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Live to Give - Pacific Assistance Dogs Society

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

PADS dogs change lives. They are more than beautiful, healthy companions; they are specially trained to aid people. Some of our clients have physical disabilities or are Deaf or hard of hearing.

What do they do?

Pacific Assistance Dogs (PADS) raises and trains assistance dogs for people who are facing the daily challenges of life with a physical disability or who are Deaf or hard of hearing. These highly skilled dogs allow clients to experience a greater level of independence and an enhanced quality of life.

They are a charitable, non-profit organization located in Burnaby, B.C. and serving people in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. PADS rely entirely on fundraising, grants and donations to finance the care and training of their amazing dogs.

What made you select them?

I’ve grown up around dogs, but when I moved into a condo, my dog interaction dramatically decreased.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to play with them for the day, and learn more about PADS.

What was the best part – the highlight of your day?

Highlight of the day was watching how a new client interacts with a trained dog in learning how to work together.  The dog was able to open and close doors with handles, turn on and off lights, pick up dropped items off the ground, as well as pull a client in a wheelchair up a hill.  It was very impressive.

What did you learn today about giving back?

I learnt that sometimes the best thing you can do for a non-profit organization is to do the mundane tasks that take them away from their main priorities.  We raked leaves, cut down weeds, stuffed holiday cards, etc., while the trainers were able to spend their day training the dogs.

Why is it important for you to give back personally and as an employee of Canucks Sports & Entertainment?

I think we lose track of what is important in life too easily.  A loss against a division rival can sometimes cause unnecessary stress and too often become the main thing. 

By giving back, we are able to stop and see how our small contributions can help make someone else’s day a little easier.

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