May 16, 2019 5:45 pm

Donut campaign aimed at raising funds, awareness about Calgary service dog program

A PADS dog poses in front of a Jelly Modern Donut created as a fundraiser.

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A new fundraising campaign between the Calgary Police Foundation (CPF) and Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS) launched Thursday to celebrate two of the justice facility dogs working with the Calgary Police Service’s Victim Assistance Support Team (VAST).

Hawk and Calibri are currently working on the team and were at the Paws for Compassion event at Jelly Modern Donuts to showcase specially-created treats being sold as a fundraiser.

As a major sponsor, Jelly Modern Donuts will be making custom donuts from June 3 to June 6 and all proceeds are being shared equally between CPF and PADS.

Marla Cohen, the executive director of CPF said the group hopes to raise awareness and funds for the program which reaches more than 9,000 kids every year through its various outreach programs.

“The idea was born about six months ago,” she said. “We thought it fitting to celebrate two CPS dogs who are not well known to the public, yet are true heroes. Hawk and Calibri’s role is all about comforting victims.”

PADS places dogs free of charge in agencies like the Calgary Police Service.

Jelly Modern Donuts has created special donuts as a fundraiser for the CPF and PADS programs.

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Tara Doherty with PADS watches the pups grow from the organization’s own breeding program and then oversees their placement in a volunteer home for two years. Once they’re raised, the dogs come back to PADS for professional training. Dogs are assigned to roles based on their breeding, traits and personalities.

“We know that most dogs can provide comfort, but what makes Hawk and Calibri different is that they’re bred to do it day in and day out,” said Doherty. “They come back for more and they love their jobs.”

Const. Steve Hill from VAST spoke about the numerous contributions the dogs have already made to the program.

“In the month of April alone, Hawk and Calibri were requested 28 times for court or investigative purposes, four times for community events and four times for various school events,” Hill said.

“Both dogs were actively deployed for over 160 hours in April and we thank PADS for training such wonderful and resilient dogs who play a crucial role in our police service.

“They just bring a calming, relaxed presence to help somebody get over their very personal but traumatic story [when] they’re telling it to investigators or to the court.”

PADS dogs pose at Jelly Modern Donuts.

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Hill said the dogs’ presence has helped many victims provide better testimony and evidence to the police and court.

Corporations, families, teams and individuals are encouraged to pre-order Jelly Modern Donuts up to and including May 27, with delivery by CPF and PADS volunteers during Calgary Police Foundation Week which runs from June 3 to 6.

More information can be found at www.PawsForCompassion.ca.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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