Canines for Change was founded in 2005 by Dr. Nikki Brown, while she was working in her current profession as a school psychologist for the Lansing School District. Dr. Brown began taking her Corgi to school to work with special education students. The students responded positively and were able to drastically improve their skills and behavior with the aid of a dog. Soon, parents began inquiring how they could obtain a dog to provide the same service for their children at home. Dr. Brown teamed up with another trainer and begin training service dogs for children with special needs over the next few years.
Then, in 2014, The Epilepsy Association of Western and Central Pennsylvania (EAWCP) contacted Canines for Change and requested three seizure-response dogs per year. Each dog is sponsored by EAWCP’s Oscar Project. Canines for Change has continued to provide EAWCP with three dogs per year since.
In 2018, Canines for Change placed their first veteran service dog team and continues to place veteran service dog teams today. Public support has allowed Canines for Change to continue to train and provide service dogs to veterans free of charge.
Fast forward to 2021, Canines for Change was approached by the Grand Ledge School District to place a Facility Dog in each of their nine school buildings. The first dogs were placed in July!
Over the years, Canines for Change has successfully trained and placed diabetic alert dogs, seizure alert dogs, mobility assistance dogs, Autism assistance dogs and facility dogs for school districts.