Dorado has been officially placed with his handler Kathy at the SeaStar Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Halifax, NS

Therapy dog Dorado off to work with kids

Okanagan raised, Kelowna, Vernon, Enderby program looks for more volunteers

Trained and raised as therapy dog in Vernon and Enderby, Dorado has graduated and is off to help kids in Halifax.

Dorado passed his advanced training and is now an Accredited Facility Dog (AFD). Raised as a pup by Brian Smith in the Okanagan, Dorado has been officially placed with his handler Kathy at the SeaStar Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Halifax, NS

Together, they will support children and youth who have experienced violence and abuse throughout their journey toward healing.

Meanwhile Rico, another dog raised by the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS), also recently graduated and is a new certified assistance dog to Sarah Lapp.

“PADS Okanagan continues to grow and is in need of more puppy raisers,” said Brian Smith, Okanagan development coordinator for PADS, noting it has grown to 11 dogs and has a goal of having 15 dogs in the area. Six dog-raisers are located in the Kelowna and West Kelowna area while others are around the Okanagan.

The dogs are in training for about two years in total and are placed with a companion who they assist based on that person’s needs. Service Dogs help people with disabilities to perform daily activities such as opening and closing doors and picking up dropped items.

Hearing Dogs alert their owners to a variety of sounds such as the sounding of a doorbell. Canine Assisted Intervention (CAI) Dogs assist with goal-directed interventions designed to promote improvement in physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning or designed to improve cognitive functioning of the persons involved.

If you’d like more information about becoming a full-time puppy-raiser or a short-term puppy-sitter (or just want to learn more about the program), please check it out at, on Facebook at: PADS Okanagan or send an email to

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Rico, another dog raised by the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS), greets his new owner as a certified assistance dog to Sarah Lapp.

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