Day 22
Two minutes of dog guide training to help a Canadian with a disability

Dogs provide companionship and unconditional love

Your best friend

When The most recent Canadian Survey on Disabilities estimates that 1 in 7 working aged Canadians (15-65) have disabilities that limit their daily activities. Among those aged 25 to 64 years, persons with disabilities were less likely to be employed (59%) than those without disabilities (80%) and significantly more likely to live in poverty. Dog Guides help people with a medical or physical disability everyday by providing them with confidence, mobility, safety and independence. And cuddles. Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides’ mission is to assist Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing Dog Guides at no cost. As well as naturally providing companionship and unconditional love, Dog Guides are trained to perform special skills that support someone living with a specific disability. “Pat is my best friend. He helps me be more independent when I am away from my parents.” For many young people living with disabilities, school can be a challenge but a Dog Guide can make life at school much easier which encourages better attendance and greater academic success. Dog Guide Pat accompanied Kevin to school every day and was there to see him graduate from grade 12 in 2019. “Pat has made a big difference to me. He helps me a lot. He makes me laugh when he is goofy and I feel good about myself when he is with me.

Necessity

 

Dog Guides to assist Canadians with a medical or physical disability.

Activity

 

Lions Foundation of Canada provides 2 minutes of Dog Guide training in one of the seven specialized Dog Guide programs.

Countable effort

After around 12 months

Lions Foundation of Canada provides 2 minutes of Dog Guide training in one of the seven specialized Dog Guide programs .

Result

After around 3 years

Increased security, independence and mobility for an eligible Canadian with a medical or physical disability.

Systemic effect

After around 7 years

Improving the quality of life for Canadians living with a disability.

Background

Founded in 1983, Lions Foundation of Canada has been providing Dog Guides at no cost to recipients across Canada for over 30 years. Even without receiving no government funding. Over 3,000 Dog Guides have been provided to eligible Canadians, giving life-changing independence, mobility and safety for individuals and families living with a disability. The school has expanded over the years and is unique in that it is the only service dog school in North America to train dogs in seven internationally accredited Dog Guide programs: • Canine Vision: for people who are blind or visually impaired • Hearing: for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing • Service: for people who have a physical disability • Seizure Response: for people who have epilepsy • Autism Assistance: for children who have autism spectrum disorder • Diabetic Alert: for people who have diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness • Facility Support: for professional agencies assisting individuals in traumatic situations Training Dog Guides takes approximately 18-24 months at the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides’ school in Oakville, Ontario. Dog Guides are then matched with people from all across Canada and provided at no cost to the recipient. The actual cost of raising, training and placing each Dog Guide is $25,000 which includes follow-up and support from Dog Guides trainers for the working life of the Dog Guide.

The good deed

Your donation can provide 2 minutes of specialized training for a future Dog Guide. Each Dog Guide spends 6-8 months in formal training from the age of 12 to 18 months. Trainers use positive reinforcement and fun to train Dog Guides to do things like open doors, fetch an item from the fridge or retrieve a dropped item. With more complex training, Dog Guides can learn to guide a person who is visually impaired, detect a drop in blood sugar for someone with diabetes, bark for help if someone with epilepsy has a seizure, alert a person who is hard of hearing to a fire alarm or act as an anchor for a child with autism who is attempting to run into traffic.

AboutCanada

Ottawa

Capital

37,600,000

Number of inhabitants

US$ 52,144

Gross domestic product per capita per year

Placed 9th out of 189

Human Development Index

Now the largest school of its kind in Canada, Lions Foundation of Dog Guides Canada is located in Oakville ON, and has a breeding and training facility in Breslau ON. Oakville is nestled on the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto to one side and Hamilton to the other, the beautiful Town of Oakville is known for its picturesque harbours, vibrant shopping districts and active arts. Oakville is a lovely place with a small town feel to it. It has been rated as one of the top five places to live in Canada, though also makes for a great holiday destination. Breslau is a community located within the township of Woolwich, part of the Waterloo Regional Municipality in Ontario. Separated from the city of Kitchener by the Grand River, Breslau is named after the former German city of Breslau, now Wroclaw, capital of Poland's Lower Silesia.