Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides

Site: Oakville

Service: Dog Guide Programs

Record #: OAK0570
Last Full Update: 19 Mar 2024

Contact Information

Office Phone 905-842-2891
Toll Free Phone 1-800-768-3030
TTY Phone 905-842-1585
Fax 905-842-3373
Social Media Facebook Facebook, Instagram Instagram, Twitter Twitter, YouTube YouTube
Primary Contact Merilyn DeFazio, Director of Resource Development; Email:
Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Boyd, Events and Volunteer Coordinator; Email:

Agency Information

Description (Agency)

A registered charity that offers dog guide programs at no cost to Canadians with disabilities and agencies assisting people going through traumatic situations.

Legal Status (51) Registered Charity
Established 1985
Funding Donations - corporate and individual ; Foundation - Lions Foundation of Canada

Description and Service Details

Description (Service)

Specialized Dog Guide programs include: 
Canine Vision Dog Guides

  • help clients who are blind or visually impaired 
  • specially trained to navigate busy streets, stairs, escalators and obstacles found on most daily routes  

Service Dog Guides

  • help clients with medical and/or physical disabilities  
  • trained to open and close doors, retrieve items, bark for help, and activate an alert system 

Hearing Dog Guides

  • help clients who are deaf or hard-of-hearing 
  • taught to alert to sounds by making physical contact with their handlers, and then leading them to the sound
  • trained to respond to unique sounds of client's home, such as baby's cry, ringing telephone or activated fire alarm 

Seizure Response Dog Guides

  • help clients with epilepsy 
  • trained to react to client's seizure by barking for help, activate an alert system (LifeLine) or get help within home environment  

Autism Assistance Dog Guides

  • help provide safety, companionship and unconditional love for children 3-12 years of age with autism 
  • provide calming relief for children in high anxiety situations, and reduce stress commonly experienced in public places

Diabetes Alert Dog Guides

  • assist people aged 16 or older with diabetes and hypoglycemic unawareness 
  • trained to detect sudden drops in blood sugar through scent and alert to ingest something sweet
  • provide help in the home or activate alert system 
  • ability to detect and react to hypoglycemic episodes helps avoid loss of consciousness and subsequent life-threatening effects  

Facility Support Dog Guides

  • used by professional agencies with individuals in traumatic situations
  • trained to provide comfort to victims or witnesses of a crime or sudden tragedy 
  • will provide on scene support when requested to those most vulnerable in our community, as well as provide added support to persons providing difficult disclosure to police for crimes such as child abuse and sexual assault 

Foster Puppy program

  • bred at the Foundation's facility in Breslau, Ontario or donated by reputable breeders
  • at approximately eight weeks of age, puppies are placed in foster homes until ready to return for formal training, usually around one year of age
  • foster families attend puppy classes in Oakville and Breslau every four to six weeks throughout one year commitment
  • foster families should live roughly within an hour drive of the Oakville or Breslau facility
  • puppies live in foster homes for a socialization period of approximately one year and are returned to the training school in Oakville to be screened for both physical soundness as well as temperament before entering the training program
  • foster families house train puppies, teach manners, basic obedience, and socialize to situations like offices, shopping malls, and public transportation
  • food donated by Pet Valu
  • veterinary care is provided at the Foundation's in-house clinic

Mon-Fri 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Areas Served Canada ; Ontario
Eligibility Visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing, deaf, epileptic, physically or medically disabled individuals, children with autism, diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness

Available online

Languages English ; French ; American Sign Language (ASL)
Fees None ;
  • no cost to obtain a dog
  • all travel to and from Oakville and room and board is covered during the training session
  • future care and maintenance of the dog is the obligation of recipient

Site Information

Located In Community Oakville
Address & Map
152 Wilson St
Oakville, ON L6K 0G6
Intersection Kerr St and Rebecca St
Physical Access Fully Accessible

Categories and Classification

HCSD Main Heading Disabilities ; Health Care
HCSD Sub Heading Health & Physical Disabilities ; Health and Physical Disabilities
Service Categories Animal Training ~ Service Animal Issues ; Service Animals