WEST FALLOWFIELD—A non-profit agency that provides seeing-eye dogs to people with vision problems in Chester County has received a grant that will be used to fund a major expansion of the facility next year.
The Patterson Foundation awarded the grant to Partners for Life in Cochranville. The money from Patterson will be used for an $80,000 project will be used to construct an additional concrete play yard, install a drainage system, and put up more fencing to add an additional grass yard. This allows for more dogs outside at one time and for longer periods of time.
The construction will start in spring of next year, and be completed by June, 2020.
“We are thrilled to continue supporting organizations that align with Patterson’s values,” said George Henriques, Patterson Foundation president. “Canine Partners for life are making a difference in the communities they serve by providing independence through animal companionship. The life changing work of this organization embodies the essence of community, and we are honored to be a part of that.”
Tonya DiPilla, associate director of communications at Canine Partners for Life, said the funding will improve the quality of care for the dogs.
“Over the past 30 years, CPL has placed more than 750 service and companion dogs nationwide, forever transforming the lives of people with disabilities,” she said. “Our graduates live their lives with disabilities that cause mobility challenges and balance disorders. They may have difficulty using their hands and/or arms or have health-related fatigue issues. They also face challenges which stem from seizures, cardiac syncope conditions, and Type 1 Diabetes. Our donors have made it possible for CPL graduates to build their confidence, increase their independence, and have a better quality of life.”
She said donors have given individuals the ability to leave the house on their own, enroll in college or return to the workforce.
“CPL donors have given children with developmental disabilities a best friend who shows never-ending love,” she said. Every day, year after year, our dogs make the miracle of independence possible for their human partners.”
In 2018, nine full service applicants completed training and graduated with their new canine partners. They are now living a life with increased independence and making their dreams a reality. CPL placed eight home companion dogs and its fourth courthouse companion dog with the Lancaster County Courthouse
In 2018, 28 puppies were born on CPL’s campus as part of its in-house breeding program. Whelping puppies at the CPL facility allows for support from multiple staff members and provides new opportunities for volunteers to be involved with our litters. All the pups born last year are now in their first year of service dog training.
‘We are all very excited about this,” DiPilla said. “This will improve the care the animals get.”