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Canine Companions for Independence visit the Lions

Lions Club of Tehachapi


Pictured from left to right: Madysen Billingsley, Melissa Billingsley, President Vicki Satalino along with Lotus and Hiltie.

"We Serve" is the motto of all Lions Clubs. Not only does the Tehachapi Lions Club serve our community by doing service projects and giving back, but it also has a main mission of vision and hearing health.

The Lions have been long supporters of Canine Companions for Independence and were very excited to have Melissa Billingsley as a guest speaker at their Jan. 18 meeting.

Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. CCI trains four types of assistance dogs: Service Dogs, Hearing Dogs, Facility Dogs, and Skilled Companions.

Billingsley explained how she and her children, Matthew and Madysen, became volunteer puppy raisers for CCI in 2011. Melissa and her family have successfully raised five puppies for CCI. Melissa, who suffers from hearing loss, attended a demonstration for Hearing Dogs while raising their 3rd puppy. She applied for her own hearing dog and was blessed with Hiltie the Hearing Dog two-and-a-half years later. Melissa and Hiltie went through an extensive training and graduated in 2016. Hiltie has helped change Melissa's life immensely. Melissa was the first person to raise puppies for CCI in Kern County and Tehachapi. She is the group leader for the Tehachapi CCI Group. For more information on Canine Companions for Independence visit

The Tehachapi Lions meet the first and third Thursday of every month at the Tehachapi SENIOR CENTER, 500 E. F Street, at 6:30 p.m. Visitors are always welcome.


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