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Veterans Helping Veterans

The Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit (CVSDU) was initially founded in 2014, by a group of dog trainers who wanted to help injured veterans by providing them, free of charge with a trained service dog.

Today, CVSDU is the only membership based, veteran led charity in Canada.  We train and provide service dogs to injured veterans, police, firefighters, paramedics, corrections officers and first responders, free of charge.

Our members are part of the CVSDU family, attending weekly check-in meetings, monthly training events and bi-yearly re-evaluation in order to maintain their standing as a qualified Service Dog Team.

CVSDU is a registered Canadian charity
(Charity Number 839865797RR0001).

University of Saskachewan
University of Saskachewan

Participants needed for study



Are you a former service member /  Veteran working with your own service dog?
Or, are you a service provider who works with and helps former service members / veterans in obtaining their own service dog? We'd love to hear from you!

We are co-conducting a study with former service members / veterans and service dog experts on: 

Potential Barriers and Facilitators to Determining the Social Value of Service Dogs for Canadian Former Service Members / Veterans

* Individuals who are serving or have honorably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Commonwealth or its wartime allies, or as a Regular Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or as a Peace Officer in a Special Duty Area or on a Special Duty Operation, or who has served in the Merchant Navy or Ferry Command during wartime.

As a participant in this study, you would be asked to: complete an online questionnaire through Survey Monkey that should take no more than 10 minutes of your time. You will be given the chance to enter your information for a draw at the end of the questionnaire.

Access Survey Monkey Link Here: https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/KLTDBCR

For more information about this study, please contact:
Linzi Williamson, Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology & Health Studies at linzi.williamson@usask.ca

This study has been approved by the University of Saskatchewan Behavioural Research Ethics Board

The dogs of postwar

An Excerpt from the Canadian Legion Magazine. Author: Paige Gilmar

going to get theological on you.”

The playful line came from the mouth of Reverend R.M.A. (Sandy) Scott, an army chaplain who joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1979, continuing a military legacy from his maternal family dating back to 1914. Originally serving in a naval reserve unit, he eventually transferred to the North Saskatchewan Regiment as its chaplain. Scott spent more than 24 years in the reserves.

Sporting rectangular, thin-rimmed glasses, a meditative demeanour and a shock of white hair, he looks the part of a man of God through and through.

He knew life, its bits and brokenness, through spiritual eyes, and the Lord’s word was his means of expressing what he saw. And amid the beams of afternoon sun peeking through the lush red pines and balsam firs at the Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit training centre in White Lake, Ont., God felt present.

“You can experience God’s grace and healing,” said Scott while sitting on a lounge chair inside a curtained gazebo. “These are two really important things theologically in terms of people’s faith.

“I believe God’s grace works through dogs.”

Reverend R.M.A. (Sandy) Scott poses with his service dog Mandy at the Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa.
University of Saskachewan

The motto of the CVSDU is “Veterans Helping Veterans".
Our understanding of what a veteran is includes former members of the police, firefighters, ambulance/paramedic, and corrections services*

We are making a difference, with your support, helping one veteran at a time.

* Statistics from a 2-Day Peer Support Training, September 28 & 29, 2023, Mood Disorders Society of Canada and Correctional Service of Canada

Want to Help?

We have partnered with CanadaHelps to offer many ways for you
to donate and support our work.

Make A One-time Donation

Make A One-time Donation
Your gift will help us pay for the many expenses to train and raise a puppy to become a service dog!
View Details

Become a Monthly Donor!

Become a Monthly Donor!
Help us conduct monthly puppy training events by providing monthly gifts we can count on!

View Details


Donate  Securities
By donating securities or mutual funds that have appreciated in value, you eliminated the capital gain tax. 
CVSDU will receive a large gift and you’ll benefit from a larger tax credit!
View Details

a Car

Donate a Car
We have partnered with Donate A Car Canada to make it easier for our supporters to donate a car, truck, van, SUV, motorcycle, boat, or RV.  Free towing is provided in most areas across Canada, or donors can drop off their vehicle.
View Details

How Service Dogs Help

A Testimonial

This video was recorded in March of 2018.  At that time, CVSDU had a waiting list of 40 veterans/first responders.  This video is still very much appropriate showing the struggles of veterans trying to live with PTSD and how they are helped with Service Dogs in public situations like a local mall.


Today, we have trained 35 teams (veteran and service dog) and have reduced our waiting list to 8 requests for service dogs.


It takes between $12,000 - $15,000 to purchase, raise and train each Service Dog.   We look forward to 2024, our 10th Anniversary year, reducing our waiting list and providing more Service Dogs to veterans/first responders with PTSD.


We encourage you to visit our Video Gallery to see other videos from our program.

I want more information or I want to know
how I can help

1-888-474-DOGS (3647)