Looking to meet increasing demand for its services, the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides will be expanding its breeding and training facility in Breslau.
Woolwich council last week approved the non-profit organization’s request to allow up to a maximum of 60 adult dogs and 50 puppies at the kennel, located at 3751 Chilligo Rd. That’s an expansion of a dozen adult dogs.
The foundation works to breed and train guide dogs who are then provided at no cost to Canadians with a medical or physical disability. The organization began providing canine vision guide dogs in 1985. Over time, the roster of duties for which the dogs were trained expanded to provide hearing, seizure response, service, diabetic alert, autism assistance, and support.
Last year, the organization provided just over 200 dogs to Canadians in need of assistance, representative Ian Ashworth told councillors meeting March 19.
The Breslau location was established in 1998, and the property consists of breeding and training buildings and the organization’s memorial forest. The facility serves as something of a “maternity wing,” as dogs are bred there and undergo some early training before moving on to the main facility in Oakville.
“With our growth we have since retrofit an underutilized area of the training building that would provide us the ability to house up to 12 additional dogs. These kennels provide the dogs with a living area and an equal sized space to relieve themselves that is separated by a pulley operated door,” he said in a report to council. “The new kennels are completely enclosed within the facility so there would be little to no increase in noise created to the general area. By utilizing these additional kennels it would bring our maximum capacity to 60 dogs.”
Councillors voted quickly to support the expansion, noting the organization’s history in the township.
“I think service dogs are remarkable,” said Mayor Sandy Shantz.