WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government may be cutting 112 human positions, but they have increased their canine employee count by one.
Milan is a three-year-old black Labrador retriever who will work with victims of crime thanks to her specialized training from the Pacific Assistance Dog Society (PADS).
“The newest member of our team will help support victims when they need it most, when they’re feeling anxious or scared and need a comforting presence,” said Justice Minister Heather Stefanson.
Milan knows more than 30 commands and will support victims during meetings with Crown attorneys and visits the Victim/Witness Assistance office at the Manitoba Law Courts to support people attending court. She also assists children at the child-friendly waiting room at court and at Snowflake Place for Children and Youth.
Funding for Milan’s training and other expenses was provided through the province’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund in 2015. Annual costs, including food, equipment, supplies and pet insurance, are approximately $2,500.
Two provincial staff have received specialized training from PADS to work with Milan.
Victim service dogs are also working in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario to support children and other vulnerable people through the court process.