Whitefield Lions Club recently was visited by Kittery Lions President Mary Mace and her husband, Lion Scott Mace.

The Maces brought their puppy in training, Bennix, to help spread awareness about Lions Project for Canine Champions for Independence, a national nonprofit organization that provides assistance for individuals with disabilities.

Scott, who is the area director of the program, and his wife, have raised many dogs for the program receiving them at 10 weeks old and training them until they are given back to handlers to receive more specialized training, usually at age 2.

Canine Champions, which was founded in 1975, estimates the cost of training a dog at $50,000. Service dogs are provided to adults and children with a wide variety of disabilities including hearing loss, spinal injuries, quadriplegia, PTSD and blindness.

The Maces said it is hard to let go of the dogs they raise as part of their family, sometimes for two years. Providing people with a dog that will help them become independent is worth it.

For more information about Lions Project Canine Companions for Independence, visit lpcci.com or call 877-865-7224.

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