OSI-PTSD Service Dogs

Our OSI-PTSD Service Dog program endeavours to help Veterans and First Responders diagnosed with an Operational Stress Injuries (OSI), such as Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD).

Too often, the trauma of service or the workplace leaves Veterans and First Responders with deep scars that make life challenging, if not impossible. Our goal is to offer families a reprieve from this struggle.

Contact Information

British Columbia
Phone: 604-940-4504 | 877-940-4504
Email: info@bcandalbertaguidedogs.com

Phone: 403-258-0819 | 877-258-0819
Email: info@bcandalbertaguidedogs.com

The OSI-PTSD Service Dog Program

We match recipients with an OSI-PTSD Service Dog that meets all of the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) standards and has specific additional traits demonstrating suitability for the work. Together they embark on a unique Healthy Community Living Program that helps transition the recipient back into their communities, providing them with renewed purpose, confidence and unconditional support.

Our OSI-PTSD Service Dogs provide a living, breathing lifeline to the outside world. While each bond is unique, the objective remains to empower Veterans and First Responders with the tools to reclaim their place in the community and rebuild their lives.

The Healthy Community Living Program

We train clients and dogs as one unified team, creating a powerful bond based on trust and mutual service.

They attend training sessions, guided by professional trainers and a mental health clinical practitioner. This training is a reward-based core skills program that helps our clients achieve their goals. It also culminates in successfully graduating a fully certified OSI-PTSD Service Dog Team under Assistance Dogs International and the Guide and Service Dog Acts of British Columbia and Alberta.

The bond created through each team is life-altering. Our dogs learn to be emotionally tuned to their person and their unique triggers. They can wake clients from nightmares, ground them during a hyper-aroused state, and support them unconditionally through the stresses and trauma of everyday life.

Consistent connection is at the heart of our program, so once our clients graduate, they enter into a continued Graduate Aftercare and Education program for their certification. We also encourage graduates to consider sharing their experiences with new teams through our mentorship program. 

Graduates express that their OSI-PTSD Service Dogs give them the confidence to reintegrate into society and, more importantly, to interact healthily with their family, friends and communities.

Who Qualifies for our Service Dog Program

Our applicants must have psychological injuries and trauma-related injuries, as designated in the DSM-V caused by the performance of their occupation as a Veteran or First Responder.

How to Apply to the OSI-PTSD Service Dog Program

Our applicants must meet the criteria as set by the Aanderson Prescriber Guidelines (PDF, 4.4MB) and have documentation from a regulated mental health professional stating how those criteria are met.

If you are a professional making a referral, please consult the guidelines to see if this type of intervention is appropriate for your patient, and to assess their readiness for a Service Dog. Your recommendation must be on your official letterhead.

* Access to services must be free from discrimination of any kind, including race or colour, gender or sexual preference, nationality, age, marital or social status, religious, or political beliefs, or disability.

Application Process

Step 1 Application

  1. Complete the form below.
  2. Attach a letter from a psychologist and/or psychiatrist confirming your diagnosis of PTSD, their summary of care and their recommendation of you for the program.

Step 2 Interviews

Once the application, psychologist/psychiatrist letter, prescriber guidelines and care summary are received, an information session is arranged.

At the time of the information session, please bring your Veteran/First Responder Service Identification (i.e. Blue Cross, VAC Card).

Step 3 Home Visit

To complete the application process, BC & Alberta Guide Dogs representatives will come to your home and meet with all the members of your household to review the program and assess your home for suitability for a OSI-PTSD Service Dog.

Application Policy

This includes CRC Vulnerable Sector, Proof of Service, Summary of Care, Psychologist and/or Psychiatrist referring letter and Aanderson Prescriber Guidelines.

We are currently accepting applications from injured Veterans, RCMP & First Responders.

  1. Applicants are notified that we have received their applications within 5 business days of receipt.
  2. Applications are reviewed by our Mental Health and Client Services Team in a weekly Client Services Team meeting.
  3. Once applications are reviewed and accepted a representative sends the applicant an invitation to either a Zoom or in-person info session for further program clarification. If the application is denied clients will be contacted by phone or email within 30 days of receipt of application.
  4. All accepted applicants in the queue are invited to attend a monthly dog experience until they are formally accepted into the program.

Application submission does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

At this time we are not accepting personal dogs into the program.
All accepted applicants will be provided a dog by BC & Alberta Guide Dogs that was purpose-bred, raised and trained for service work.

Fill Out the Online Form OR Print & Submit the Form.

Online Form