GREEN BROOK, NJ – Canine Companions for Independence – a national non-profit organization providing highly trained assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities – is proud to announce that Green Brook resident Mike Saverino recently received his second assistance dog from the organization.

Saverino was matched with Webster, a 2-year-old yellow lab/golden retriever cross who has been trained to respond to over 40 advanced commands. Saverino’s first Canine Companions assistance dog, Akirra, retired earlier this year after eight years of loving service and Webster is aptly taking over right where Akirra left off. Webster can turn light switches on and off, open and close doors and retrieve dropped objects, however, one of his most important jobs will be to provide constant companionship for Saverino.

“Webster is a very special dog and I hope to have many wonderful years with him,” Saverino said.

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Saverino and Webster returned to Green Brook after completing Canine Companion’s recent Team Training Class, an intense, two-week course held at Canine Companion’s Northeast Regional Center in Medford, NY – one of six such centers nationwide. The Northeast Regional Center serves a 13-state area from Maine to Virginia. Each student who attends Team Training – held at each center four times a year – is paired with a fully trained, working assistance dog like Webster, and is taught to work with his/her canine companion. The training course consists of daily lectures, exams, practice and public outings.

For additional information on Canine Companions for Independence, visit


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