New trauma dog will help victims of crime and tragedy in Alberta

Sometimes nobody really understands.

When that happens, animals can provide a soothing influence like no one else, which is why police agencies around the world have brought in therapy dogs to help comfort victims of crime.

And, on Oct. 31, the RCMP announced the southern Alberta community of Airdrie (pop. 70,000) will welcome Jake, a trauma dog whose No. 1 job will be to support victims of crime and tragedy.

“We’ve seen the benefits that interacting with a Trauma Dog can have for people who are dealing with a crisis, especially children,” Debbie Reid, court coordinator of Airdrie and District Victim Assistance Society said in a statement. “We are very pleased to be adding this service to the supports that we offer.”

Jake is a 3-year-old Lab and trained trauma dog. Photo: RCMP

Jake is a 3-year old Lab and is trained to be a “calming and comforting presence” for victims or witnesses of traumatic events. He’ll be there to help anyone in need during RMP interviews or during the court process.

He comes from the Lions Foundation of Canada, which breeds and trains service dogs for placement across the country. The group also trains dogs to help those with autism, diabetes, seizures, hearing or vision loss as well as general support.

The organization says each dog costs about $25,000 to train and place. And, it relies on donations to keep the program going and does not receive government funding.

Jake’s annual care and costs will be covered by the local Kiwanis Club.

“We are so grateful to the Kiwanis Club of Airdrie for making this possible,” Reid added. “We know that Jake will be a valuable addition to ADVAS, and to the Airdrie community as a whole.”

The Lions Foundation of Canada says it costs about $25,000 to train and place each guide dog. Photo: RCMP

Jake will live with an ADVAS member, and will ready to work as needed.

Photos RCMP

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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