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About CPL

We are CPL

Canine Partners for Life is dedicated to improving the quality of life and increase the independence of those with disabilities or who in other situations of need by pairing them with professionally trained service dogs and companion dogs. Our program also provides crucial follow-up training and support services to ensure that dogs form a successful partnership with their human partner. 

We focus on training service and companion dogs to fit the needs of a person with a disability and direct all of our efforts on setting the dog and their human partner up for success. We know that the right dog, with the right training and support, can help their partner not just manage a disability, but fully thrive. 

Man in a wheelchair along with his service dog
Man standing besides his service dog
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Our Mission

The mission of Canine Partners for Life is to increase the independence and quality of life of individuals with physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities, as well as those in other situations of need. We achieve our mission by providing professionally trained service and companion dogs, matching those dogs to the need and situations of their partner, and providing ongoing support for success.

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Our Vision

The lives of those we serve are forever changed through the opportunities and independence afforded by a steadfast relationship with a service or companion dog.

Our History

Since 1989, Canine Partners for Life (CPL) has been dedicated to training service and companion dogs to assist individuals who are managing a wide range of physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities. 

CPL was founded in 1989. The organization flourished, and in 1996 CPL purchased and moved to our 45-acre property in Cochranville, PA. Today, this property includes The Marian S. Ware Program Services Center, The Gerret and Tatiana Copeland Kennel, and a training center.

Canine Partners for Life is a recognized and highly respected leader in the assistance dog industry. We were one of the first service dog organizations in the world to be accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI), and continue to meet the highest standards in the industry. CPL has placed more than 800 service and companion dogs nationwide and provides support to over 150 active teams, with 60–80 service dogs in training.

Core Values

CPL defines its Core Values as the essential set of behavioral expectations for all individuals associated with our organization, including staff, prospective and current recipients, donors, volunteers, vendors, healthcare professionals, and all of the other individuals who provide support and services to the organization.


In all of our operations we will demonstrate courtesy and a deep concern for the members of the community we serve.


We will strive to achieve excellence in all facets of our operations including the care and training of our animals, the construction and maintenance of our facilities, and support services for the wider community of which we are a part. Although we will continue to seek opportunities to serve new groups of potential recipients in need of our services, we will not strive for growth at the expense of quality.

A Commitment to the Well-being of Our Teams

We will continually evaluate and work to improve our training procedures, educational processes, and methods of support to safeguard the general welfare of each team throughout the lifetime of their partnership.

Honesty and Trust

Everyone associated with Canine Partners for Life will carry out their duties with integrity, fairness, and truthfulness in order to earn the trust and respect of the community we serve.


We will carry out our operations with a focus on safety, ensuring that our environment, practices, policies and programs always promote the well-being of our CPL community and the community at large. We will conscientiously abide by all federal and state regulations.


One of CPL’s most notable characteristics is its welcoming sense of community. We will continue to nurture that culture of community, founded on principles of learning, respect, good will, friendliness, and joy.


All of those associated with CPL—Board members, management, staff, and volunteers—will perform their duties with a degree of knowledge, skill, and decorum that meets the highest standards of the industry.


We understand the need to be reflective practitioners, utilizing all of our experiences as opportunities for learning, growth and improvement.

Strategic Plan

Since our founding in 1989, Canine Partners for Life (CPL) has professionally trained, provided, and supported service and companion dogs for individuals with physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities. Our highly-skilled, experienced and dedicated staff, along with a large and enthusiastic community of volunteers, has earned us recognition as a leader in the service dog industry.

CPL’s Board of Directors, staff, and supporters have identified four key strategic initiatives to explore and/or implement within the next three years, 2022–2024. The goals include:

  • Goal 1:

    Focus on increasing the number of dogs active in the program while sustaining excellent standards of care, treatment and training.

  • Goal 2:

    Continue to focus on measures of communication that are efficient, effective, and lasting across all aspects of CPL. 

  • Goal 3:

    Inspire passion through meaningful experiences designed to increase engagement with the organization’s mission. 

  • Goal 4:

    Continue to address the urgent need for construction of the new Training Center.

Canine Partners for Life Staff

  • Janie Cramer

    Executive Director

Administrative Team

Development Team

Program Team

Join Our Team

Canine Partners for Life is an equal-opportunity employer. We are committed to inclusivity and encourage all qualified candidates to apply.