Q & A with Canines 4 Christ – June’s Partner of the Month
I had an opportunity to sit down and visit with the very busy founder of Canines 4 Christ, Larry Randolph, in Tampa, FL. What an amazing man with an even more amazing ministry! So much more to his story than I was even able to write about so I encourage everyone to go to his website for more info on what Canines 4 Christ is all about!
P4C: What specifically moved you to start Canines 4 Christ?
LR: Interesting story…I was doing my daily morning devotional reading and I felt compelled to stop and listen to something God was whispering to me. Clear as could be, I heard that I was to start a ministry intent on reaching out to people in need with the help of dogs. I let God know it was an excellent plan, but one small hitch….I didn’t have a dog at the moment. Wanting to be obedient, I borrowed my daughter's dog Cody, a beautiful golden retriever, and the ministry was launched.
P4C: Who was the first therapy dog you actually owned, not your neighbor!
LR: Gracie, my English yellow lab. She is an amazing soulful dog that loves everyone and everything! She is trained for PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. She currently has the AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished award which is given once a dog has done 400 therapy visits. Gracie actually has done over 3,000 visits!
P4C: How big is your volunteer base?
LR: We currently have over 600 volunteers. Mostly in the USA, but we have expanded to Germany, Netherlands, Lithuania, and South Africa.
P4C: What is your process to certify animals to become a Canines 4 Christ dog?
LR: All dogs must first get their AKC good citizens certificate. It is a 10 step process. Once the dog has that, they are partnered with an experienced therapy dog so the new dog can learn how to interact with people from the experienced dog. It is amazing how quickly the new dog picks up on what is and isn’t acceptable when working with an experienced therapy dog.
P4C: What is one thing you need to fund raise for right now?
LR: One part of our ministry is Dog Church Service. We get permission to use a facility, most times a church, and have either mentally or physically challenged people come to the facility. We have anywhere from 8 to 10 therapy dogs there with their handlers and let them mingle with the guests. We hold a service and talk with everyone who comes. We listen, help, and minister to whomever asks. Having the therapy dogs there is a great way for people to feel safe to open up and talk about whatever is on their mind. Every time we work with a new location, we need electronic equipment for the services there. Specifically microphones, video equipment, etc. An approximate cost for each new location is $4,000. We have a new location coming soon in Pinellas County so we will need electronic equipment for that location.
Pets 4 Christ is going to start the donations off with the first $100 towards your goal! Please go to our Partner of the Month and donate if you feel the call! Thank you and God Bless!