Service dogs will be more accessible to Albertans thanks to increased provincial efforts. 

Alberta businesses will receive grant funding to help raise, test, train and match service dogs to people looking for a service animal.

On Jun. 24, the government announced it would be giving $300,000 to help more people with disabilities access a service dog. 

The province also said it will qualify three new organizations to be eligible to raise and train service dogs. These organizations are Meliora Service Dogs, TLC Training and Consulting and Holdfast K9.

"This will lower the cost for Albertans with disabilities to obtain a qualified service dog for their needs," said Jason Luan, minister of community and social services.

The benefits of training service dogs, according to the provincial government, include:

  • Increasing owner fitness. 
  • Lowering stress levels for individuals who use dogs.
  • Improved happiness and overall well-being for those who find comfort in having a service dog.
  • The dogs can perform tasks for those who otherwise may not be able to do so safely.
  • Increased independence for people with disabilities.

"Service dogs are much more than just pets to people who rely on them."

About 80 additional service dogs qualify annually under Alberta's Service Dog Qualifications Regulations. Currently, there are 350 qualified service dogs in Alberta.

For people in Fort Saskatchewan, the closest organizations that train or match service dogs are the Canadian Canine Training Corporation based in Sherwood Park or Red Dog Training Solutions in North Edmonton.

A full list of organizations approved by the government's standards can be found here.