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Easter egg hunt for dogs raises funds for canine charity

An Easter egg hunt held just outside of Calgary on Good Friday was not just for kids, but also for our furry friends.

Hundreds of colourful dog treat-filled eggs were hidden around Calaway Park’s parking lot for the 26th annual National Service Dog (NSD) Easter Egg Hunt.

Four-legged participants, with help from their humans, hunted and collected eggs with a chance to win prizes.

With size on her side, finding eggs was easy for 11-year-old Great Dane Avye.

“Able to open them up on her own. She got a full carton very quickly,” said her owner.

Avye, an 11-year-old Great Dane, sniffs some special Easter eggs at the 26th annual National Service Dog Easter Egg Hunt. (CTV News)

The annual event spans across Canada and is also taking place in five Ontario cities, including Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, London, Windsor and Hamilton.

All funds raised through the hunts support National Service Dogs’ certified service dog programs.

“The more money each pooch raises through pledges, the more prizes they receive,” explained Alison Archambault, NSD board chair and puppy raiser.

Since 1996, NSD has bred, trained and placed certified service dogs with children with autism.

NSD has graduated over 55 certified service dog teams and has helped many service dog organizations around the world start their own programs.

“The cost to raise a service dog is approximately $50,000 from pre-birth right through their entire career which is about 10 years,” said Archambault.

“We give those service dogs to our clients free of charge, so events like this are critical in raising funds.”

For more information on National Service Dogs, you can head to their website.

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