Voice or TDD: 785-243-1077    *     800-498-1077    *    Concordia, Kansas

Foster Puppies / Assistance Dogs /
Professional Therapy Dogs & Other Services

Foster Puppies
The majority of our dogs are produced from our own breeding program. Adult dogs and puppies that are donated to us are ex-show dogs, specifically bred puppies and family pets. If these donated adult dogs or puppies pass preliminary testing such as temperament testing, health checks, etc., they are accepted into our program. We then foster these puppies and dogs out to volunteer homes where they are raised for nine to eighteen months, depending on the age of the dog or puppy.

Foster homes offer puppies a place to learn basic obedience, become socialized to all aspects of public and private life (When these dogs are placed with their companion, they are expected to accompany them everywhere, including public facilities such as the grocery store, mall, work, restaurants, etc. These dogs are expected to behave in all of these environments), as well as live in these foster homes until they have reached maturity.

Puppy raisers are required to inform CARES of the progress of their puppies. They must submit monthly progress reports. (See the link at the bottom of this page.) We have a variety of individuals, some disabled, and families who volunteer to be foster raisers. One third of these are homes with children. Besides the individually placed puppies, we currently have specialized foster puppy programs. Our present locations are Ellsworth Correctional Facility, and Hutchinson Correctional facility, which are located in Kansas. Inmates involved in this program must complete one year without having any disciplinary notations made in their file. They must also fill out an application, be interviewed, and then be individually selected in order to participate as a foster puppy raiser. Inmates have raised and placed over 800 adult dogs and puppies. The CARES staff regularly visits the facility to provide training sessions for the inmates and to answer questions regarding training or health issues about the adult dogs and / or puppies. The inmates raise money to help pay for equipment, supplies and health care. CARES provides the food which allows the facility to afford additional dogs and puppies.

Application to Foster puppies

Social or pet visitation therapy dogs are used primarily in nursing homes or skilled care facilities, which sometimes leads to the dog having a wide variety of handlers. It has been realized a dog needs one person to bond with as partner and leader, creating a working team. After this realization, social dogs are now being used in schools, mental health facilities, hospitals, as well as the nursing homes because of the ease of monitoring success. By placing a professional therapy dog with an individual, the team is developed so that the outcomes can be measured based on successes within the scope of the professionals' job description. Ms. Stucky, a principal at a Kansas elementary school, has two therapy dogs placed in her school. She has documented a 90% decrease in out-of- classroom time in a school for children who are severally emotionally disturbed. There has also been a significant increase in the ability of the children to recognize the need for de-escalation in their own behavior, which is a beginning to a future of their own self-control. CARES' professional therapy dogs are tasked trained so that they meet the legal requirements of the Kansas assistance dog state statutes. Tasks that the professional therapy dogs are trained to do include bracing, retrieving, "go to" or "go find", etc.

ASSISTANCE DOGS AND HEARING ASSISTANCE DOGS-CARES specifically selects and trains puppies to become Assistance Dogs and Hearing Assistance Dogs. Over the years, we have placed Assistance Dogs with people with a variety of diagnoses. Our Assistance Dogs are specifically trained to provide many services including pulling wheel chairs, lending balance support, picking up dropped objects, and/or avoiding a medical crisis due to diabetes or seizures, and hearing assistance. We have provided dogs for many young clients with Juvenile Diabetes and Autism. After a dog as been raised in the foster home it is re-evaluated both for temperament and physical soundness. It then begins the final phase of training which is designed specifically to meet the needs of their new partner. Once a person has completed the application process, the CARES staff begins the process of finding just the right dog to match their personality, life style and need for the dog. Because we customize each dog to fit with their new owner, we have been able to place service dogs with military veterans who have PTSD, TBI's and/or physical disabilities due to combat injuries.

CARES trainers developed a search and rescue squad for the benefit of the surrounding communities, as well as the entire state of Kansas and neighboring states, too. The CARES staff has been trained by an Oklahoma canine patrol officer handler / trainer. After attending numerous sessions and seminars, the CARES team has qualified 15 dogs in tracking of lost or fleeing individuals, drowning victims, and cadaver search. The CARES search and rescue teams are available to anyone in need of their services on a volunteer basis.

CARES also offers dogs to detect narcotics.

After completing temperament testing it is determined that some puppies have the desire and drive needed for canine law enforcement training. These puppies and/or dogs are then made available to law enforcement agencies. Working dogs from CARES Labrador breeding program are working in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas among other states. In the past Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Border Collies have also been selected as working dogs.

Another working dog CARES has provided is that of a bomb detection dog. This service became a reality when officers from Topeka, Kansas, came to CARES. The officers were impressed by the abilities of one of our narcotic detection dogs. They temperament tested several dogs for the possibility of training a dog in bomb detection for use at the Kansas State Capitol Building and Shawnee County Courthouse. They selected a yellow Labrador Retriever female which was bred by CARES and had been started by the CARES trainers in selected odor detection.

Click Here for the Puppy Raiser Monthly Report #1

CARES, Inc. is a private corporation with shareholders. The Cares Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) Not-For-Profit foundation with an independent board of directors. All donations are managed by the foundation for the specific financial support of the CARES canine assistance program.


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