Published on: March 07, 2016 at 5:00 PM
FORT MCKAY HELPS LOCAL VETERANS
An MSAR Elite K-9 Service dog, is not just any service dog but a specifically molded Service dog trained by an organization. Elite Service K-9′s operate in: Autism, Bi-Polar Disorder, Seizure detection, Assistance, Liscencephily, Allergy Detection, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Hearing Impaired or Deaf Assistance. The MSAR Elite standard is now being used in partnership with Courageous Companions, for a national certification program of service dogs.
A service dog is a type of assistance dog, specifically trained to help people who have disabilities other than visual or hearing impairment. Courageous Companions is a non-profit organization that is funded by the Red Sucker First Nation Band from Manitoba that helps veterans and first responders with PTSD.
John O’Connor has been with Fort McKay Logistics for over a year and has a service dog named Sparks. Sparks has been his companion; he mitigates his effects with Post Dramatic Stress Disorder referred to as PTSD. John was a foot soldier in the military for 6 years prior to coming to FML as a 1 ton driver.
“There are a lot of companies out there that wouldn’t allow someone to have a service dog, especially in a company vehicle or in an office building. That wasn’t the case when I become employed with Fort McKay Logistics. They have been more then supportive, very respectful and completed all the safety requirements in order for Sparks to become part of Logistics team” stated John O’Connor.
Champion Pet Food graciously donated 106 bags (14 kg) of dog food to Courageous Companions on February 25 2016. With the help of John, Fort McKay Logistics transported all the food to the organizations distribution center in Spruce Grove, Alberta; free of charge.
John spoke of the importance of service dogs dietary needs; “Dogs eat a lot a food when they are constantly working and we want them to have the highest quality of food even though it is the most expensive. Champion foods is a great food company that has helped our service dogs in more ways than one.”
Shirley Jew, Alberta Representative and Oversight Committee Member for Courageous Companions came to Fort McKay Logistics to thank the management team for their donated transportation services.
Picture Left to Right: Shirley Jew, Mentor to John O’Connor, Lu, New Member to Courageous Companions, John O’Connor, FML Driver, Mathieu Leger, General Manager, and Jamie Rice, Supervisor.