Service dogs will be more accessible to Albertans thanks to increased provincial efforts.
Alberta businesses will receive a grant to help breed, test, train and pair service dogs for people looking for a service animal.
On June 24, the government announced it would provide $300,000 to help more people with disabilities get access to a service dog.
The province also said it will qualify three new organizations to breed and train service dogs. These organizations are Meliora Service Dogs, TLC Training and Consulting, and Holdfast K9.
“This will reduce the cost for Albertans with disabilities to obtain a qualified service dog for their needs,” said Jason Luan, Minister of Community and Social Services.
The benefits of training service dogs, according to the provincial government, to understand:
- Increase the physical fitness of the owner.
- Reduce the stress level of people who use dogs.
- Improved happiness and general well-being for those who find comfort in having a service dog.
- Dogs can perform tasks for those who otherwise could not do so safely.
- Increased autonomy for people with disabilities.
“Assistance dogs are more than just pets for people who depend on them.”
Approximately 80 additional service dogs qualify each year under Alberta’s Service Dog Qualifications Regulations. Currently, there are 350 qualified assistance dogs in Alberta.
For residents of Fort Saskatchewan, the closest organizations that train or associate service dogs are the Canadian Canine Training Corporation based in Sherwood Park or Red Dog Training Solutions in North Edmonton.
A full list of government standards approved bodies can be found here.