Improving access to service dogs for Albertans
Alberta’s government is providing $300,000 and qualifying three additional organizations to raise, train, test and place service dogs.
Service dogs can help individuals become more active and help reduce stress levels. They also have the ability to perform specific tasks to enable people to access their community, maintain employment and manage mental health conditions. This new funding will support nine Alberta-based businesses helping to train and qualify service dogs in Alberta.
“Alberta’s government knows how important service dogs are to help people with disabilities live more independent and fulfilled lives. They help remove barriers, which allows them to participate in their communities through employment and other opportunities.”
Jason Luan, Minister of Community and Social Services
“Service dogs change lives and mean independence, safety and inclusion for Albertans who rely on them to maintain education opportunities, work and social contacts with family and friends. Aspen Service Dogs is proud to be a partner in this initiative.”
Maria Illes, head trainer/co-owner, Aspen Service Dogs
Three additional organizations have been approved to qualify service dogs. Meliora Service Dogs, TLC Training and Consulting and Holdfast K9 will join Alberta’s approved service dog organizations, making it easier to get more dogs qualified. The newly qualified service dog organizations were assessed to ensure they meet Alberta’s training standards and can provide dogs that meet the unique needs of those who require their support.
“TLC Training and Consulting is pleased to receive funding through the service dog grants from the Government of Alberta. Our clients have told us repeatedly the difference their service dogs make in allowing them to participate more fully in all aspects of their lives. The funding from this grant will allow our program to assist more Albertans wishing to train their own service dogs.”
Sarah Jane Petti, owner/trainer, TLC Training and Consulting
“Becoming an approved service dog organization eliminates a huge barrier for individuals in the Medicine Hat area who no longer have the stress of travelling long distances to get their dogs tested. For many individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, even travelling to another place can cause undue stress. We are so pleased to be able to provide our services in southern Alberta and help individuals with disabilities with their service dog needs.”
Jamie Billings, head trainer, Meliora Service Dogs
“Service dogs play such an important role in the lives of those who rely on them. Being paired with my first service dog four years ago was life-changing, which led me on the path to becoming a service dog trainer. I know how important it is to establish a solid training foundation in both the dog and owner. I’m thrilled to join Alberta’s approved service dog organizations and look forward to bringing my expertise to the Edmonton area to help more individuals train their dogs.”
John Dugas, head trainer, Holdfast K9 Inc.
Organizations receiving government funding:
Aspen Service Dogs
Canadian Canine Training Corporation
Courageous Companions Inc.
Meliora Service Dogs
Red Dog Training Solutions
TLC Training and Consulting
BC & Alberta Guide Dogs
Dogs With Wings
Pacific Assistance Dogs Society