The comforting presence of Quinn the support dog should make life a little easier for young victims of crime.
From talking to police, to testifying in court, children go through a lot of anxiety: “They face the worst of the worst situations,” said Becca Glackin, the dog’s handler and a staffer at the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre.
Quinn was trained to sense children in stress and gently approach them, “to help break the ice and to give support through the entire … process,” said Glackin.
The child advocacy centre was excited to introduce this newest member of the team Wednesday.
The long-awaited facility dog is a three-and-a-half-year-old Labrador/golden retriever cross that was trained by the Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society.
The dog, from Burnaby, B.C., joined the training program with a financial boost from the Chappell family, which had recently lost father Allan in a car accident and made a memorial donation to Dogs with Wings.
With this donation, Quinn became a sponsored dog that excelled through the program.
In 2019, the Royal LePage Network Realty Corp. chose the child advocacy centre as a charity of choice for its annual golf tournament.
After learning the centre had the opportunity to put its name on the wait list for a facility dog, but just needed help with financing, the Red Deer realty group was thrilled to help out.
Glackin, a recent member of the centre’s team, accepted her new role as facility dog handler and began preparation.
After Quinn finished his advanced training, Glackin met the dog and they both started learning to become a working team.
“I can’t wait to see the difference Quinn will make with the kiddos that come to our centre. He’s laser-focused when he has his vest on, but at the end of the day, (he is) a normal and very happy dog,” said Glackin.