Toys & Training

Native nonprofit coaching canines at your service


Service canines can save somebody’s life. A skilled canine, for instance, can detect if its proprietor has low or excessive blood sugar and can warn the particular person to take a specific motion. 

Santa Clarita-based Cornerstone Companions is liable for coaching animals that present such companies, and founder Britany Morano instructed The Sign in a latest telephone interview that whereas she began her nonprofit in 2017, she’s been coaching service canines for greater than 20 years. 

“Our mission assertion helps canines, serving to individuals, restoring hope and altering lives,” Morano stated. 

However it began with animals.  

Coral, a service canine in coaching, lays down on command at Pamplico Park in Saugus, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022.

Morano trains canines like Coral and Cowboy to be service animals and help their homeowners for his or her particular wants. Chris Torres/The Sign

Morano grew up on her grandparents’ farm in Ohio the place she labored and performed with horses, cows, pigs and chickens. She later got here to California and labored within the film business as an animal coach and wrangler, dealing with unique animals like lions and tigers. However that lasted about 5 – 6 years, she stated, when tragedy hit.  

“I ended up having some life circumstances with a household good friend who was, sadly, injured in a bike accident and have become quadriplegic,” Morano stated. “We’d lived collectively, and so, I seen how the canines would naturally gravitate towards him and assist him not solely bodily, however emotionally and mentally as effectively.” 

Morano identified that, not like an emotional assist animal that gives emotional and psychological assist solely, a service canine is recognized by the People with Disabilities Act as a canine that’s skillfully skilled to mitigate one’s incapacity with a activity.  

Within the case of the animal that’s skilled to detect if its proprietor has low or excessive blood sugar, she or he will make sure strikes to inform its proprietor. 

“So, the canine will paw on the particular person’s leg to allow them to know that there’s a problem,” Morano stated. “After which the canine will sit if the blood sugar is excessive or lay down if it’s low.” 

Earlier than Morano discovered practice canines to supply these companies, she noticed how animals might play a crucial position in aiding people. Her personal son was born prematurely and her canine on the time was very keyed into the infant’s points. 

“At 26 weeks, (my son) was only one pound, 14 ounces,” Morano instructed The Sign. “And he got here house with apnea and bradycardia and a respiratory machine, and he needed to have oxygen and would give up respiratory at instances and switch blue. And the monitor, you realize, would go off and my canine, earlier than the monitor would go off, would all the time come over and wake me up or nudge me or go to the infant. She would make some type of indication. She knew.” 

Morano understood then that her expertise with animals on the farm and animals within the film business may very well be used for the next objective. 

“And so, I used to be like, ‘I feel I may very well be the bridge (between the canine and people in want),’” she stated. “I went and I researched some colleges, and I began apprenticing, and I began studying all the things I might about service canine coaching. After which I went to a lady who was actually well-known in San Diego with Little Angels Service Canines — Katie Gonzalez — and he or she’s written books and issues like that. And so, she agreed to be my mentor.” 

Morano found that Gonzalez’s Little Angels skilled service canines down south, and that the following place like that within the state was in San Francisco. She noticed a necessity for such a service within the Los Angeles space, and he or she spent two years with Gonzales to study what it will take to begin one thing of her personal. 

Quickly after, Cornerstone Companions was born and it started serving the group by inserting skilled service canines with people in want. Her canines present mobility help, psychiatric help, autism help, medical alert for individuals surviving with diabetes and epilepsy, and extra. The objective, Morano added, is to all the time provide these canines without charge to these in want of a service animal. 

Cornerstone Companions founder and coach Britany Morano cuddles with Cowboy and Coral, who’re service canines in coaching, at Pamplico Park in Saugus, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. Morano trains canines like Coral and Cowboy to be service animals and help their homeowners for his or her particular wants. Chris Torres/The Sign

“All of our efforts,” she stated, “are accomplished by grants, fundraising and donation alternatives from native people and companies in our group.” 
 
Cornerstone helps the group, Morano continued, by rescuing canines from shelters, decreasing the variety of canines which might be euthanized. 
 
“We’re additionally in dialogue with native companies and organizations in our group to supply instructional and volunteer alternatives,” Morano stated, “in addition to enrichment for college students and civilians in organizations like Woman (Scouts) and Boy Scouts, in addition to rehabilitation packages for many who are incarcerated or recovering from habit to medication and alcohol or homelessness.” 

For extra info, to donate, assist in different methods or to seek out upcoming occasions, together with fundraisers, go to CornerstoneCompanions.org. 

Service canines in coaching named Cowboy and Coral cuddle collectively at Pamplico Park in Saugus, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022.

Morano trains canines like Coral and Cowboy to be service animals and help their homeowners for his or her particular wants. Chris Torres/The Sign



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