COPE Service Dogs in Barrie has a way to get people moving while helping animals and people in the process.
During the ‘Buddy up for COPE’ fundraiser, people can team up with a canine from the organization and arrange an activity.
Participants pick their favourite COPE dog from their website and get walking, hiking, paddling, or do any other activity to get out and have fun.
Participants collect pledges for their ‘Buddy Up’ activity, which goes back to the organization.
Founder Jane Boake says pledges go towards their Canines in the Classroom and Buddy Reading Programs. This year, they hope to raise $30 thousand.
“The unique aspect of our service dog training program is that the first year of training takes place at high schools. High school students learn to train them to become service dogs. And in the process, they get lots of great leadership skills, communication skills, and improved mental health.” Boake explains.
Later, students take the dogs they’ve trained to elementary schools to help children read. The younger children will sit on a pillow with the dog and read to them.
We’ve had an amazing experience with the kids and the student leaders,” Boake says.
“High schoolers relate to the kids who might be struggling to read, and these young children look up to our student trainers because they do an amazing job leading the dogs and facilitating the meeting.
Getting involved with ‘Buddy Up for COPE’ is easy.
“We have a gallery of dogs you can choose from at copedogs.org and choose your activity with them,”Boake explains. The great thing about the fundraiser is that it encourages activity.”
“Sometimes we need motivation, and dogs help motivate us to do many things.”
Buddy up for COPE runs until October 12. For more information and to sign up head to copedogs.org
For more information about COPE is available in the video below.
feature image courtesy of COPE Via facebook