Sick Kids Fundraiser

By Ivanna Skotar, Canine Handler

After several months of planning our first ever canine division fundraiser for Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto with teammates from across the country – we are proud to say we successfully surpassed our goal of $10,000 and we were able to raise OVER $11,000.

The Hospital for Sick Children is affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is Canada’s most research- intensive hospital and the largest center dedicated to improving children’s health in the country. Sick Kids creates ground-breaking clinical and scientific advancements and train the next generation of experts in child health. It holds dear to some of our handlers, as they’ve had medical treatments there themselves when they were young. With 27 registered participants/ handlers in our canine unit, it was a great success. The competition consisted of a 3-part challenge. The winner of the challenges was the canine and handler with the fastest time and highest amount of finds combined from all 3 events.

Event One consisted of 32 scent cans in 4 rows where there will be 3 target odors placed randomly intermingled with 29 distractor scents. The goal is to find the 3 as fast as possible.

Event Two consisted of a specified measured enclosed area, where the handler must remain at the entry point and not assist the dog whatsoever in finding the single- placed hide. The handler had an option to do the search off-leash or with a long line. The timer ends when the handler successfully calls the dog’s indication.

Event Three was also an enclosed search area with an unknown amount of odors placed randomly throughout. The canine-handler team was given 4 minutes to find as many hides as possible. Teams were scored here on how many finds they found in the shortest amount of time.

Placing first overall, was handler Marc-Andre and canine Zora from Montreal, Quebec. With her lightning speed, it was hard to keep up with her. The second overall was handler Chris Brown with canine Sasha from Toronto, ON. Sasha’s great nose was precise and quick!

Very special thank you to our corporate sponsors – without you, this would not have been possible. From the bottom of our hearts, we’d like to thank AgapiK9, Omega Alpha Pharma, Olympus K9, and DJD Inc. We were also fortunate to have many other donors that contributed to our raffle and handler prizes. Another special thank you to our guest judges Karen Apfel, Yanick Choquette, and Jean-Marc Dugas across the provinces. We could not have done it without you!

An extreme amount of hard work and dedication went into this fundraiser. First, we’d like to thank our committee which consisted of 3 of our handlers across some of our provinces and our Master Trainer. Special shoutout to Paige MacDonald, Krista Hockey, Ivanna Skotar and Russ Fox for working tirelessly to put together an incredible fundraiser. We truly look forward to being just as successful next year, and hope to open it up to many others – including our entire ASP family.

Lastly, TRUST YOUR DOG, and we will see you all next year.

  • Category: Canine Corner