Donation Helps ICAN Expand Reach in Indiana • Current Publications

The Indiana Canine Assistance Network received a $1.5 million donation from residents of Carmel Mike and Judy Harrington to expand the organization’s ability to place service dogs in Indiana.

Mike Harrington was Eli Lilly’s senior vice president before retiring in 2020.

The ICAN facility, 5100 Charles Court, Suite 100, is a non-profit organization in Zionsville that trains and places service dogs with children and adults with disabilities.

“We have witnessed the mission of ICAN for several years now and believe in what they are doing to create possibility for people,” said Judy Harrington. “We want to see the organization take it to the next level, and this gift is to help transition their programming so they can serve more people.”

According to its website, ICAN’s Service Dog Training and Placement Program enriches the lives of children and adults with disabilities by helping them experience a more independent and productive lifestyle. The nonprofit also partners with incarcerated people during the training process to help provide inmate managers with a “new sense of hope and worth”.

“Since 2002, we have seen so many lives transformed by our service dogs,” said ICAN President Jilian Ashton. “However, the training process is long and requires an army of staff, volunteers, community partnerships and donors to make each placement possible.”

The ICAN formation process, from birth to placement, takes approximately two years. The organization trains and places approximately 25 assistance dogs per year. Currently, 54 people in Indiana are approved for a service dog with an average wait time of 2 1/2 to three years.

“The significance of this gift will give us the opportunity to take ICAN to the next level, expand services, hire key positions and ultimately build the infrastructure needed to reduce wait times for customers to receive their service dog,” Ashton mentioned.

Harrington is a long-time volunteer with ICAN and a firm believer in its mission.

“ICAN has transformed my life since I became a volunteer nine years ago,” said Harrington. “I started volunteering with ICAN so I could pet and love a puppy, but my eyes were quickly opened to so many other greater things this program offers.”

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