Published Dunndeal Gazettes, December 2022
Canines for Christ brings joy to patients and volunteers by sharing God’s love. The animal therapy ministry visits people in cancer centers, children’s homes, nursing homes, hospitals, prison ministries, and other places where people are in need of God’s comforting words and the unconditional love and affection dogs bring.
Animal therapy is known to lessen the effects of depression, lower anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and even release endorphins that have a calming effect. The rhythmic movement of petting an animal can aid in therapy, producing an automatic response.
Kind, Compassionate Volunteers
When the volunteers are visiting, the patients receive the added blessing of communication, reducing their loneliness and boredom that can happen with extended stays in hospitals. The visits help to lessen the feelings of isolation and alienation.
“When you combine these benefits with the presence of Christ Jesus offered with kindness, compassion, love, and hope from our C4C volunteers, the results are powerful,” said Chaplain Larry Randolph.
The Ministry Has Grown Throughout the Country and Internationally
His love for serving the Lord inspired the Chaplain to start Canines for Christ in July 2007. At the time, he did not own a dog but took a step out in faith and borrowed his daughter’s dog to start the ministry. It has spread across the United States and internationally. God has blessed this ministry with over 1,000 active volunteers and 91 chaplains.
Canines for Christ has established a Spanish arm of the ministry called “Caninos Para Cristo” that is reaching the Hispanic population in the United States and South America. God is on the move!
Chaplain Randolph has been an active speaker to churches, rotary groups, civic organizations, and radio and TV outlets. His extensive list of credentials includes Commissioned Chaplain with Corporate and Community Chaplains of America, Rapid Response Chaplain for Billy Graham Ministries, Member of American Association of Christian Counselors, Volunteer Chaplain for Tampa Fire and Rescue, and many more.
Bringing Peace to People in the Midst of Difficult Times
The ministry has been very active in crisis response teams with many teams going to the Uvalde, Texas shooting disaster as well as hurricane Ian. Ministry volunteers with their dogs have reached out to hundreds of people in Uvalde as they ministered to people in the schools and funeral homes as well as doing the visits to special parades and other functions in that devastated community.
For those affected by hurricane Ian, the ministry partnered along with the Salvation Army to minister to survivors of the hurricane that have lost everything. Their therapy dogs were instrumental in bringing moments of comfort and peace and joy to people in all these settings.
“We managed to bring them God’s love and hope and brought them peace in the midst of their difficult time,” said Chaplain Randolph.
Spreading the Word Through Media
Tyndale, a Christian book publisher, has commissioned Chaplain Randolph to write a book about the journey of Canines for Christ. It is a story of faith and obedience and how this ministry grew from not even having a dog to where it is today. It is a true and inspiring story of how therapy dogs have changed people’s hearts with God’s love and hope over the hundreds of hundreds of visits by thousands of volunteers and their puppies. The book is scheduled for publication in 2023.
“Our prayer is that this book will turn people to Christ and lead them into that wonderful and fulfilling relationship with Him,” said Chaplain Randolph.
Be sure to look for the documentary about Canines for Christ which airs on the Christian television streaming Network FISM called “Good Guys Doing Good”. It will be featured across the country on faith-based networks and other media sources by the end of the year.
Become a Volunteer
If you are looking for a way to serve the Lord and are interested in becoming a volunteer, you must complete an application, have a certificate of health completed by your veterinarian, provide the Therapy Dog Certification or the AKC Canine Good Citizen (which can be issued by Canines for Christ if you do not have one), and sign a liability waiver. Dogs must be six months old to enter the ministry, well-mannered, and non-aggressive.