We train both veteran and dog as one unified team, creating a powerful bond based on trust and mutual service.

We train both veteran and dog as one unified team, creating a powerful bond based on trust and mutual service.

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The Wags Team

BARB ASHMEAD, BSc, MSC,
VICD DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION – FUNDING & SPONSORSHIP

Since her youth, Barb has spent decades passionately involved with several animal charities. Most recently with the Canadian Animal Assistance Team (CAAT), she has served nationally and internationally to help spay, neuter and rescue both dogs and cats. Locally, she has co-chaired with her business partner the Qualicum Cat Rescue Society. Barb’s work with BC Guide Dogs, raising five puppies for service and autism support fostered her tremendous devotion for canine service. Collectively, these experiences empowered Barb to pilot the founding initiative of VICD upon the request from Comox Airforce Base seeking such a program in 2013. Both of Barb’s parent’s being WWII military veterans also stirred her unwavering vision for VICD’s purpose. Leaning on her research training and problem solving experience’s gained thought completing her Master’s Degree and acquired thought running a successful local business for more than 20 years have helped contribute to her tireless accomplishments.

MIKE ANNAN, CIPDT, ACE BC, SI SSDI
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs was initially developed by VICD’S Co-Founder and Executive Director Mike Annan. Mike designed this program using his 15 year career as a professional dog trainer were he developed and perfected his unique Integrated Victory Management Training System designed for his clients and their dogs. This system is the foundation used today in the VICD Service Dog training program. When Mike was growing up, he wanted to help every dog and person he came in contact with. This created a passion to work with dogs and people that needed help, and this became the foundation for his career. Mike has also brought his vast business and leadership experience to VICD after building and running 2 very successful Dog training programs with several employees here on Vancouver Island, thousands of clients, and worldwide recognition in his E Commerce online training platform. Mike is the co-founder, head Obedience Instructor/Program Designer, and Behaviourist for the ACE Academy for Canine Educators. ACE is a canine education corporation for dog owners, trainers, and Behaviourists who want to further educate themselves in their fields. Mike is also the Owner and Head Trainer and Behaviourist of the Sal Pacific Canine Obedience and his goal is to have the most humane methods when working with dogs and strongly believes in using progressive calm energy, relaxation, redirection, and positive reinforcement when creating customized behaviour programs. Mike strives to educate himself by continuously researching and working daily in the pet dog training, Service Dog Training and behaviour field. He has taken part many seminars and symposiums on PTSD service dog programs and has completed a Trauma Informed Training Program designed to help people understand how to better support the population they work with who suffer from PTSD.

JAN MCNEILL, MA, RCC, Registered Clinical Counsellor
DIRECTOR OF MENTAL HEALTH

Jan has been a practicing clinician for over 14 years specializing in trauma and addictions. She has a background of working with high profile grief and loss clients along with those who suffer from chronic illness and pain. She believes in staying current in her field and pursues constant training in all areas. Jan currently volunteers on two non-profit Boards and has a passion for helping people heal from life traumas and believes strongly in the power of animal therapy. Jan works part time for Island Health as an Addictions Counsellor, part time in Private Practice and is an Adjunct Professor at the Adler University in Vancouver. Jan has seen the impact of having a service dog and realizes that with all her training and experience, dogs have an intangible and unprecedented impact on helping people cope with mental health issues and worries she may be out of a job soon!

PATTI TURNER, A.P.C.I., SI SSDI
LEAD DOG INSTRUCTOR

Patti grew up on Vancouver Island spent most of her time with her horses and dogs. From a very early age she knew that animals were going to be a large part of her life. As a child and a young adult amateur she competed in equestrian show jumping up to an International level and as a professional she has trained many show jumpers and people to compete from beginner to International levels. She has over 15 years’ experience managing her own training/ boarding and sales facility in the equine industry. So you might ask how she found herself training people and their dogs. In 2011, she adopted a 6 month old mix breed Pit bull / Catahoula Cross. After about six months she realized she needed help. This is what led her to begin her education and career in canine behaviour and obedience training. Since 2011 she has dedicated her time mentoring with Mike Annan and working at Sal Pacific Canine Obedience. She has completed CD and CDX Canadian Kennel club Competition standard Obedience and spent many hours working with Mike on behaviour modification programs for clients. Combining the techniques and theories she has learned from Sal Pacific (Mike Annan) along with her years of training horses and working with people she has become an accredited professional Canine Instructor, and has come to find she have a great passion for working with dogs and their owners.

CLAUDETTE WEESE, SI SSDI
APPRENTICE INSTRUCTOR

Claudette spends almost all of her time with dogs and has a unique ability to help dogs get along. This amazing ability led her into her successful 10 year career as a professional dog trainer and owner of a top rated dog daycare on Vancouver Island. Since then Claudette joined our Client Services Team in Jan 2017 and has started her 3 year apprenticeship as a Stress Injury Service and Support Dog Instructor. Claudette has proven to be an asset to our school and has completed a Trauma Informed Training Program designed to help people understand how to better support the population they work with who suffer from PTSD.

Training a team is provided free of charge to each recipient. It takes one year and between $25,000 and $30,000 for a team to complete the program. This includes dog food, veterinary treatments, obedience training, training equipment and gas cards to cover the travel cost to and from class. If you find value in what we do please consider donating. 

Our program is provided free of charge to each recipient. It takes one year and between $25,000 and $30,000 for a team to complete the program, This includes dog food, veterinary treatments, training, equipment and gas cards to cover travel to class.

If you find value in what we do please consider donating. Your donations help remind our veterans that their sacrifice is not forgotten.

Join us to help our neighbours, friends and family. Become a Volunteer.