Delta-based guide dog organization expanding to meet demand

Delta-based BC and Alberta Guide Dog Services has been given Delta council approval to expand.

Civic politicians have approved construction of a dog breeding centre at its current location on Ladner Trunk Road in East Ladner.

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The new centre would be located behind an existing single-family house that is being used as the administrative centre.

The project will see a two-storey guide dog breeding and training facility built that will contain delivery rooms, nursery units, a veterinary clinic, grooming and bathing facilities, a cryogenic unit, offices, a viewing corridor for guests and outdoor covered areas that would be used for public programs and events. Exterior painting will also be done to the existing administrative centre as part of the overall project.

CEO Bill Thornton said it would be a state-of-the-art facility.

“It’s fantastic and lays the grounds for us to vigorously approve our capital campaign,” said Thornton, adding they plan to launch the campaign in the fall. “We had some delays, but the council and the city have been very helpful.”

At the last annual general meeting, Thornton said the organization brought on Richmond MLA Linda Reid, former MP and practicing lawyer Kerry-Lynne Findlay and entrepreneur Kelly Guichon to the board of directors.

He said their experience will be a huge boost to launching the capital campaign.

“Our programs our growing and we need to have the ability to breed enough dogs for those programs,” Thornton said. “We run the guide dogs, autism program and the veteran PTSD program. We currently breed around 60 puppies per year, but now we need to breed in excess of 100 puppies per year for all the programs. The expansion project approval is great news for us.”

Coun. Jeannie Kanakos offered thanks to all those who contributed to getting the project to this stage.

“I think it is an honour for Delta to have the BC and Alberta Guide Dog Services in Delta,” Kanakos said. “This is an incredible service for folks who need it. There are so many needs that are being met in expanding the facility in Delta. This is a Delta-based facility providing services that are far reaching and I’m honoured that you are staying and expanding in Delta.”

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