Building the Future to Serve More Canadians

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Photo © Courtesy of Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides

Transforming the Lives of Canadians for 40 Years

“Balta has been the most amazing gift I’ve ever received! She saves my life every day by alerting to my low blood sugar levels and helps me be a better father to my girls. By looking out for me, she’s also looking out for them.” —Stuart Blundall on Balta, his Diabetes Alert Dog Guide

In the past 40 years, Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides (LFCDG) has transformed the lives of many others like Stuart. Since being established in 1983 by Lions clubs across Canada, LFCDG has become a leader in the Assistance Dog industry, has matched 3,200 Dog Guides to Canadians who have greatly benefited from having a dog by their side and has become the only accredited organization in the world that trains Assistance Dogs in seven programs: Canine Vision, Hearing, Service, Seizure Response, Autism Assistance, Diabetes Alert and Facility support—all to empower Canadians living with disabilities by providing a Dog Guide at no cost to them.

“Currently, we operate from our Oakville facility, an elementary school that was retrofitted in the late 80s—a time when we only offered two Dog Guide programs,” explained Beverly Crandell, CEO of LFCDG. “Although the current structure has served us well, it’s time for us to build our new home to help more people, train more dogs, and be accessible to everyone we serve.”

Time to grow to meet demand!

With one in five Canadians 15 years of age and up living with one or more disabilities, more Canadians are seeking the services of a specialized Dog Guide. The impact Dog Guides have on people with disabilities is immense. A 2019 study by Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine reported that those with an Assistance Dog had significantly better psychosocial health, including better emotional, social, and work/school functioning.

“The demand for Dog Guides is only expected to increase as our population grows and ages. Over the next five years, we aim to reduce the wait lists and waiting time by increasing the number of people receiving a Dog Guide from 150 to 250. We must build a new national Dog Guide training school to achieve that goal,” said Crandell.

lions foundation of canada dog guides
© Courtesy of Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides

The Difference Campaign

LFCDG will launch The Difference Campaign on November 3 to raise the $50 million required to build a state-of-the-art building. The new school will be accessible to Canadians with a range of disabilities who come to train with their new Dog Guide for up to three weeks. For clients, more conducive spaces will be dedicated to their training, providing the very best learning environment possible while creating better outcomes. For Dog Guides, the larger and improved kennel space will provide indoor and outdoor spaces to learn, play, and relax. These spaces will increase their health and well-being to set them up for success in their training.

“I was terrified of crossing busy streets. That’s how limited I was. Now, I go everywhere with my Dog Guide, Lotus. These dogs are highly trained and it’s a significant investment of time and money but I can tell you from my heart that they’re worth every penny!” —Bev, Canine Vision Dog Guide recipient

We need your help to make a difference

“The Difference Campaign is our most significant campaign in the organization’s history. It is not just a building but an investment in potential,” added Crandell. “Together, we can continue to make difference in the future of Canadians living with disabilities.” Be a part of the next phase of LFCDG’s history by participating in The Difference Campaign today.

Visit dogguides.com to make a donation.

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Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides empowers Canadians living with disabilities to navigate their world with confidence and independence, by providing a Dog Guide at no cost and supporting them in their journey together.

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