ABOUT 

PACIFIC ASSISTANCE DOGS SOCIETY (PADS)

Mission

PADS breeds, raises, trains and supports certified assistance dogs, partnering them with people living with disabilities, and with community care professionals.

Vision

PADS strives to become a pre-eminent, internationally recognized source for dogs certified to ADI standards by providing top quality breeding, training and program delivery in the assistance dog industry.

Values

Gratitude | We are grateful for the support of our community and those who share our mission.

Respect | We hold in high esteem those who support our mission with their time, their money, or their actions. We are kind to our dogs and always consider their dignity and health.

Accountability | We exhibit a high level of care and conduct when considering or taking action.

Integrity | We are sincere and genuine when we consider or take action.

Trust | We appreciate those who place their confidence in us, and we act in ways to maintain that level of faith in our mission.

Transparency | We conduct ourselves openly and consider stakeholders and the community as our partners in the fulfillment of our mission.

PROUD TO BE CANADA’S 1ST FULLY ACCREDITED ASSISTANCE DOG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

PADS achieved full accreditation from Assistance Dogs International (ADI) in 2002. ADI is the international body that sets standards for assistance dog training, placement and client care. Members of ADI meet regularly to share ideas and conduct business regarding educating the public about assistance dogs, advocating for the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with assistance dogs, and the setting of standards and establishing guidelines and ethics for the training of these dogs. ADI has a comprehensive accreditation system and members have to be regularly assessed to ensure they meet the high standards expected of assistance dog programs. We strive to meet or exceed the standards and ethics developed by the ADI Standards and Ethics Committee.

Clients working in partnership with an assistance dog are also key to making the partnership work. Programs have responsibilities towards the clients and clients have responsibilities towards their dogs, which are outlined in these standards.

Laura Watamanuk

Executive Director

Laura is the fearless leader of the PADS Team and self-described Chief Puppy Spoiler.  Laura has led the day-to-day operations of the organization since returning to the role in 2011 (she was previously PADS’ Executive Director from 1994–2001). Laura is passionate about creating partnerships with individuals, organizations and community groups to change lives each day.  Laura’s strong prairie roots not only have her bleeding green but also instilled in her a deep belief that hard work, respect and teamwork are key to success.  She shares her office with the adorable (and ridiculous) retired PADS Breeding Dog Pepper.

ROB WALKER

CHAIR

I continue to be amazed at the sincere generosity of PADS volunteers in both their time and commitment to such a good cause. I am lucky to be able to be involved as we all watch PADS grow and move forward. The future of PADS looks ever so bright and with the efforts of staff, volunteers and the Board of Directors we will be able to keep moving forward. I look forward to the coming term and helping to secure the future of PADS.

CHRISTINE COLETTA

Vice Chair

Chris is the co-owner of Okanagan Crush Pad, a family-run winery located in Summerland, BC, home to Haywire, Narrative, Free Form and Bizou & Yukon wine brands.  She spent nine years as the founding executive director of the BC Wine Institute and Wines of Canada. She then spent 14 years consulting in the field of marketing, branding and communications and had the privilege of working with many global and domestic brands. 

Christine is widely acknowledged as a driver for change and betterment and is a staunch believer in volunteerism and is extremely excited to be back with her PADS family again. 

CARA Pavlakovic

Treasurer

Cara brings to the PADS Board a strong background in accounting and diverse financial expertise. This outgoing and experienced advisor loves building relationships, overcoming challenges and developing creative, strategic solutions.

Cara has a Bachelors in Business Administration (Accounting & Finance) from Simon Fraser University and is excited to be combining two of her loves by serving on the PADS board – finance and dogs! 

Robert De Klerk

Secretary (Calgary)

Robert has worked in the food business for the majority of his professional career, being President of BFV Trading and Vice-President of Dependable Products Ltd. Robert believes his professional job and the job of PADS are similar in that they both work for the people and work to expand and educate. His job also allows him to take the puppies he raises on business trips to offices, boardrooms and restaurants, increasing public education and visibility.

Robert brings to the Board both a love of dogs and an in-depth Alberta business perspective.

Rick DeHart

PAST CHAIR

 Rick currently works in the architecture and design field with his own design and renovation general contracting firm. Rick has done work in places like Amsterdam and the Sunshine Coast, and often uses his experience and connections in the building trades for projects onsite at PADS.

He first became involved in the Board when he was introduced to PADS by Laura, and he says he has stayed because of the exceptional service PADS provides. Rick’s favourite breed of dog is German Shepherd, but Labradors are a close second.

Kim Gramlich

Director

Kim has worked in the field of Victim Services for over 20 years and has helped introduce Accredited Facility dogs into the field. Kim knows first-hand how having an Assistance Dog can benefit her area of work because she works with PADS Accredited Facility (AFD) Dog Puma (formerly PADS Caber) every day. She became a member of the Board after discovering PADS while looking for a school that could provide a dog to work with her at the Delta Police Victim Services.

Kim has continued to be a member of the Board because of her desire to play a role in PADS’ future.

Nancy Kemble

Director

Nancy works in the Financial Services community, focusing on Financial Planning and Wealth Management. Her job requires her to be able to connect with people and learn about what they need and how to meet those needs, something similar to the job of PADS. Nancy says spreading awareness about PADS through professional connections brings her great joy, humility and satisfaction.

To Nancy, PADS means friends and family, but it also means knowing you are making a difference in the world.