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New partnership will give shelter dogs a chance to become service dogs

Jim Coarse
Delaware Humane Association
Puppies Kramer and Wiss Fiss were adopted by Canine Partners for Life from the Delaware Humane Association and Delaware SPCA to become service animals

Canine Partners for Life is partnering with the Delaware Humane Association and Delaware SPCA to adopt and train shelter dogs to be service animals.

Canine Partners for Life trains service and companion dogs to help those with a wide range of disabilities, and this partnership allows them to increase the number of service dogs in their program.

The partnership gives shelter dogs who qualify a chance to take on the job of a service or companion dog and get a new forever home.

Michelle Iorri is the dog department manager with the Delaware Humane Association. She says one of the best parts of the partnership is that Canine Partners for Life is open to adopting more than puppies.

"The fact that they're open to adult dogs, there has to be a certain age range because they have to be receptive to the training that they need to provide, but they're open to the adult dogs the larger dogs which seem to be a large group of our population,” said Iorri. “So to give them that opportunity as well to move on and be a part of a really great thing is very exciting."

Iorri notes that she has an idea what they are looking for in dogs.

She describes how the process works now.

"Once we have some that will potentially qualify then Canine Partners for Life will come out and do their thorough examination and see if they qualify and show the signs that they will be a good potential service dog," said Iorri.

Iorri adds she can help identify qualified dogs for Canine Partners for Life.

She adds one benefit for Delaware Humane and the SPCA is the service dog evaluation gives them more info about the dogs that don’t qualify - and that can be used to help them find homes.

Since the start of the partnership, one adult dog and two puppies have been adopted for training.

Iorri is thrilled that dogs who were possibly strays and might never have had a loving home will have a chance to impact people’s lives in a positive way.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.