kisses. By the end of the day, they were completely dog-tired!
Click Here to read all of the Spring, 2014 Newsletter.