Animal welfare organizations unite to fund a PTSD Service Dog

When Shawn Fougere, a police officer living with PTSD, spoke at the Ontario SPCA’s 2018 Educational Conference in early June, his story of triumph and despair gripped the audience. He shared some of the darkest moments of his life that were consumed by depression and substance abuse. What helped turn his life around was his service dog, Kal. More than just a companion, Kal helps Shawn overcome the illness that had previously consumed his life.

Shawn’s presentation at conference was definitely one of the main highlights, touching every conference delegate. After hearing Shawn’s story, the Ontario SPCA Board of Directors quickly made the decision to donate towards the training of a new service dog for someone in need. This announcement of support was made during the conference celebration dinner.

Without any expectations, the ask was made to the conference delegates that if anyone was interested, they too could donate towards the cost of training and adopting out a new service dog, which costs approximately $20,000. With that said, something utterly amazing began to happen.

One by one, executive directors, board members and community partners from organizations across Ontario began standing up in an auction like fashion making very generous contributions towards the thousands of dollars needed to fund a service dog. The energy in the room was electric and within a few short minutes, $20,000 was raised! It was very emotional and awe inspiring to witness.

In the weeks that have now followed, with that astounding promise of support, the Ontario SPCA reached out to Shai Perlmutter and Peter Lood of In Canis Speramus in Ottawa. They train personal protection dogs and taught Kal everything he needed to know to help Shawn. We’re excited to tell you that we’re meeting with them next month to discuss next steps in our collective goal to present a service dog to someone who could benefit from that support. For people diagnosed and living with PTSD, the struggle is real and this dog will help someone as they work through their illness.

Special thanks to the Brant County SPCA, Don Cherry Pet Rescue Foundation, Georgian Triangle Humane Society, North Bay and District Humane Society, Peterborough Humane Society, Quinte Humane Society, Royal Canin, Welland & District Humane Society, Wiki Rez Dog Group, Keri Wilson, Ontario SPCA Board member and the Ontario SPCA for pledging their support for this life-changing initiative.

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