Help make ‘The Difference’ in building new Dog Guides training centre in Oakville

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Published June 10, 2024 at 5:09 pm

Ontario, Oakville, dog guides, training centre, puppies, disabilities,
A rendering of the new Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides' National Training School. (CNW/LIONS FOUNDATION OF CANADA PHOTO).

A new home to train dog guides is on its way in Oakville and now the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides (LFCDG) needs you to support The Difference.

The LFCDG unveiled plans and renderings Monday (June 10) for a new national, state-of-the-art training school in Oakville and is asking Canadians to help out with its fundraising campaign aimed at raising the $50 million needed to fund construction of the new facility on Ironoak Way.

The new centre is being built a few mere kilometres from the existing facility located 152 Wilson Street, near the corner of Kerr Street and Rebecca Street.

Permits and plans have been approved and construction should start soon on the new training centre which is slated to open in 2026.

“Since the Dog Guides training centre opening in Oakville 40 years ago, we have bred, raised, trained, and matched more than 3,200 Dog Guides who have made a tremendous difference in the lives of Canadians with disabilities,” said Beverly Crandell, CEO of LFCDG. “We are extremely proud of the work we have accomplished but we are limited by the size and design of our current school.

“Demand for our Dog Guides has increased significantly over the years resulting in long waiting lists. A new, larger, fully accessible training school will enable us to accommodate more applicants and train and match more Dog Guides.”

The new facility will feature classrooms and training rooms for each of the Dog Guide programs, as well as 35 full-accessible guest bedrooms and improved indoor and outdoor spaces for the dog guides to learn, play and relax.

At the centre of the new home is a much-needed Puppy Training Room, which is being funded by a $500,000 donation from Pet Value and Companions for Change™ (funded by pet lovers across Canada).

Used by puppies, staff, puppy volunteers and foster parents, the “modern, purpose-built room” will have a wall-sized mirror and be equipped with raised beds, mats, hanging distractions, along with stairs, wobble boards, ramps and a grooming table.

It will provide an area for small classes on grooming, puppy fitness, confidence building, basic obedience and loose leash walking and foster family information sessions.

The Puppy Training room also provides an area for foster families to complete paperwork and say goodbye to their young puppies when they are set to begin formal training.

“We are extremely grateful to the many donors who have contributed to this significant campaign, and we are pleased to share that we have already raised $40 million towards our $50 million goal,” said Crandell. “But we need the public’s support to complete this important project.

“We encourage everyone who has not yet contributed The Difference campaign to donate today and make a difference in the lives of Canadians with a disability and their future Dog Guide.”

To donate and find out more about The Difference Campaign, visit here.

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