7 lab puppies sitting on a bench

Our Organization

Our Mission

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200+

Volunteers

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356

Total Grads

Our Guide Dogs
186

Active Teams

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74

Communities Served

We Are A Registered Charity

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs endeavours to change the lives of individuals who are blind or have low vision, children with autism, and Veterans and First Responders with Operational Stress Injuries.

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.

British Columbia Guide Dog Services
Registered Charity #: 89131 1763 RR0001
Alberta Guide Dogs, Autism Support Dogs and VICD Service Dogs are divisions of BC Guide Dog Services.

Donate to BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Today.

Our Story

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.

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

Our 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

British Columbia Guide Dog Services became a member of the International Guide Dog Federation, an international accrediting body.

2002

British Columbia Guide Dog Services registered the title Alberta Guide Dog Services to provide its services to citizens of Alberta.

May 30, 2002

British Columbia Guide Dog Services 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

British Columbia Guide Dog Services became members of Assistance Dogs International (ADI).

Fall of 2014

BC Guide Dog Services 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.

January 2019

British Columbia Guide Dog Services officially amalgamated with Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs (VICD). VICD is a Division of BC Guide Dogs.

August 2020

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs expands its VICD Program to serve Edmonton & surrounding area.

Our Team

The BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Management Team

William S. Thornton, CEO
William Thornton

CEO & Co-Founder, GDMI

Matthias Lenz, Director of Puppy Raising

Linda Thornton

Director, Breeding, Canine Health Care & Co-Founder

Matthias Lenz
Mike Annan

Director, Service Dog Program

Matthias Lenz
Matthias Lenz

Director, Puppy Raising

Matthias Lenz
Nicole Langton

Director, Development & Communications

Matthias Lenz
Jane Chua

Controller, CPA, CGA

Board of Directors

Chair: Linda Reid
Vice Chair & Secretary: Tammy Winters
Treasurer: Kelly Guichon
Director: Peter Hrdlitschka
Director: Steve Darling
Director: Peter Roaf

Advisory Board

C. Wayne Reeves, B. Arch
Charlotte Keller, DVM. DACVO, DECVO
Daniel Schwartz, DVM
Graham T. Lewis, DVM, DIP, ACVO
Irene O’Brien, DVM
Norman E. Sayfy, B. Comm
Rupert Bullock

Join Our Team


Join the BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Team.

We professionally train Guide Dogs, Autism Service Dogs and OSI–PTSD Service Dogs for citizens of British Columbia and Alberta – and you can too!