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.
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.
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.
PADS places dogs in five 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
PTSD – for first responders and veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder
Very Important Pets (VIPs) – for children or adults with disabilities wanting a loving, well-trained pet (not requiring a dog with full public access)
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.
The foundation of PADS’ success is the quality of our working dogs. Since 2002, PADS has had an in-house breeding program. By breeding our dogs and participating in a breeding cooperative, we increasingly improve the quality of our working dogs.
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 continuously assessed for health and temperament, ensuring that only the highest quality puppies remain in the program.
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.
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 engage with our community by helping our staff organize and coordinate fundraising and promotional events. Or host an event yourself!
There are many ways to support PADS’ life-changing dogs.
Our monthly giving option is the backbone of our program. Your contributions help us change lives each and every month.
$1,500 | Puppy’s First Year
Supports a puppy’s first year and you’ll receive monthly “pupdates”.
$7,500 | Very Important Pet (VIP)
Covers the training of our VIP dogs, who make a significant difference in the life of a child with a disability.
$15,000 | Accredited Facility Dog Team Sponsorship
Cover the cost of care, training, and follow-up for a facility dog team.
$20,000 | Service / Hearing / PTSD Team Sponsorship
Covers the cost of care, training, and follow-up for an assistance dog team throughout their working life.
$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.
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.