Service dog training center opens first Texas facility in Irving

Baylor Scott & White Health-Kinkeade Campus and Canine Companions for Independence celebrated the grand opening Nov. 9 of the first assistance dog training center nationwide partnered with a health care institution.

The nine-acre flagship campus is adjacent to the Baylor Surgical Hospital at Las Colinas and will provide highly-trained assistance dogs, free of charge, to children, veterans and other people with disabilities.

“We have a long history of innovation and collaboration, and we are proud to add this moment to that history,” said Joel Allison, CEO, Baylor Scott & White Health. “This is another example of how we’re working to take care of the total patient – it’s part of our Population Health mission.”

With the help of philanthropists, Baylor will take care of the $9 million costs of building and maintaining the facility, while Canine Companions will be responsible for the daily management.

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The new campus will graduate up to 60 human/canine teams per year and includes indoor and outdoor training areas, dormitory rooms, kennels, a veterinary clinic and a grooming area.

The Kinkeade Campus will train three types of assistance dogs: service dogs that perform daily tasks for adults with physical disabilities; skilled companions that enhance independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities; and facility dogs that work with a professional in a visitation, education, criminal justice or health care setting.

Canine Companions has training centers in California, Florida, Ohio and New York and 1,900 active graduate teams nationwide. Canine Companions has placed 5,000 teams since the organization’s inception in 1975.

The Kinkeade Campus was designed by t. howard + associates architects of Dallas. Project management was led by CBRE. Outside consultation was provided by Animal Arts Design. Initial construction began in November 2014, and MEDCO Construction served as the construction general contractor.