Canines With a CauseBy Julie Hooker

In 1995, while on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cathy King watched a hurricane rip across the island. She immediately stepped into rescue mode.

While dropping off some distraught tourists at the airport, King saw a daunting wall of animal crates full of beloved pets left behind during evacuation.
“I stayed for two months helping to rebuild a shelter and find homes for the animals,” explained King. “I found my calling. I’ve been an animal rescuer ever since.”
King’s passion for animal rescue later led to Canines With a Cause, a non-profit organization she founded to help shelter dogs find homes by training them to work as companion, therapy and service dogs for veterans in need.

A Pentagon study showed that one in four veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or anxiety. This can affect their jobs, relationships and daily living. Meanwhile, more than three million healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized in shelters each year.

Canines With a Cause brings shelter dogs and veterans together. Veterans benefit from the healing companionship provided by the dogs and the dogs in turn are placed in loving homes.
“Animal-based therapy has always made sense to me,” said King. “After a long, stressful day, nothing makes me feel better than having my dogs meet me at the door with their tails wagging. Dogs and cats are better than any drug. Ask my veterans.”

Recently, King expanded the mission of Canines With a Cause to include providing service dogs for children with autism. Canines With a Cause also offers an adoption program for dogs that are better suited to be a part of the family instead of a working dog.

Canines With a Cause is dedicated to the mission of creating public awareness and emphasizing how companion animals enrich our lives. As an animal rescuer, King supports other local rescues by fostering, reposting adoptable animals on social media sites, educating the community about animals, and ensuring that the pet food pantry at the Christian Center in Park City stays stocked for pets in low-income families.

Like the veterans, King is a hero. And, like the dogs, she is loved.

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