Coronavirus: 29 puppies leave Santa Rosa to train to become canine companions during COVID-19 pandemic

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Twenty-nine adorable 8-week-old puppies took off on private planes Tuesday to begin their journeys to become assistance dogs.

"With restrictions on commercial airlines, local pilots have volunteered to fly puppies to volunteer puppy raisers on the West Coast," said Canine Companions for Independence in a statement.

The four-legged bunched, wearing doggie capes, were greeted by volunteer pilots at the Sonoma Jet Center in Santa Rosa.

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The puppies are on their way to meet their volunteer puppy raisers to begin important training.

Canine Companions provides service dogs, free of charge, to people with special needs.
"Disabilities don't stop during pandemics and neither does the work at Canine Companions," tweeted the Santa Rosa based non-profit.

The puppies will learn more than 40 commands that enhance independence including, how to turn on lights, pick up dropped keys, open a door and even assist with business transactions by transferring money, receipts, and packages, according to Canine Companions.

The pilots say with today's challenges, it's nice to be able to contribute to a wonderful mission.

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