My name is Gael Yonnet. I am paraplegic since a snowboarding accident that occured on March 4th 2006. I am also a doctor in neurorehabilitation and work with patients with a great variety of disabilities. I strive always to challenge myself physically to show people what is possible from a wheelchair and encourage my patients to always keep pushing forward.
Two years ago, a company called Canine Companions for Independence partnered me with Elon, a yellow Lab retriever service dog. Elon has changed my life for the better. Elon helps me lead an active life and gives hope and joy not only to me, but to my patients as well. He was my constant shadow in all of my adventures until yesterday. People referred to us as a team: Gael and Elon. All my christmas cards have Elon and I on it, we are family. He is all the family I have. People never thought of me as being my myself, they know we are inseparable partners.
On January 29, 2011 however, representatives from Canine Companions took Elon away me. They said my workplace and active lifestyle are a threat to his safety. They based this judgment on the fact that I keep him off leash at work in my office and while visiting patients in their hospital rooms so he could get on their bed when they so wish while I am visting and examining them. And also based on the fact that Elon has been off leash while I was training to climb a mountain called Hidden Peak on a handcycle. I could not hold the leash while biking and couldn't leave Elon by himself in the car. On October 2nd 2010 after 7 hours of pure effort, Elon and I reached the summit at 11,000 ft. We are always together. Yesterday, CCI they took him from me and flew him to California to put him in a kennel and told me that he would learn to live without me, would be loved there and would be just fine. How can he possibly receive more love there than he had with me while sleeping in a cage with a cement floor? How can he be doing fine when ripped away from his master and best friend?
Canine Companions says they want people to live “Life Unleashed”, but they took away the partner who lets me do that. They’d rather see Elon caged up instead of living an active life with me.
I know Elon wants to come home, and I need him back. Canine Companions won’t give us that chance without your help.
I understand Canine Companions' concern and agree to have Elon leashed up in my office and in the mountains if that is what it takes to get him back home.
Please browse pictures of Elon and me on my facebook page to see how happy we were. (see link below)
Please sign this petition and help Elon and me get reunited.
PLEASE, CANINE COMPANIONS, LET ELON COME BACK HOME TO ME WHERE HE BELONGS!