DOG DAYS - Rico

Notre Dame students raise money for Victim Services dog

Red Deer Victim Services Unit hopes to add service dog soon

  • Mar. 1, 2017 5:43 p.m.

Students at Notre Dame High School are doing what they can to help out victims of crime and tragedies in Red Deer.

Since November last year, students at NDHS have been working on a campaign to raise between $30,000 and $50,000 for the Red Deer RCMP Victim Services Unit to go towards a Victim Services Service Dog.

“Our clients struggle sometimes connecting emotionally with people and that dog just provides an unbiased support for them,” said Const. Holly Erb of the Red Deer RCMP Victim Services Unit during a special event to recognize the students for their hard work.

The money raised will go towards covering the costs of dog food, vet bills, pet insurance, grooming and anything else the service dog needs.

“It provides emotional support both during the interview process and the court process for the clients,” said Erb.

At this time, Red Deer’s Victim Services Unit does not have a service dog in residence to aid clients, but Erb said that will be changing soon.

“We don’t have a date yet, however we do have our application in and we’re just waiting to find the right dog that would match with our handler.”

In recognition of the NDHS students’ contributions to the program, Red Deer RCMP presented the graduating class with an appreciation plaque on Monday to be hung in the school and gave each member of the graduating class a souvenir.

“We had a choice of two other service projects we could do but there’s just something about seeing and hearing these stories about how these people are affected and by being able to support this we could reach out to all different types of people no matter what their tragedy was; that we could help all different types of victims in Red Deer and Central Alberta and that really appealed to us,” said Isabella Schoettler, one of the students who organized the fundraising campaign.

As part of the fundraising effort, students were divided into nine groups and each group was required to raise at least $2,017 towards the project. The school also held other fundraisers to support the cause.

The fundraising campaign is expected to wrap up early this month.

zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

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