13 March 2019

Cindy Cherry with National Service Dogs

You hear a lot these days about service dogs. What exactly does that mean? Did you know that Canada is the first in the world to train a service dog for people ...

[Applause]

hi I'm Sydney chair and I'm here at the Canadian pet expo I'm here with Danny of the she is the executive director of national service dog great organization I'm a hoping you could tell us a little bit about your service national service dog has been trending dog for children with autism for 20 years and we are the first in the world to do dogs for children with autism so that's kind of our claim to fame in the service dog industry and since 2010 we've been providing dogs to veterans and first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder you're from that wonderful you know you see the first incredible when you say first in the world now that food owes to you are you one of the founding four people of getting it going and some one of the cofounders of it wonderful now I noticed I love your dogs here there's some breeds or little variants of different kind of dogs breed so what do you find is the best one to do what you have to do our industry finds generally that Labrador fold retrievers Labradors golden crosses work really well we have Bernese Mountain Dog labs crosses in our mix what we're looking for is dogs that are not just

physically and temperamental sound but socially acceptable our dogs go to school with their kids we want to put a breed in a classroom with young children that everybody feels comfortable with well that's the secret like these dogs have to be they have to blend into a family they've got a job to do they've got to be a very adaptable I would imagine now with these dogs is there certain services that they that you that you can apply to or how does that work so for our to service dog programs for autism and PTSD the dogs are matched with individuals with a specific need and for our other program which is canine assisted intervention it's a little bit different we actually match the dog with treatment professionals and those treatment professionals can work in any field so we have a number of dogs working with social workers and school boards are our newest graduate Meryl NSD Meryl is working with social workers and trauma specialists and she's a facility dog attached to the London courthouse so she helped kids testify and we're looking forward next year to providing a similar type service dog in the Greater Toronto Area

well that's specially dear to my heart because I am a very good friend of Barb and I remember her telling me about this service three or four years ago over breakfast we told her for breakfast once or twice a month and she goes you know that she really wanted to get that service going and it's absolutely wonderful now one of them you can you put so much time into these um what does it cost for people or your organization to get one of these dogs ready to go so the cost to our client is that no charge so we provide our services and ongoing follow-up support at no charge over the life of the dog which is about eight years so it takes us two years to fully train the dog and match them with the client and then for eight years we follow up with those dogs you certify them and provide support to the client so the dog piece of it and the client services piece of it over the 10-year life of the dog thirty thousand dollars so you are a charity is that it like people like you don't have your government funding and if no government funding so if people want to say gee this is a great service that you're doing how would they donate you our

website is the best point of contact for donations WWN SEO mca but no there's no government funding we rely on the support of corporations individuals owners foundation funding because we're registered charity we are accredited by a magic Canada which is Canada's time is checking up on charities watchdog so we're one of only 200 charities that have been accredited under the imagine Canada system out of eighty two thousand so we're pretty proud of that and so you should that has great accountability because we all wonder you know these charity there's a lot of charities out there you have accountability for your month for the money that people donate to so I really that is one more question I have to ask you to mention eight years after these dogs pay their dues there part of him what happens after they get a little bit older so you're talking about retirement and most of the time our dogs stay with the families they've come to know and love our graduates tend to want to keep them in retirement so if they want to success at all they go through the application process to get in a successor dog and wherever possible

we strive to keep those dogs with their families because we don't want to upset them in later life a very small number of our clients return the dogs to us on retirement and that's usually because they just physically can't keep them for whatever reason well Danny it's really enlightening I always wondered how all these service dogs work and everything and thank you so very much thank you we really appreciate it we we look forward to continuing talk to you over the coming year we have good news and remember if you want to donate to Pho where she says maybe and connects both I'm sure they've got some information there q okay [Music]