Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides raises $12,000

May 30, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written By Makayla Pereira

Last Sunday, May 26 the Amaranth Lions Club and Carissa McKay organized the 7th Orangeville Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides which raised well over $12,000 for Dog Guides of Canada.

Carissa McKay was looking for a way to give back to Dog Guides of Canada after her son Mac McKay was matched up with his forever friends and service dog Pokey. Pokey is an autism service dog who will continue to help Mac in many different ways throughout their years together.

The walk was a huge success with over 50 walkers and their pet dogs, MPP Sylvia Jones, Mono Mayor Laura Ryan as well as a representative of Mayor Sandy Brown all in attendance to support the walk. 

The Spaw grooming salon, Katrina Pattison’s massage therapy, Fifth Avenue Veterinary Clinic, and Hear Well Be Well were also in attendance to provide a variety of services in support of the walk.

Any Canadian who requires a guide dog in Canada due to a disability is given one free of cost and that is why Carissa wanted to do her best to give back to the foundation.

Jane Blears from the Amaranth Lions Club said the dogs cost $25,000 to train from birth to placement. 

Dog Guides continues to support the families with guide dogs throughout all their years together. Everything for the recipient families is free of cost and covered by Dog Guides of Canada. 

Dog Guides of Canada relies heavily on donations and fundraising from volunteers due to the fact that they receive no Government funding.

Through the efforts of Carissa and the Amaranth Lions Club, the Royal Bank of Canada has donated $1,000 and other local businesses have donated either funds, a percentage of their sales, or items for next week’s online auction. 

Dog Guides is one of the many Lions foundation charities. Jane Blears from the Amaranth Lions Club says they have been supporting Dog Guides for well over nine years now and they’re so proud and amazed at how drastically a service dog can change the life of its owner.

Dog Guides can be provided for any individuals with epilepsy, diabetes, visual and hearing impairments, physical disabilities and autism. 

The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is a national fundraising walk held in more than 200 communities across Canada. 

The walk raises funds to help train Dog Guides for Canadians with a variety of disabilities. Each walk in Canada is organized by the Lions Foundation of Canada in each region. To date, the walk has raised more than $13 million for Dog Guides of Canada.

“We were so moved by our success that we’ve decided to host an online silent auction in an effort to push past the $15,000 mark. We are so blessed to have the support of so many community members and businesses who have donated their services, products and time to make this fundraiser a success,” Carissa said on the club’s auction website.

Katie Sawyer and her hearing service dog attended the Pet Valu Walk on Sunday as a way to show her support and appreciation for Dog Guides. Ms. Sawyer says she is always trying to give back to the foundation and stay involved in any way she can.

Katie and her service dog Bali were matched up back in 2013. They have been together for just about six years now.

“As a hearing dog, she makes me feel a lot safer and especially when I’m at home or when I’m sleeping. The companionship the dogs provide to the owners is fabulous.” 

Although Ms. Sawyer says there are still some challenges she experiences with her service dog but Bali has changed her life for the better in many ways.

Orangeville currently has four working service dogs and six foster puppies which are experiencing the first steps of their training process in becoming a service dog. 

The walk on Sunday raised a tremendous amount of money for Dog Guides but the fundraising isn’t over yet; there will be the online auction which will raise more funds for the foundation.

The online auction will begin on Monday, June 10 at 7:00 a.m. and end on June 23 at 6:00 p.m., you can visit the auction at


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