Living Standards | Getting Around
Community Connections | Inclusion
Wellness | Mental Health, Safety

Pacific Assistance Dogs Society

Changing lives. One dog at a time. For over 30 years, we have enhanced the lives of individuals and communities across Western Canada by partnering certified assistance dogs with people living with disabilities and with community care professionals.

Our Story

Why We Exist

“I am now enjoying the freedom that comes from having my third service dog from PADS. I guess you could say I am a satisfied customer!

PADS provided these amazing helpers, each with their own special skills and personalities. The volunteers, from the whelping families to the puppy raisers and sitters, and the advanced trainers do everything to ensure these special dogs are cared for and trained so that the clients can have the freedom to live our lives with a companion providing us with services essential for independence.

So many volunteers give of their time, money, and energy to this organization. From one satisfied customer, I would like to say, ‘Thank You’.”

-Client Carol Ann, currently partnered with Calgary raised PADS Service Dog Bronx 

Our Impact

What We Do

The assignments are diverse. They come alongside the young man wheeling off to university for the first time; the mother expecting her first child, but unable to hear her baby cry; the RCMP officer injured in the line of duty; the young woman living on her own at last.

Our Dogs Empower Independence

Life-changing independence is delivered through a highly trained service or hearing dog who will perform daily tasks or alert to life-saving sounds. Service tasks can include picking dropped items up off the floor, opening doors, and turning light switches on or off. Each dog is trained and matched to a client’s specific needs so each dog is highly unique in what skills they can perform.

Our Dogs Help with Growth and Healing

Growing and healing come through the unconditionally loving presence of a highly trained and socialized Accredited Facility Dog who works alongside a community care professional such as a teacher, social worker, police officer, or victim services worker. Even our Service and Hearing dogs can offer immense healing – both emotionally and physically – to their clients.

Types of Assistance Dogs

PADS places dogs in four categories:

  • Service – for people with physical disabilities other than blindness
  • Hearing – for those who are hard-of-hearing or deaf
  • Accredited Facility – to accompany community professionals in health, education or law enforcement
  • Very Important Pets – for children or adults with disabilities not requiring a dog with full public access

Our Programs

How We Do It

Client Care & Support

We are proud of the supportive relationship established with our clients. The client care process begins when our clients apply for a working dog.  Following a detailed application, references and an interview, approved clients are placed on a waitlist until an assistance dog with the disposition and skills needed to match the client’s lifestyle, personality and physical needs becomes available. Once the match is made, the client attends the PADS facility for two weeks of intensive team training. PADS staff then return home with the client and their assistance dog to adapt the home environment for the canine’s work. And we follow-up, providing ongoing support and re-certification throughout the dog’s entire working life.

Breeding Program

The foundation of PADS’ success is the quality of our working dogs. In 2002, PADS launched its in-house breeding program with assistance from the Assistance Dogs International of North America Breeding Cooperative.

By breeding our dogs and participating in the breeding cooperative, we increasingly improve the quality of our working dogs.

Puppy Raising Program

At any given time we have over 100 puppies placed in puppy-raising homes where volunteers raise, socialize, and teach basic obedience. Each week, they attend puppy training classes at a PADS facility or go on field trips led by PADS staff. Throughout puppyhood, our young dogs are continously assessed for health and temperament, ensuring that only the highest quality puppies remain in the program.

Advanced Dogs

Between 15 and 18 months of age, puppies return to the training facility where they reside for the next 7 – 8 months. During this time, Assistance Dog International (ADI) accredited instructors and PADS trainers teach the dogs their specialized working skills and help determine their working placements.


Our Requests

What You Can Do

Join us.

The PADS community is one that brings together clients, volunteers, donors and staff – along with our life-changing dogs – to transform lives and communities. It is through the help of many that we are able to change lives the way we do. Join us.


Lend us a paw! And volunteer in one of our various opportunities like puppy-raising, puppy-sitting or events.

As a puppy-raiser, you will welcome a puppy into your home and your life for approximately 18 months. Raising a PADS puppy means having a furry companion by your side at work, school, the grocery store and wherever else you may go in a day.

Puppy-sitters are approved handlers that step in if a raiser needs to leave their puppy for a temporary amount of time, lasting from overnight to several weeks.

Event volunteers help us in engage with our community by helping our staff organize and coordinate fundraising and promotional events. Or host an event yourself!

Become a PADS Partner

Our monthly giving option is the backbone of our program. Your contributions help us change lives each and every month.

Give a Dog

There are many ways to support PADS’ life-changing dogs through sponsorship.

  • Puppy’s First Year Sponsorship supports a puppy’s first year and you’ll receive monthly “pupdates” and the option to name a puppy | $1,500, $2,500 (naming)
  • Very Important Pet (VIP) Sponsorship covers the training of our VIP dogs, who make a significant difference in the life of a child with a disability | $7,500
  • Accredited Facility Dog Sponsorship trains, places and follows a facility dog team | $15,000
  • Service / Hearing Team Sponsorship covers the cost of care, training and follow-up for an assistance dog team | $20,000
  • Litter Sponsorship covers the cost of care, training and follow-up for a dam and an entire litter and you will have the opportunity to name the puppies | $20,000
  • Annual Sponsorship provides broad recognition on our website, annual report and a banner at PADS events | $50,000

Leave a Legacy

When you give to PADS through your estate, securities or long-term financial plans, you are forging your life legacy and ensuring that future clients will have access to life-changing assistance dogs.

Stay Connected


Laura Watamanuk

Pacific Assistance Dogs Society


Charitable Number: 892252347RR0001

Visit Our Website

Annual Operating Budget: