Canine Companions for Independence

Auto Dealers Raise Awareness of Assistance Dog Program for Wounded War Veterans

McLean, Va., April 12, 2011 — Many U.S. war veterans returning home with physical disabilities endured from military service in Afghanistan and Iraq are unaware of a nationwide program that provides assistance dogs — at no cost — to help them live a more active lifestyle.

Most U.S. companies, trade groups and organizations are unaware that the program, called the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence, even exists. And with no government funding, the initiative relies solely on the private sector for financial contributions.

The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation has supported Canine Companions for Independence since 2004. The NADA Foundation is expanding that partnership today to include the Wounded Veterans Initiative because of the growing need to match wounded war veterans with assistance dogs.

Sgt. Sebastian Cila (Ret.), with his service dog Gillian, will accept the first $10,000 grant from the NADA Foundation. Cila, a resident of Riverhead, N.Y., lost his arm in an explosion in Baghdad on July 4, 2005. He will share his story and how Gillian is helping improve his quality of life.


• NADA Charitable Foundation Provides Family with Canine Companion

Watch the NADA-TV reports