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About

Our Story

The mission of BC & Alberta Guide Dogs is to meet the growing demand for professionally trained Guide Dogs and Autism Support Dogs for residents of British Columbia and Alberta. In doing so, we meet or exceed established international standards (International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International).

 

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs breeds, raises and professionally trains Guide Dogs for individuals who are blind or visually-impaired and Autism Support Dogs for children with profound autism aged 3-10  and their families. It takes two years and upwards of $35,000 to produce one certified dog, provided free of charge to the recipient. For these reasons we rely heavily on our generous and loyal donors.

The organization was founded in 1996 and began professionally training Guide Dogs for blind and visually-impaired British Columbians. In the years following, we have expanded so we can serve unmet needs, including establishing Alberta Guide Dogs and Autism Support Dogs.

 

Our Board of Directors, staff and volunteers are dedicated to improving the availability of Guide Dogs and Autism Support Dogs, including breeding, raising and training more dogs and continuing to give care to dogs that are currently with human partners.

Timeline:

  • June 28, 1996: British Columbia Guide Dog Services was incorporated as a registered charity, becoming British Columbia’s first guide dog school, and was registered in British Columbia as an extra-provincial society under the Society Act on August 8, 1996.
  • 2001: B.C. Guide Dog Services became a member of the International Guide Dog Federation, an international accrediting body.
  • 2002: B.C. Guide Dog Services registered the title Alberta Guide Dog Services to provide also provide its services to citizens of Alberta.
  • May 30, 2002: British Columbia Guide Dogs was registered as an extra-provincial corporation in Alberta.
  • December 2008: British Columbia Guide Dogs founded Autism Support Dogs in partnership with the Victor and Anna Kern Foundation, the Vandekerkhove Family Foundation, the Diamond Foundation and Variety – The Children’s Charity.
  • 2008: B.C. & Alberta Guide Dogs became members of Assistance Dogs International (ADI).
  • Fall of 2014: BC Guide Dogs and Autism Support Dogs amalgamated to form one organization, collectively known as BC & Alberta Guide Dogs. Alberta Guide Dogs and Autism Support Dogs are divisions of BC Guide Dogs.