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April 21, 2022

Introducing: YUKON, Saffron Centre's New Facility Support Dog

The Saffron Centre is excited to announce that after waiting four years, we have received our Facility Support Dog placement!

Yukon joins our team through the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides in Oakville, Ontario. She was bred, born, and trained through the Dog Guide program by her foster family and several professional trainers at the facility. Yukon is a two-and-a-half-year-old black Labrador Retriever. She is expected to work at the Saffron Centre until her retirement at the age of 11. 

Saffron's placement with Yukon primarily involves the Police and Court Support program. She will provide support to individuals who have experienced sexual violence and are moving through the investigative process or criminal justice system. She has been extensively trained to accompany clients through police interviews, court orientations, and witness testimony. She will also work with several of Saffron's therapists in counselling sessions with both youth and adults. 

Yukon's placement would not have been possible without personal donations from dozens of individuals who believed in the benefit of her work with Saffron. We would like to thank her foster parents, Esther and Ted, who raised her for two years before her match with her handlers at Saffron. We would also like to thank the VCA Mills Haven Animal Hospital in Sherwood Park for donating Yukon's veterinary care and sponsoring several of her needs while she is working. Further sponsors for Yukon are listed below. 

We look forward to sharing the next 9 years with Yukon! 

Kiara Warkentin

Director of Justice, Research and Outreach

SAFFRON Centre Ltd. 


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SEPTEMBER 29, 2021

Saffron Sexual Assault Centre Gets Approval for Justice Facility Dog

The Saffron Sexual Assault Centre is thrilled to announce that we have received approval to add four paws to our team! In 2018, Saffron applied for a Justice Facility Dog with the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. We suffered several delays due to COVID-19 but have received acceptance for our placement in early 2022!

The dog's placement at Saffron will advance the support that our centre offers to clients who have experienced sexual violence. Facility dogs are trained to “hug” clients, make eye contact with them, and lay on their laps or feet when they are giving police interviews. Dogs are also proven to help mitigate some common symptoms of trauma. They lower heart rates and lessen the effects of dissociative episodes by giving survivors the ability to use touch-grounding strategies, and they serve as a steady, non-judgmental presence for people to rely on when recounting difficult memories. Our facility dog will undoubtedly provide a form of support unmatched by any individual police and court advocate. With this placement, the Saffron Sexual Assault Centre will be the only facility in Strathcona County with a Justice Facility Dog. We acknowledge the gap that this may fill in our criminal justice system, both locally and in rural areas surrounding Strathcona County.

Our dog will support clients in all departments of Saffron, including Justice, Counselling, and Public Education. The facility dog will have the capability to attend counselling sessions with clients and work in police and court support, including attending trials and empowering those who have had experiences with sexual violence in reporting to the police!

The Saffron Sexual Assault Centre is fundraising $25,000 to help support the costs involved with the Justice Facility Dog Program, and there are many ways in which the public can help:

  • Donate through our website: and click the red DONATE button in the top right corner. You will be re-directed to

  • Email Saffron’s Director of Justice, Research, and Outreach:

  • Phone the Saffron Centre to express interest in sponsorship: (780) 449-0900


We are thrilled to be starting this journey at our organization, and to be able to share our news with our community!



Kiara Warkentin

Director of Justice, Research and Outreach

(780) 449-0900

Check back here for future announcements as we get closer to our placement, including the dog's name, breed, and resume! 


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SAFFRON is actively looking for sponsorships for our Justice Facility Dog Program! If you are interested in sponsoring our working dog, please connect with us to learn more about how you can help!

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