Their Story Matters with Sara Troy and her guest Barb Ashmead, on air from June 19th
Too often the trauma of military service leaves veterans with deep scars that make regular life challenging, if not impossible. At Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs, our goal is to offer our veterans and their families a reprieve from the suffering. VICD is a nonprofit organization that matches veterans suffering from a stress Injury like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with a compassion dog. Together, they embark on a unique 52-week service dog training program, that is as much about saving the person, as it is the dog.
Compassion dogs provide veterans with a living, breathing lifeline to the outside world. This powerful, primal bond between human and dog is a catalyst to peace, purpose and healing for our returning wounded.
JOIN SARA AND BARB HERE JUNE 19TH ON HOW DOGS HELP VETERANS WITH COMPASSION DOGS
Greg Alkerton, on how
Ace came into his life.
Serving Those Who Served.
Our service dog training program provides veterans with renewed purpose, confidence and unconditional support.
Our program begins by carefully matching veterans to their service dog. Broken into three distinct phases, veterans are led through twice-weekly training sessions over the course of one year. Guided by professional trainers, and a mental health clinical practitioner, the program is based on Integrated Victory Management, focused on rewards and accomplishments.
The goal of the program is the training and successful graduation of a fully certified Stress Injury Service and Support Dog (SI-SSD) that remains in the veteran’s care.
To ensure the program is available to everyone who needs it, all dog and travel-related expenses are covered by VICD. This includes dog food, veterinary treatments, obedience training, training equipment and gas cards to cover travel to class. VICD recognises the impact loved ones can have on a veteran’s recovery. We invite family and friends to attend our monthly support sessions to learn about the program and its methods.
The bond created through each team is life-altering. Our dogs learn to be emotionally tuned to their person and their unique triggers. They’re able to wake veterans from nightmares, ground them from a hyper-aroused state, and support them unconditionally through the stresses and trauma of everyday life.
Our repurpose dogs have been donated from BC and Alberta Guide Dogs (BCGDS) and Pacific Assistance Dogs (PADS) Our rescue dogs have come from BCSPCA Alberni-Clayoquot (Port Alberni)
All our dogs have had been temperament tested, Have had their eyes, hips, and elbow certified.
They are spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Learn more about applying to our program
BARB ASHMEAD, BSc, MSC,
VICD DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION – FUNDING & SPONSORSHIP
Since her youth, Barb has spent decades passionately involved with several animal charities. Most recently with the Canadian Animal Assistance Team (CAAT), she has served nationally and internationally to help spay, neuter and rescue both dogs and cats. Locally, she has co-chaired with her business partner the Qualicum Cat Rescue Society. Barb’s work with BC Guide Dogs, raising five puppies for service and autism support fostered her tremendous devotion for canine service. Collectively, these experiences empowered Barb to pilot the founding initiative of VICD upon the request from Comox Airforce Base seeking such a program in 2013. Both of Barb’s parent’s being WWII military veterans also stirred her unwavering vision for VICD’s purpose. Leaning on her research training and problem-solving experience’s gained thought to complete her Master’s Degree and acquired thought running a successful local business for more than 20 years have helped contribute to her tireless accomplishments.