Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs (VICD) is thrilled to announce they have received approval from the Canadian Revenue Agency to run as a non-profit registered charity. This will allow the VICD to continue their work of matching rescue dogs with veterans and others that are struggling with an invisible injury known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“One of the most beneficial effects of a compassion dog is the ability to distract my mind from venturing deep into past traumatic memories or experiences. It allows me to see a light when I am covered in darkness.” VICD Veteran.
Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs has created a comprehensive 52-55 week program that allows veterans and dogs to work and learn at their own pace, and is responsive to the individual needs of each veteran and their canine companion. At the completion of each step the veteran will receive a badge that their dog will wear on their vest as a part of a graduated system. This will provide the veteran with a sense of accomplishment and confidence with their new found skills in dog training and canine companionship.
“The credibility of the program is extremely important to us,” says Barb Ashmead, VICD President. “All of the testing is done by independent third parties, and our goal is to become a member of Assistance Dogs International, which we estimate will be a five year process. We believe professional training, mentor-ship and companion dog education will result in a safe and confident team.”
VICD estimates that each team will require a minimum of $10,000 of direct costs over the course of their 52-55 week training program. The goal is to provide the veteran with everything required to participate in the program without incurring any personal costs. VICD provides everything from leashes and dog food to fuel for driving to the twice weekly classes.
To learn more about the Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs Society and how you can help visit