Rotary Ride for VI Compassion Dogs

On May 23 and 24, members of the Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club will be mountain bike riding from Courtenay to Port Alberni and back again.

Dr. David MacDonald kneels next to Hunter and Maria

On May 23 and 24, members of the Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club will be mountain bike riding from Courtenay to Port Alberni and back again.

This ride is a fundraiser to increase awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs (VICD) program.

Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs pairs rescue dogs with military and RCMP veterans suffering from PTSD, and trains them together to become a service dog team.

Gordon Nettleton, Russ Thompson, and David MacDonald will lead the mountain bike ride, departing from the Courtenay Railway Station at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 23. They will be accompanied by veterans who are currently in the VICD program.

Barb Ashmead, VICD president, will be speaking to the Port Alberni Rotary Club on May 24 before the group begins the return trip to the Comox Valley. The team will finish at Rider’s Pizza in Cumberland.

“People affected by PTSD benefit from teaming up with a dog for a number of reasons,” said Ashmead. “Having a canine companion reduces the severity of flashbacks, provides emotional security, and encourages reintegration back into society for those veterans who have isolated themselves.

“VICD was started in 2013, and to date, VICD has nine certified teams and 10 other teams in training. The program is offered to veterans at no cost, but VICD requires $15,000 to train each team to certification level.”

Dr. David MacDonald and his team at the Comox Valley Animal Hospital are all involved. “When Barb Ashmead gave a presentation at the Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club breakfast several months ago, I knew it would be a good fit for me and my business, and I felt I could serve VICD in many ways,” said MacDonald.

To support the Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs program and veterans with PTSD, donations can be dropped off at Comox Valley Animal Hospital located at 3110 Comox Road, handled by Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club members, or deposited directly at the VICD website: vicompassiondogs.ca

Just Posted

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Gallery accepting applications for Youth Media Project

The Comox Valley Art Gallery is accepting applications for the Youth Media… Continue reading

Ribfest returning to the Comox Valley

It’s fast approaching—the fifth annual Comox Valley Ribfest takes place from Friday,… Continue reading

Merville crash closes highway in both directions

There is no estimated time of Highway 19A opening to traffic

Kayak shop in Courtenay getting back to business after crash

Operation does most of its business during busy summer months

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read