Great outcomes begin with great partnerships. In August 2018, The Royal Canadian Legion’s Ontario Provincial Command partnered with Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) to launch Operation Service Dog. With the support of the WWC PTSD Service Dog Program, the Legion is achieving its goal to pair as many injured Veterans as feasible with trained Service Dogs.
Ontario Command’s partnership with WWC came after years of work in the field, and in response to the absence of credible National Standards for Service Dogs, to which both organizations have been calling on the federal government to create. In 2015, the government committed to developing standards, yet nothing has been released to date.
In the interim, Wounded Warriors Canada established a set of standards required of all Service Dog Providers it works with. These standards help ensure the safety of the person with the injury as well as the animal and provide financial transparency. Together, the Legion and WWC’s Operation Service Dog are raising the bar for professional standards among providers and pairing qualified Service Dogs with Veterans.
The work and dedication that brought Operation Service Dog to fruition continues to build on the progress that has been seen in the time since this partnership began. To date, Ontario Command has contributed nearly $1.3M in essential and stable funding to the program. In the past 12 months alone, WWC is estimating the pairing and placement of 25 Service Dogs with Veterans in Ontario, with a further 18 in training. This is an increase from 17 Dogs paired and placed the previous 12 months, demonstrating that this initiative is producing results!
The partnership also offers trauma-informed training at no additional cost to senior staff and Legion Service Officers of Ontario Command to assist them in their vital role in working with Veterans.
Operation Service Dog is a prime example of what can be accomplished when organizations work together: cooperation in training, support, international recognition, and integrity. The partnership between The Royal Canadian Legion and Wounded Warriors Canada defines what it means to be #InThisTogether for the mental health of our Veterans and their families.
About Wounded Warriors Canada
Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) is a national mental health service provider specializing in group-based trauma therapy and trauma-informed training for the Veteran and First Responder sector. As an organization dedicated solely to supporting trauma-exposed professionals, WWC has become a leader in providing culturally specific services to help Canada’s Veterans, First Responders and their families feel safe, supported and understood.
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S. and Europe. With 250,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.