WHO WE ARE
Retired Corporal Chris Lohnes, 35 years Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP - 23 with the RCMP Police Dog Service program) and Retired Captain Marc Lapointe, 25 years Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Special Operations Force, leveraged their combined experience and expertise to develop the AUDEAMUS Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) Program.
Their skills and knowledge in CAF and RCMP duties respectively was foundational in relating to and forming respectful relationships with the OSI, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) veterans and first responders with whom they worked.
From 2015 to 2019, Lohnes was stationed at the RCMP Service Dog Training Centre in AB to further establish its brood program the last two years of which he spent at the RCMP Depot Division as a facilitator in the Police Driving Unit before retiring in 2022. He is certified as a Master Dog Trainer by the Canine Law Enforcement Accreditation Registry.
Lohnes has been involved with varying service dog programs in Canada and internationally and drew on his wealth of experience and knowledge to offer the AUDEAMUS Service Dogs program.
Marc Lapointe, after four years of being part of this program, has left to pursue other endeavours. The Audeamus Service Dogs Board of Directors thanks Marc for his founding and initial involvement and wish him the best in the future.
The Audeamus Service Dogs Board of Directors and Chris Lohnes are proud to continue the program and build on the foundation developed, with an the Board of Directors, Advisory Team and operations and continual involvement in research.
WHAT WE DO
Evidence based program delivery
The Audeamus Service Dogs program and training standards are grounded in evidence-based methods;
We partner with Canadian university researchers to continually evaluate and advance the Audeamus Service Dogs program;
We adhere to adult education learning taxonomy methods in our program delivery.
Our participants have access to an on-line classroom, containing over 100+ step-by-step lesson plans, 50+ demonstration videos and power points.
AUDEAMUS Service Dogs utilizes workbooks as part of the connection base approach. Handlers interact with their cohort and peers, facilitated by a trainer. It is used in unison with online classroom- where ideas concepts and approaches are fostered through assignments, interactions and check for understanding through questions asked by the group. We know that to develop long term memories writing and reviewing material is key.
AUDEAMUS Service Dogs utilizes “hard” and electronic copies of a journal developed to assist memory and planning as part of the connection base approach. Handlers interact with their cohort and peers, facilitated by a trainer by way of the journal to help recall goals, objectives, tasks, habit checking they are striving to reach. It is used in unison with online classrooms and workbooks - where ideas, concepts and approaches are fostered through assignments, interactions and check for understanding through questions asked by the group.
Curriculum based training program
Teaching & Learning Philosophy
The Audeamus Service Dogs training program is delivered in a mixed in-person and distance education curriculum format. The curriculum is based on a client-centered, experiential approach to teaching and learning. Each program learning module incorporates multi-modal teaching methods that attend to participants’ and their Service Dogs’ varying learning needs. The Audeamus Service Dogs program is an empowerment-based approach, supporting learners to be self-directed and to integrate their learning within all aspects of their daily living.
The Audeamus Service Dogs curriculum acknowledges the widespread impact and signs and symptoms of trauma in the lives of its program participants. Audeamus Service Dogs integrates knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices and actively seeks to resist re-traumatization.
Audeamus Service Dogs approaches its curriculum and program delivery in a holistic manner to ensure all areas of participants’ recovery are addressed – physical, mental, social and spiritual. read more
Audeamus Service Dogs and training are provided free of charge by Audeamus. Participants are set up in safe and comfortable accommodations and provided with prepared meals while training. Participants can meet up to several times in-person in a year-long certification process as an Audeamus Service Dogs team.
Once certified, an Audeamus Service Dogs team continues to receive support from Audeamus, including liability insurance. Re-certification is mandatory every 3 years, as is annual feedback from the participant’s prescribing mental health professional about the suitability of continuation with the Audeamus Service Dog. Audeamus believes in training the dog and the person as a team and delivering on-going peer support for as long as the client requires an Audeamus Service Dog.
This program is offered at Drumheller Institution with federally sentenced participants, and a modified version at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.
1. Chalmers, D., Dell, C., Dixon, J., Rath, G. (2023). “PAWSitive Support: A Canine Assisted Learning Program to Support Prisoners in Healing from Substance Use”. R. Ciernick. Responding to the Oppression of Addiction, 4th Edition. Canadian Scholars.
Therapy Dogs and Recovery from Addiction
Colleen Anne Dell
TEDx University of Saskatchewan
Audeamus Service Dogs has a partnership with Germany’s Armed Forces, assisting with the development of a Service Dog program for veterans.
Audeamus Service Dogs provides certified, specially trained service dogs and on going support to people suffering from mental or physical disabilities to relieve conditions associated with disability with a view to improving their independence as well as their physical and emotional well-being. Disabilities served include, but are not limited to, brain injured veterans, first responders and war correspondents.
AUDEAMUS, Latin for "MAY WE DARE", is a registered charity operating throughout Canada [Reg#: 762071298RR0001].
It is 100% volunteer and veteran-run and directed. We have minimal expenses, which ensures that donations made toward Audeamus Service Dogs go directly to supporting our veterans, first responders, and war correspondents.
We are the proud recipients of Her Majesty the Queen's decoration of Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for 2016. Awarded to individuals who have performed commendable service to the Veteran community and individuals who represent commendable role models for their fellow Veterans.