With about one in five Canadians being limited by a disability, the Lions Foundation of Canada wants to ensure people have a guide dog to support them in their daily living.
To do that, the foundation is holding a national fundraiser near the end of May. In Moose Jaw, the 34th annual Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides takes place on Sunday, May 26 at Wellesley Park in the Wakamow Valley starting at 9 a.m. The walk here is one of nearly 300 taking place across Canada.
It costs roughly $25,000 per service dog, and since the foundation receives no government funding, it relies on the success of the walks to continue training and providing the dogs.
This walk is the largest fundraiser of its kind in Canada, according to a foundation news release. The walk helps to raise, train and place dog guides with Canadians who have a medical or physical disability.
Each of the walks is organized by community volunteers, with support from Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides and Pet Valu stores. Held annually since 1985, the walk has raised more than $17 million. Besides Pet Valu, other sponsors include Rayment & Collins, Cadillac Fairview, VIA, Visa, and GoodLife.
All of the funds raised by each participant will go toward the foundation’s seven dog guide programs:
• Canine Vision Dog Guides, for people who are blind or visually impaired
• Hearing Dog Guides, for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
• Service Dog Guides, for people with a physical disability
• Seizure Response Dog Guides, for people who have epilepsy
• Autism Assistance Dog Guides, for children on the autism spectrum
• Diabetic Alert Dog Guides, for people who have diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness
• Support Dog Guides, for professional agencies with individuals in traumatic situations
To date, the foundation has placed more than 3,000 Dog Guides with individuals across Canada.
To register for the walk, visit www.walkfordogguides.com.