Henry Schein, Inc. and Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. have partnered with Dr. Trent Marr, a veterinarian who has treated local animals for 18 years at Shawnee, Oklahoma’s Dogwood Veterinary Hospital, to provide the essential products and care for Kaiser IV, a puppy being raised by a local volunteer to eventually serve as a highly trained assistance dog for a child or adult with disabilities.
Dr. Marr contributed to the puppy’s health and development when he presented a “Henry Schein Cares-Canine Companions Puppy Raiser Care Package” to Kaiser IV’s volunteer puppy raiser, Linda McMahan, also of Shawnee. The care package contains items essential to caring for the puppy during its first 18 months of life. With a total value greater than $300, it is designed to help defray the costs that Dr. Marr and Ms. McMahan will incur while caring for the puppy.
The package is part of a unique program created by Canine Companions for Independence, the first and largest assistance dog organization in the United States helping people with physical disabilities, and Henry Schein Animal Health, the leading companion animal health product and services provider in the country. Dr. Marr is one of 700 veterinarians who will deliver care packages to volunteer puppy raisers during the program, which began in September 2015. A video about the program can be found here.
“As veterinarians, we enter this profession because we can think of no higher calling than to provide for the health and safety of animals,” said Dr. Marr. “It is an incredible honor to work with Kaiser IV, who will provide a deserving child or adult with greater independence, protection, devotion, and so much more. I want to thank Henry Schein Cares and Canine Companions for Independence for sharing my commitment to this incredible animal.”
Canine Companions service dogs such as Kaiser IV are Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, or crosses of the two. They are partnered with individuals with physical disabilities to assist with daily tasks and to increase independence by reducing reliance on other people. A service dog can pull their partner in a manual wheelchair, push buttons for elevators or automatic doors, and even assist with personal transactions.
“The Shawnee community is incredibly lucky to have such a compassionate, devoted and talented veterinarian as Dr. Marr,” said Fran Dirksmeier, President, Henry Schein Animal Health, North America. “These dogs receive the highest level of training, and as such, require the highest level of veterinary care. We are humbled to know that Henry Schein is playing a part in supporting Dr. Marr as he cares for Kaiser IV, and we are honored to partner with Canine Companions in this vital work.”
Founded in 1975, non-profit Canine Companions for Independence created the concept of assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities and has placed nearly 5,000 assistance dog teams. The organization has over 1,600 volunteer puppy raisers that provide early socialization and basic obedience training, both of which are essential in preparing a puppy for life as an assistance dog.
“Our program relies heavily on veterinarians like Dr. Marr, who give so much of their time and talent to caring for our puppies at this critical stage in their development,” said Paul Mundell, Chief Executive Officer of Canine Companions for Independence. “It’s very rewarding to be able to partner with Henry Schein to provide our veterinarians and volunteer puppy raisers with a selection of products that will help them transform these adorable puppies into remarkable dogs.”