Thanks to your generous donations to the Poppy Fund during the Poppy Campaign and year-round, programs that help Veterans and their families are able to become a reality. Ontario’s Operation Service Dog is one of them.
In April 2018, The Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Command partnered with Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) and donated Poppy Funds to support the national WWC PTSD Service Dog Program and expand the program within Ontario. Following the partnership, Operation Service Dog was born.
Operation Service Dog ensures Veterans in Ontario are paired with dogs that meet nationally set standards and criteria taken from the best available standards practiced in the country.
The program is already helping Veterans in need and WWC has been able to facilitate the placement of 11 PTSD Service Dogs to Ontario Veterans, with approximately 30 others currently situated in the training process!
One of these placements occurred between a Veteran named Molly and her black lab named Whitney, in the summer of 2019.
For this team it was love at first sight. “Whitney has made more of a difference in my life than I ever thought possible,” says Molly. “When I have a nightmare, I toss and talk in my sleep and Whitney hops up on the bed and licks my neck and she will lay over my legs and feet until I’ve calmed down.”
According to the Veterans Affairs Canada PTSD Service Dog study completed last year, “Having a service dog increases the Veteran’s outings to carry our daily living activities and also increases participation in family-oriented activities.”
For Molly, this has been one of the biggest benefits of having her service dog. Where she once only ventured out a couple times a month accompanied by family members, she is now going out alone with Whitney several times a week, whether it be shopping, going to appointments or taking her young grand-daughter out for some one-on-one time.
“It is so much fun for all of us to be out together with Whitney taking care of all of us.”
Because of your donations to the Poppy Fund, Operation Service Dog is profoundly impacting the lives of Veterans and their families. Thank you for your continued support!
More on how Poppy Funds help Veterans and their families: https://legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy-campaign/use-of-the-poppy-funds
Donate to the Poppy Fund:
The Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign begins on October 25. Remember to #GetYourPoppy in honour and support of Canada’s Veterans.