Wounded Warriors Canada and National Service Dogs Introduce NSD Ortona to Edmonton Garrison

TORONTO, April 27, 2016 /CNW/ - National Service Dogs (NSD) and Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) are proud to introduce NSD Ortona. At just 12 weeks he is already showing the temperament, trainability and personality sought in PTSD and Autism Service Dogs.  Ortona began puppy classes with NSD's trainers at 8 weeks and next week he will be flying to Edmonton where he will be matched with his new NSD Puppy Raiser, Capt. Donna Riguidel. For the next sixteen months the Riguidel family will be teaching him all of his basic obedience skills and socializing him to the different environments he will encounter in his working life. Paired with a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Ortona will be included in all dog-safe activities on the base, like a furry new recruit, and will serve as a service dog ambassador to both uniformed and civilian members.

Celebrating 20 years of service to families across Canada, National Service Dogs is proud to be the only Assistance Dog International (ADI) Accredited Training Centre in Canada providing PTSD Service Dogs to ill and injured Canadian Veterans and First Responders. 

Phil Ralph, National Program Director for Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, "We are proud of our partnership with National Service Dogs. As an ADI accredited training centre, we recognize the importance of ensuring our ill and injured Veterans and First Responders receive a service dog that is trained to provincial standards. We look forward to watching Ortona grow and, eventually, providing a life-changing service to an ill and injured Veteran or First Responder."

According to NSD Executive Director, Danielle Forbes, "National Service Dogs has always embraced a spirit of innovation and collaboration and is proud to partner with Wounded Warriors Canada on the expansion of this rapidly emerging area of service dog work. It is a very exciting time within the service dog field and together with Wounded Warriors Canada we are empowering veterans and expanding their potential through the life-changing power of Certified Service Dogs."

At eighteen months of age Ortona will return to NSD's Ontario Training Centre to begin his advanced service dog training and from there will be matched with a client and his journey will begin in earnest. Each NSD certified service dog represents a 10 year commitment for National Service Dogs, encompassing the initial dog training as well as in-depth client training, annual client follow ups and regular re-certification testing. Each National Service Dog is valued at $30,000, but provided at no charge to approved clients.  This is made possible through national funding partners like Wounded Warriors Canada. 

All of Ortona's adventures will be detailed and shared online through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These accounts will be live at the beginning of June and will be shared with the media and the public at a media event on the base in early June.

NSD Ortona and his support team are available for interviews and photo opportunities.

Background Information:

NSD Ortona was sponsored and named by Wounded Warriors Canada and is part of NSD's "O" litter of puppies born on February 8, 2016.  He is a Labrador mix. National Service Dogs (CRA# 898029228 RR0001 – accredited by Imagine Canada) and Wounded Warriors Canada (CRA# 82808-2727-RR0001) are both registered Canadian charities.

What's In A Name??

The Battle of Ortona, Italy, Dec 20-28 1943

For the Canadians, Ortona was the bloodiest battle of the Italian Campaign to date. Canadian and German troops clash daily, in bitter, house-to-house fighting. Snipers, booby traps and land mines were a constant threat as every building gained brought about a terrible cost in blood. The capture of Ortona, known to those who fought it as the "Italian Stalingrad", is considered among Canada's greatest victories during the war.  

SOURCE Wounded Warriors Canada

Image with caption: "NSD Ortona (CNW Group/Wounded Warriors Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160427_C6751_PHOTO_EN_676010.jpg

For further information: National Service Dogs, Danielle Forbes, 519 239 9808, dani@nsd.on.ca, www.nsd.on.ca; Wounded Warriors Canada, Scott Maxwell, 1-888-706-4808, scott@woundedwarriors.ca, www.woundedwarriors.ca


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