Farmington Woman Doing Grandma's For Can Do Canines

Baihly Warfield
Updated: June 21, 2019 08:00 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - More than 8,500 people made the decision to run 26.2 miles tomorrow morning. One of them was inspired by dogs to run her first marathon. 


Laura Pierce of Farmington loves volunteering and working with an organization called Can Do Canines.

They raise service dogs to be paired free of charge with people who need them. The dogs are trained to help five categories of disabilities: autism, seizures, mobility, hearing and diabetes. 

Pierce is hoping to raise awareness and $25,000 through her training and race. 

"I started out, looked at my training plan and thought, I have never run 10 miles, besides I did a half marathon once. But never run further than that," she said, "And I thought, how am I going to do this? But just having that goal and knowing that I'm doing this for a greater cause, that's what was important to me."

She helps raise the puppies before they go off for certified training. 

"When they go off for their training then, we call it their college experience, it's a time where the certified trainers work with the pups," Pierce said. "And they get to see, what are those pups really passionate about doing?"

Bentley is a hearing assist dog who was paired with Tim Roufs, a professor at UMD. 

"He's trained to alert me to certain sounds, particularly smoke alarm, fire alarm, he gets me up in the morning when my alarm clock goes off, and he doesn't have a snooze button," Roufs joked. 

Bentley will also let him know when someone is at the door of his office at UMD. 

Pierce said right now, Can Do Canines has more than 180 applicants for dogs. They typically have around 200 dogs they are raising up through  the program, and the goal is to graduate 60 of them this year. 

You can donate to Laura's fundraising marathon on Facebook or on


Baihly Warfield

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