PORTLAND, Maine — Animal health technology and service company Covetrus donated its 2,000th Puppy Care Package June 4 as part of its partnership with Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit that provides trained service dogs to people with disabilities at no cost.

Covetrus has been partners with Canine Companions since 2015. The care packages are shipped to veterinarians around the country, which are then passed along to volunteers working with young service dogs-in-training, and include essential products for raising a puppy.

The 2,000th Puppy Care Package was given to Dr. Lee Kaplow, a veterinarian at Lakeside Pet Hospital in Folsom, California, and volunteer puppy trainer Kim Brewer, who is currently raising a Labrador Retriever named Fig.

According to Canine Companions, in the first 18 months of a service dog’s life, they must learn 25 commands including opening doors, retrieving items or pulling a wheelchair. After the first 18 months, the service dogs spend from four to six months training with a professional until they are ready to “graduate” and be assigned to their owner.

“We are thrilled to have delivered our 2,000th Puppy Care Package in support of Canine Companions for Independence,” said Davey Stone, vice president of specialty markets and corporate philanthropy at Covetrus. “This philanthropic initiative was designed and managed by Covetrus employees wanting to support volunteers who raise puppies for Canine Companions and the veterinarians who provide their care. It has been a rewarding mission for our employees, and a wonderful channel for their compassionate philanthropic spirit.”

Products inside the care package were valued at $350 and sourced from animal health and research companies including Boehringer-Ingelheim, Kong Veterinary Products, Midmark Corporation, Nutramax and Virbac Animal Health.

“We’re grateful to Covetrus and their partners for providing the puppy care packages,” said Brenda Kennedy, national director of canine health and research at Canine Companions. “Our volunteer puppy raisers use the donated preventatives, supplements and supplies to ensure that each Canine Companion puppy gets a healthy start on their journey to becoming an assistance dog.”

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