About Us

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Our History

Incorporated as a federal non-profit in 2016 to train and provide Service Dogs to clients with disabilities at little to no cost to the client. Currently, clients are only responsible for a small equipment fee upon graduation and certification.  

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Location

We do not have a permanent location. However, we are very fortunate to have the support from Health Mutts in Bedford, NS. They provide us training space as well as nutritional advice. We are very thankful to everything that they do for us!

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Our Team

We are a volunteer organization and rely on the support of many individuals and businesses. Our Client Support Manager is a Registered Nurse. K9PAD is headed by a Board of Directors.


If you are interested in joining our team, contact us.

Client Support Team

Frequently asked questions

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How long does it take to train a K9PAD Service Dog?

All of our Service Dogs undergo 18-24 months of training with K9PAD plus team training and followups for the working life of the Service Dog. We re-certify our dogs annually.

What kind of veterinary care do K9PAD Service Dogs in Training receive?

In addition to routine veterinary care, we ensure our dogs have more than one exam per year, health checks at training sessions with our Instructors, and we have OFA Hips and Elbows performed. Our dogs' health is a priority to us. We prefer to wait until 2 years old to spay/neuter our dogs. 

How can I apply for a K9PAD Service Dog?

Check out this link to learn more about applying for a K9PAD Service Dog. Applying for a K9PAD Service Dog involves supporting medical documentation, an application package, and interviews. The process is quite involved to ensure that a K9PAD Service Dog is the right fit for you. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly. We want to ensure that we can best assist each client.


In order to qualify, our Client Support Manager will discuss everything that is involved and perform assessments. If a client is not approved, the manager may discuss if the client would be recommended to apply later on. Not all applicants are approved. K9PAD wants to ensure that we can provide the client with a suitable Service Dog and that we can support the client for the duration of the working life of their Service Dog. 

Do you have volunteer positions that don't require me to raise or train a dog?

Yes! In order to run smoothly, we need volunteers for a variety of positions that include administration, fundraising, events, etc. Check out the Volunteer page for more information. Feel free to email us at Info@K9PAD.org to discuss potential opportunities if you do not see something listed.

What is the difference between Service Dog, Therapy Dog, and ESA?

Service Dog:

  • Trained extensively for up to two years to assist a specific client daily by mitigating symptoms with trained tasks.
  • Granted public access. 
  • Wears a vest or harness to identify the dog as a Service Dog. These may vary between programs.
  • Regulated in Nova Scotia.


Therapy Dog:

  • Usually undergoes some training or certification through individual programs.
  • Used in settings where many people may benefit from the interaction with a dog, such as nursing homes, shelters, airports, and schools. Often works for a short period of time. Is not granted public access unless permitted for the session.
  • Sometimes wears a cape or bandanna to identify them as a Therapy Dog.
  • Not regulated by government bodies.

Emotional Support Animal/Dog:

  • May not have any training. Some people do choose to train their ESA.
  • Not regulated by government bodies.
  • Often permitted on airlines and in housing.
  • Not permitted public access.
  • Not extensively trained or trained for disability mitigating tasks.

Note: Having a disability and a dog that provides comfort or eases emotions is not automatically considered a Service Dog.  The dog must undergo extensive training and is recommended to pass the Nova Scotia provincial test through the NS Service Dog Act. Providing comfort or feeling safe does not constitute trained tasks.  Service Dogs that are trained for specific tasks to assist clients with PTSD are NOT Therapy Dogs as this is often mistaken. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.

How do I become a Sponsor?

We have different levels of sponsorship available. From providing a few toys and supplies a month, to sponsoring the entire cost of a Service Dog in Training, every contribution helps! Send us an email at Info@K9PAD.org for more information. Check out our Sponsors and Donations page.