View Products |  Sign In

Carolina Puppies

May 26, 2020

Charlie Petrizzo has a calling to nurture puppies to become successful service dogs for those in need of healing.

Petrizzo is the founder and CEO of Project 2 Heal, a nonprofit organization that breeds and trains Labrador retrievers and donates them to service-dog organizations.

“The reason we do what we do is because most service dog organizations do not have a breeding program,” Petrizzo said. And as a result of not having a breeding program, they have to look through shelters to find dogs to train.

According to Paws With A Cause, 1-in-12 rescue dogs have the temperament to be placed as a service dog.

This failure rate can leave service organizations with lost time and resources and extend the time to place service dogs — which can sometimes take over three years.

Through its nature and nurture program, Project 2 Heal works to reduce the time and cost associated with training a service dog and pairing it with a person in need.

“We breed, nurture, socialize and train purpose-bred Labrador retriever puppies so that we can donate them to service-dog organizations across the country,” Petrizzo said.

Over the last 3 years, the organization has donated over 150 puppies to service-dog organizations.

These puppies go on to be furry companions of individuals with disabilities, special-needs children and veterans having trouble adjusting to life after war.

“Many of our organizations serve a lot of veterans,” Petrizzo said. “I think what the service dogs do for those veterans is they become a brother or comrade.”

Petrizzo went on to describe the relationship between a service dog and a special-needs child as a “social lubricant,” meaning it works to grease the engine of what some would call a friendship.

Project 2 Heal was awarded $3,500 as the SEED20 3rd Place and Community Vote winner.

Created by Social Venture Partners, the annual SEED20 program identifies, highlights and connects the community to the region’s most innovative ideas for tackling pressing social challenges.

The innovations can be developed by an individual or startup with a well-formed idea, an emerging nonprofit or a well-established nonprofit with a new program.

Some of the Charlotte region’s most innovative thinkers challenge themselves and the community and compete for cash rewards.

Each year, over the course of two months, a class of 20 nonprofit participants receives training, coaching, feedback and mentoring on how to tell their story succinctly and powerfully — who they are and why they matter.

Register Your Dog

  • Recent News

    Service Dogs Heal

    July 13, 2020

    Chronic conditions and disabilities can be challenging. People who have a mental/physical disability or a chronic condition that results in functional impairment or limitations to their daily activities and social participation may need assistance with a variety of daily tasks. One way such assistance might be provided is through the use of service dogs. Service […]

    Read more

    Charger's New Service Dog

    July 13, 2020

      The Chargers aren’t scheduled to start training camp until later this month, but the newest member of the team was an early report to Costa Mesa last week. In partnership with Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, the Chargers have teamed up with Canine Companions for Independence to follow a puppy on its journey to […]

    Read more

    Heroic Police Dogs

    July 13, 2020

    From finding missing people and criminals to sniffing out drugs, cash, firearms and explosives, the canines play a valuable role for the force. Police dog handler PC Carrie-Ann McNab started a fundraiser to ensure the Scottish police dogs of the past, present and future receive a well-deserved tribute. Not only would the memorial provide a place […]

    Read more

    Working Dogs

    July 13, 2020

    The Marine Corps is undertaking a force-wide restructuring to ensure it has the right composition to take on future conflicts. And its military working dog community, used for everything from patrols and bomb detection to security for high-profile officials, is no exception. The Marine Corps Military Working Dog Program is undergoing a large-scale review that aims […]

    Read more

    Bailey The Service Dog

    July 13, 2020

    Yard sale today will raise funds for service dog for 11-year-old girl Mark and Olwyn Wismer need $25,000 for a dog. Crazy, you say? Hardly. This service dog will have a dramatic impact on their special-needs daughter, Evie. It will change the 11-year-old’s life for the better. “People have no idea how much chronic pain […]

    Read more

    New Obstacles For Service Dogs

    July 13, 2020

    While browsing through a Facebook group for guide, mobility and service dog recipients, a post by one of the members jumped out at me. “Did you dare to go out with your dog?” it asked. “Are you able to go out of your home?” Since the early days of the COVID-19 crisis in March, many […]

    Read more

    What Service Dogs Offer

    July 13, 2020

    Visa, a custom-trained assistance dog, helps Liam Clark, 10, navigate life. Looking around the post-golfing gathering at Park Hills Country Club, Liam’s mother, Tammy Clark of New Enterprise, said, “Liam would never have been able to come to this before Visa. She’s made a huge difference in his life.” Diagnosed with severe childhood anxiety three years […]

    Read more

    K-9 Spartan

    July 13, 2020

    You may recall the story on Marshall County Sheriff Deputy Nate Klempa’s K-9 Spartan. Spartan was battling stage 4 cancer and unfortunately has passed away. Which is why the Benwood Fire Department held a flag-raising memorial Saturday to honor their friend Nate, and to pay a tribute to this special dog. God tells you to […]

    Read more