News About The Citadel Canine Society

RCMP Veterans’ Association

Veterans Helping Veterans and Their Families

This information is being provided to all Association Members

The Citadel Canine Society

Dear Association Members,

Recently received was a message from Central Vancouver Island (CVI) Division member, Gordon (Gord) Hay on the subject of Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI).  Gord was in touch with the Association Chief Advocate, Ruby Burns in discussing the publication of his findings.

Gord writes,

“I recently became a member of the RCMP Vet’s Association since retiring in February of this year, after serving 28 ½ yrs with the Force in “D” and “E” Divisions.  I, as have many members before me and many after me, was diagnosed with PTSD as a result of my service and the many things that we cannot “unsee”.  Fortunately, I was referred to the Citadel Canine Society and was placed with a Service Dog, which has greatly changed my life.

Citadel Canine is one of Canada’s two largest and the longest running PTSD-OSI medical service dog programs, supplying and training dogs for First Responders and new Military Vets.



Cpl (rtd.) Gord Hay
Citadel is a Canada-wide operation, with training activity from BC right across to Newfoundland-Labrador.

Citadel is a non-profit organization and is always looking for financial support to keep this wonderful service to our membership available.  Out of the current approximate 150 handler/dog pairings, RCMP active members and Vets, have just under 20% of that total number. 

If you want to learn more about Citadel Canine Society, their web address is

If you have any questions or need more information, please call me at 250-204-3231 or email

Gord Hay, Cpl. (Retired)”

As has been noted in earlier messages, the Association is staying abreast of developments in the area of PTSI/OSI treatment.  Gord’s message has alerted us to a significant service and a trip to their website (again: will serve to confirm that contacting them may be a good first step for any individuals experiencing the symptoms of PTSI. 

A quick quote from their site,
We train Medical Service Dogs for Veterans, Police, Firefighters, Paramedics , Nurses and 9-1-1 personnel who are diagnosed with PTSD or an Occupational Stress Injury.

A selection of some of the canine helpers.
Dressed for the occasion of presenting the work of Citadel.

The site has a frequently asked questions (faq) page and an introduction to the Citadel Canine Society page.  Gord has provided both of these pages and for your convenience they are included below.

The Association would like to thank Gord for his work in bringing this to the attention of our members and a tip of the hat to the ongoing good work of CVI Division.

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’ Association

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any employees? No.  Citadel Canine is operated entirely by volunteers.  We do not have any salaried employees, or contract workers.  We do pay several post-secondary students for part time clerical support, and we pay for the costs to train and deliver service dogs to recipients.  This includes payments to qualified trainers.  These trainers provide their services at greatly reduced charge-out rates, and in some cases at no charge.​

Where do donation dollars go?Citadel Canine does not have any regular employee expenses. The majority of our funding is directed towards the costs associated with training and delivering our service dogs.  These costs include adoption or rescue fees, veterinary charges, boarding expenses, travel expenses, dog gear (vests, crates, etc.), and training expenses.​

Do you receive government funding? No.  At the present time, no funds are received from government agencies.  All funding to support the Citadel Canine mission comes from individuals, corporations, and veterans’ support groups.​

Do you operate in our area? At the present time (May 2019) Citadel Canine has a network of qualified dog trainers in BC (8), Alberta (1), Saskatchewan (3), Manitoba (1), Ontario (4), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Nova Scotia (3), and Newfoundland-Labrador (1).​

Where do you get your dogs?  In  the beginning , we focused on employing dogs rescued from shelters.  However, as our mission has grown, we have been approached by highly regarded dog breeders.  As a result we have now had these animals join our program.  We have not, nor will we ever forget the countless wonderful dogs sitting in rescue shelters that are desperately awaiting new homes ….they will always be included at the very top of our “search list”.​

How large is the Citadel Canine program? Citadel Canine is one of Canada’s two largest and the longest running PTSD-OSI medical service dog providers.We have  delivered dogs and/or training support to candidates in:   Greater Victoria, Nanaimo, Campbell River, Greater Vancouver, Chilliwack, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Kelowna, Penticton, Oliver, Cranbrook, Castlegar, Kimberley, Grand Forks, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Gimli, Winnipeg, Toronto, London, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Port Colborne, Welland, Niagara Falls, Schomberg, Kingston, Owen Sound, North Bay, Petawawa, Ottawa, Gatineau, Montreal and Drummondville, QC, Fredericton, NB, Truro, Greenwood and Halifax, NS, and Grand Falls-Windsor and St. John’s, in NF-LB.

Please allow us to introduce Citadel Therapy Canine Society (our full legal name). 

Introduction to Citadel Canine Society:

 –Citadel Canine has been in operation since 2012 and we are now well into our eighth year of continuous mission programming.  Up to date and timely info on program developments etc. can be found on our Facebook page:  “Citadel Canine Society”.

–With diligence and determination we have emerged as one of Canada’s two largest PTSD -OSI (Operational Stress Injury) medical service dog providers.  Although we are based in British Columbia, we have a Canada-wide mission reach, with service dog teams located within every Canadian province.

 –Unlike many other Canadian medical service dog providers, Citadel Canine focuses solely on providing service dogs for military veterans and first responders.  Our first responder mission reach includes Police, Fire, Paramedic, Nursing, Corrections and 9-1-1 personnel. 

 –Citadel Canine is registered as a non-profit charity with Canada Revenue Agency and the BC Gaming Authority.  We are current on all filings as required with each Agency and remain in good standing with them as well.

–Citadel Canine is administered and managed by a team of volunteers.  We do not have any paid administrative staff, nor professional fund raising employees or outside fund raising contractors.  All of our medical service dogs are provided to new candidates at no cost to them.  Therefore we do not ask nor require that the recipients of our dogs engage in any sort of supportive fund raising efforts.

–As a final comment, over the past seven plus years we have developed a dedicated network of highly qualified dog trainers across Canada that we do pay to help support our overall mission.  Due to their dedication and personal desire to assist the many individuals our program supports, they provide their services at greatly reduced rates, or in some cases at no charge at all.

To conclude we appreciate you taking the time to review this information and hope that in addition to other materials we can provide, the preceding summary provides you with an overview of Citadel Canine Society.  Additional information can be provided as required.

Citadel Therapy Canine Society. 202 – 2476 York Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6K 1E2   “

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Updated all members list for 2019 – deletes previous regional lists: Atlantic, Prairies & Pacific.

Our mailing address is:
140 Riverstone Drive
Nepean, Ontario
K2J 5E5