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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Our primary veterinary clinic is HAMMONDS PLAINS VETERINARY HOSPITAL.
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.
Our Service Dogs and Service Dogs in Training are very important to us. Each one has spent around two years with us! Our commitment to our clients is to ensure that we can care for the Service Dog if the client becomes unable to for any reason. If at any time that the client is unable to care for their Service Dog, the dog is returned to our Instructors. This ensures that we are able to care for them and provide support. We also have agreements with our approved breeders that we will retain ownership. This shows our breeders that we are committed to our Service Dogs for their entire lives! When a Service Dog retires, the client will be able to keep the dog as a pet. If the client is unable or unwilling to keep them as a pet, we discuss with our breeders what the best possible home will be. This may mean the dog retires with one of our volunteers, or it may mean that the breeder assists in finding a retirement home. All of our clients become part of the K9PAD family. Because we offer training classes throughout the year to our graduate Service Dog teams, our clients become family.
Our clients are our family. Each one of our graduate teams is required to attend training sessions every year. They are welcome to attend more than the minimum required lessons. We provide support for any issues that may arise. We help troubleshoot problems if they occur, tweak training as needed, provide care instructions, annual re-certification. Our Instructors are available to our clients for assistance when they need! K9PAD has annual re-certification requirements such as mandatory training lessons, re-testing, and reports. We want to keep our teams working as long as possible.
Emotional Support Animal/Dog:
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.