Sunday, June 23, 2024

New state-of-the-art dog training school to be built in Oakville

First Published:

The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides have unveiled the first look for what they say is the largest service dog training school in Canada with plans to provide up to 250 dog guide teams per year.

Around 100 officials, volunteers, clients and dogs in training were at the Holiday Inn in Oakville on Monday as the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides announced a new campaign to build a state-of-the-art national dog guide training school.

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CEO Bev Crandell said, “This is a milestone in the history of Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, we’ve been around for 40 years and we are just at the point of our school where we are bursting at the seams. And the opportunity to build the facility from the ground up is going to transform the way that we do our business.”

Crandell says the current training school on Wilson Drive in Oakville has reached its maximum capacity for both dogs and people. Meanwhile, there is also a shortage of training space and the building is not fully accessible.

“What I think people might not know is that we can do the part about training our dogs, but we also have to work with to help train our clients. So in addition to having all the dog training, we have a residence, so clients when they match with their dog they come and stay with us for 10 to 21 days.”

Once completed, the new facility is completed on Ironoak Way in Oakville, the goal is to provide up to 250 dogs a year.

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The new 89,000-square-foot training school will feature 35 accessible guest rooms, classrooms and training rooms, kennels for 124 dogs, and an expanded vet clinic.

The foundation, which receives zero government funding provides guide dogs at no cost to Canadians living with disabilities.

Sean McIntosh’s son Akito has been paired with an autism service dog since he was 7 years. He says having a guide dog has changed his son’s life and helped him create positive connections that he otherwise wouldn’t have. “Akito gets a lot of comfort out of having the dog.”

The foundation announced more than $40 million has been secured for the construction of the new facility with still $10 million to go before they hit their goal.

If you’re interested in donating, visit this website for more information.

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