Canine Companions

x_lovingcanine3Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs (TLCAD) has spent 20 years changing lives. The Rancho Bernardo-based nonprofit organization trains and provides service dogs throughout San Diego County and Ione, CA.

Three programs form the heart of TLCAD’s mission. At Ease service dogs help service members and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or mobility limitations. Leash-On-Life service dogs help individuals with autism. “We also place service dogs as facility dogs and courthouse facility dogs that work with populations in need,” explained Development Director Fara Khaleeli.

The third program, Prisoners Overcoming Obstacles & Creating Hope (POOCH), is run through correctional facilities in San Diego and Ione, CA. With support from TLCAD volunteers, inmates care for and train future service dogs. “Our mission is to transform lives with service dogs, and each dog starts transforming lives as soon as they enter the training program and continue for the rest of their doggie life,” Fara said. “We are also able to rehabilitate incarcerated populations by training incarcerated individuals to utilize positive reinforcement to train service dogs for those in need.”

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“Our mission is to transform lives with service dogs, and each dog starts transforming lives as soon as they enter the training program and continue for the rest of their doggie life.”

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x_lovingcanine2TLCAD is open to volunteers and supporters. “We have some volunteers that enter the correctional facilities to assist with training classes,” Fara said. “There is also a need for volunteers that help with office tasks and for event support.” The organization also hosts regular fundraising events, like recent events at Protector Brewery in Miramar and Culture Brewery in Solana Beach.

Learn more about new events, how to volunteer, and how to apply for a service dog at www.tenderlovingcanines.org.