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Easter Egg Hunt in London, Ont. raises $40,000 to provide a service dog to a family

A family will benefit from a huge Easter egg hunt at the Plunkett Estate in London, Ontario. Friday.

More than 100 people and their dogs were on the National Service Dog (NSD) hunt which was back for the first time in three years.

“Today we are changing lives,” says Danielle Forbes, Executive Director and Co-Founder of NSD.

“This is our biggest signature event of the year. Every year we have Easter egg hunts all over Canada, and in addition to this one in London, we also have people in Kitchener and Guelph and we’re going to raise around $40,000 today.

This money will be used to help a family like the Fosters obtain a service dog.

“Our son Andy, he’s 14 right now and he’s been diagnosed with autism,” says Alisa Foster, who took NSD ‘Trapper’ on the egg hunt.

“Andy was blessed to be introduced with Trapper as his service dog when he was nine years old, so we feel we now have the opportunity to help raise funds and awareness for other families so that ‘they can experience what we have been able to experience’.

Andy is non-verbal and having Trapper by his side gave Alisa a sense of comfort knowing he’s safer.

“Andy tends to be a wanderer,” Foster explains.

“You wouldn’t necessarily realize when he was walking – especially when we first got the dog – that suddenly it was a street, not a sidewalk, so when he has the dog and he’s connected to the dog “, we’re able to signal the dog to stop and keep Andy safe. We’ve also seen the support when Andy is feeling anxious. His confidence has been the biggest change we’ve seen.”

The hunt has been going on since 1998, and each egg has a dog treat, and potentially a prize. Humans can trade what they find in the egg for gifts when the hunt is over.Assistance Dogs Easter

The money raised from this event will cover the costs from the day the puppy is born until the NSD retires.

“Each dog is valued at $40,000,” says Forbes.

“It’s all their training, their breeding, and then eight years of accompanying services for our clients because we continue to accompany our clients for the life of the dog”.

For those in attendance, it was essential to see families like the Fosters in action and how their fundraising can make a difference.

“Five years ago, before we had the dog, the thought of going on an Easter hunt like this was absolutely overwhelming,” Foster says.

“Andy is still a little stressed today but able to do it with his buddy by his side.”