Thanks to your fantastic fundraising efforts last Spring, we are thrilled to announce a new-ish addition to our YMCA Academy team; Mars!

We worked with an organization called “Companion Paws Canada” to find a rescue dog for the role! We loved that this organization rescues pups from shelters rather than breeding for their program. Mars came from a kill shelter in Texas, and she was only three days away from being euthanized, simply due to overcrowding.

Mars arrived in Canada on August 13th 2022 and her new paw-rent, Brydie, picked her up in Niagara Falls. As she is a rescue dog, she was very timid and needed to learn the basics. She’s come a long way since she arrived in Canada but given her history of being a stray, she’s still got some work to do before she can take the test to become a certified assisted therapy dog.

Mars has passed two training courses so far and is currently working on building her confidence in busy settings and with meeting new people. She attends the Academy daily with Brydie, and has made herself very much at home in the staff room! She’s started 1:1 and in small groups training sessions with some dog savvy students who are supporting her training – it’s been a great experience for Mars and the students! Given her background, she does take a while to feel safe and warm up to people, but she’s come on leaps and bounds with only good things to come!

Keep your eyes peeled for more posts about her on our blog, Instagram, and Facebook accounts!

“Mars is really adorable and looks like a hotdog. She helps me change my attitude when I’m feeling down. I like it when she comes to class.” – Dushan R.

“She’s very helpful, playful, interactive with people and very friendly when she gets used to you.” – Joseph W

“Mars is a sweet and caring girl and she is cuddly and soft” – Claire K

“She gives me kisses and she’s so adorable. I like hanging out with her and running on the terrace with her” – Asher A

“Mars is nice. She licks me on the hand. It tickles and makes me feel very talented” – David B

A new four legged staff member!

Leave a Reply