Red Deer Puppy Raising Program Announcement
Dogs with Wings (DWW) is launching a new volunteer puppy raising program in Red Deer, AB this Spring! The Red Deer puppy raising program is a satellite puppy raising program where volunteers raise, train, and foster puppies from 8 weeks old to 14 – 16 months old and prepare them to become Service Dogs when they grow up. The Red Deer program will need full time puppy raisers and boarding homes, to puppy sit when puppy raisers are away. This program will join our three other locations in Edmonton, Calgary, and Grande Prairie and it’s an exciting time for us!
We have partnered with the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) in Red Deer for this special announcement. In October 2020, we placed our Facility Dog DWW Quinn at the CACAC to assist them in the important work that they do in their community.
“Having Quinn as a part of our Child & Family Advocacy program provides a huge amount of comfort not only to the children and youth coming through our doors, but to their families and our entire staff as well. We’re excited for Central Alberta to have the opportunity to be a part of a program that has such a great impact in our community – these puppies are going to make a huge difference in many lives, starting with their foster families’.” Mark Jones, CEO, CACAC
Quinn is our 5th Assistance Dog to live in Red Deer, alongside Facility Dog DWW Harley at the Red Deer City Victim Services, two Companion Dogs, and one Autism Service Dog.
Dogs with Wings relies heavily on the assistance of our volunteer puppy raisers to be able to have our dogs earn their wings and graduate with a client! Our dogs help individuals with a wide range of tasks, ranging from assisting individuals who use wheelchairs, to providing safety and support to children with Autism, to assisting children and adults with disabilities at home and in their communities, and working with organizations to assist them in their community work. We need your help to become a puppy raiser! We are looking for 5 volunteer Puppy Raisers and 3 volunteer Boarding Homes to welcome puppies into their home this spring.
“Puppy Raisers are the cornerstone of our training program at Dogs with Wings. At the heart of every successful assistance dog team is a puppy raiser who embraced the opportunity to raise a special puppy, teach them to feel safe in the world, and help them learn the skills necessary to have a solid foundation for their working career. We look forward to expanding this program to the Red Deer community.” – Doreen Slessor, Executive Director, Dogs with Wings.
As a Puppy Raiser, you become part of our team that works toward fulfilling our mission, which is to enrich the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with highly skilled Assistance Dogs that increase their mobility, foster independence, and further their contributions to the community. The position of Puppy Raiser is the most demanding and rewarding. By accepting the care and education of a DWW puppy, you become one of our most valuable team players. A Puppy Raiser is a 24-hour, 7 days per week volunteer position.
The role of the Puppy Raiser is to socialize a puppy to as many environments and situations as possible. The puppy must be exposed to various situations, on a regular basis, such as: offices, malls, restaurants, downtown areas, elevators, and public transportation. The ultimate goal of a Puppy Raiser is to help the puppy develop sufficient social skills to behave in such a manner that its presence will be acceptable in all circumstances. DWW provides care for your dog when you are on vacation and covers the cost of all dog food, gear and equipment, training equipment, food bowls, service dog in training jacket, and covers the cost of all veterinary expenses. All you need to do is provide a name tag, toys, a bed, and treats! To become a Puppy Raiser, all that we ask is that one adult must be home during the day (or able to bring the puppy to work with you) and that you attend weekly training classes. For more information on our criteria and expectations, please contact us!
“Dogs with Wings is excited to open a new puppy raising program in Red Deer and expand our puppy raising program. This will allow us the opportunity to raise and train more dogs to help our clients. It has been an absolute privileged to work with the clients in the Red Deer and Central Alberta community and to see our dogs make such an incredible difference in their lives.” – Veronica Fraser, Dogs with Wings Instructor & Training Manager.
If you are interested in being a Puppy Raiser, please complete and send this application form: http://dogswithwings.ca/volunteer-application/. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office at (780) 944-8011 or via e-mail at [email protected].
More information about our organization and the programs we offer can also be found on our website (https://dogswithwings.ca/helping-us/volunteering-edmonton-calgary/_ at www.dogswithwings.ca. Thank you for your interest in being a Puppy Raiser that will help a dog earn its wings and give the gift of independence to someone in your community!
About DWW: Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society’s (DWW) mission is to foster integration and independence for individuals with disabilities by providing them with highly trained Assistance Dogs and aftercare. They are a registered Non-Profit Society with a volunteer Board of Directors. Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society is an internationally accredited organization through Assistance Dogs International (ADI). Dogs with Wings specializes in the following areas: Service Dogs, Autism Service Dogs, Facility Dogs, and Companion Dogs. Service Dogs assist people with physical disabilities who use wheelchairs to enhance their quality of life and achieve greater independence. Autism Service Dogs provide greater safety and independence for children with Autism. Facility Dogs are part of a specially trained team that provides goal directed interventions, which promote improvement in physical, social, emotional, or cognitive abilities. Companion Dogs assist those who would benefit from having a well-trained service dog, but do not require public access. For more information, visit www.dogswithwings.ca
Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC): The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not-for-profit organization rooted in the protection and recovery of today’s most innocent and vulnerable – our children. The Centre is comprised of a collective that is driven by the courage to support children, youth, and their families affected by abuse, enabling them to build enduring strength and overcome adversity. We work in a collaborative partnership with the Central Region Children’s Services, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Justice, Alberta Education, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and the RCMP. Together we harness our collective courage to provide children with supported recovery. For more information on CACAC, please visit: centralalbertacac.ca
Red Deer Recovery Community will offer hope for residents from Central Alberta and around the world
Central Albertans won’t be the only ones paying close attention to the official opening of the Red Deer Recovery Community next month. According to Marshall Smith, Chief of Staff to Premier Danielle Smith, jurisdictions from across North America will be looking to the Red Deer Recovery Community for potential answers to their own issues. Red Deer Recovery Community will be the first of 11 the province is opening over the coming months.
Cities across North America and beyond have been battling an addictions crisis, and losing. As the number of homeless people and the number of fatal overdoses continues to rise, cities are looking for new solutions. After years of slipping further behind, Alberta has decided on a new approach to recovery and Marshall Smith has been leading the charge.
Smith is a recovering addict himself. A political organizer from BC, he once worked for former Premier Gordon Campbell. His own crisis started with alcohol, then moved to cocaine dependency before he eventually succumbed to methamphetamine use. The successful political operative found himself without work and living on the street for over four years. Eventually he benefited from a 35 day stay in a publicly funded recovery centre in BC.
Former Alberta Premier Jason Kenney brought Smith to Alberta to head up the UCP’s addictions and recovery file. His personal experiences and incredible comeback story are at the heart of Alberta’s new approach.
While the success of recovery programs vary, Marshall Smith and Dr. Christina Basedow of the Edgewood Health Network (operators of Red Deer Recovery Community) say with the right treatment and the right amount of time, they expect a very high rate of successful recoveries. Smith says the province won’t give up on patients, even if some have to go through more than once.
The Recovery Community is central to this new approach, but patients who will be able to stay for up to a year, will need somewhere to go when they leave. This week the province also announced the Bridge Healing Transitional Accommodation Program in Edmonton. This “second stage” housing will ensure former addicts have a place to stay upon leaving addiction treatment centres. This will be their home in the critical days following treatment when they need to reestablish their lives by finding work or educational opportunities.
Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston feels the 75 bed Recovery Community will be transformation for Central Alberta. Mayor Johnston says all Central Albertans will play an important role in helping former addicts when they leave the Recovery Community.
Construction of the Red Deer Recovery Community is all but complete.
Thursday, municipal and provincial politicians toured the facility and were introduced to the operators of the new facility. Dr Christina Basedow, Western VP of Edgewood Health Network teamed up with Nicholas Milliken, Alberta’s Mental Health and Addiction Minister, to take questions about operations.
Premier Danielle Smith made the trip to Central Alberta to offer support for the project and see the facility first hand.
Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston and Premier Danielle Smith listen to Chief of Staff Marshall Smith
In the days leading up to an official opening expected in February, Edgewood Health Network is finalizing the admission process which will see the first batch of up to 75 people suffering addictions moving into single and double occupied rooms.
The new 75-bed facility, will begin accepting residents battling addictions in February. Those residents will stay for up to a full year accessing medications, programming and developing life skills.
In the meantime the province expects a recovery industry will be developing in Red Deer including second stage housing opportunities and counselling.
I Can Get Through Anything
Kristy was addicted to living on the streets of Vancouver when she started the methadone clinic there. She suffered from pain due to degenerative disc disease, diabetes and neuropathy of her feet. She decided to move to Red Deer and was able to transfer to the methadone clinic here to continue her treatment. When the clinic closed in December 2020 she became a patient at the RDPCN Street Clinic.
Kristy says “They hit it out of the park” referring to the care she receives there. “They have linked me with the diabetes centre and I am just starting Hep C treatments. I get very good care for all of my health concerns. The staff listens to me, is down to earth, doesn’t judge and actually builds me up. Between the Methadone Clinic and the Street Clinic, they have changed my life immensely. It is 1000% different. I now have family in my life, my mom, my kids, and my grandkids. I own a car, have a place to live and work some. I have had my dog for 10 years now and he is my therapy and keeps me grounded. My self-esteem is so much better. I know I will be OK and that I can get through anything.”
Click here to learn more about the Red Deer PCN.
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