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Renee Priore with Champ II visits patients at the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital.

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Mount Vernon: Raising an Assistance Dog Only To Say Goodbye

Volunteers play key role in Canine Companions for Independence.

For 40 years, the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) has been raising and training service dogs for people with a broad spectrum of disabilities. CCI enlists both volunteers and professionals to raise dogs so that they can improve lives all over America — from wounded veterans to people affected by other physical setbacks, the only exception being blindness. And, when all is said and done, CCI ensures that these prepared, caring dogs go to their new owners at no cost.


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