About Us

Made for success, Purpose for everyone. Goal for every person. A dog for every person. A dog for every goal. A community for all.

Ken |OFPC Member

Our Mission & Vision

Operation Freedom Paws Canada empowers veterans and individuals with disabilities to restore their freedom to live life by teaching them to train their own dogs and certifying them as service dog teams.

Through a special therapeutic canine-human relationship, all veterans and individuals with disabilities live an enriched life and engage with their communities.



How we started!

Operation Freedom Paws Canada

In 2013 Barb Ashmead met the founder of Operation Freedom Paws – Mary Cortani in Gilroy, California. This meeting inspired Barb to bring the idea of helping Veterans suffering from PTSD by matching them with a Rescue Dog to Vancouver Island. She co-founded Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs and began working with Veterans. Pairing a Veteran with a Rescue Dog created a training team in which healing happened in both directions.

Barb Ashmead
Mary Cortani

After leaving VICD, Barb returned to California. There Mary Cortani encouraged her to begin Operation Freedom Paws Canada with the guidance and mentorship of the original OFP USA. OFP Canada began training on Vancouver Island, BC in March 2020. Barb is delighted to once again be able to watch a dog and person rescue each other. Four paws, two feet – one team.



Core Values

Our Recipe for success!

Respect: We honour differences without judgement or prejudice.
Empathy: We are sensitive to each individual’s emotions and experiences in order to provide a safe environment.
Community: We are a collective of individuals with shared goals and a common purpose.
Integrity: We are genuine and authentic in all that we do.
Perseverance: We overcome daily obstacles and barriers to achieve our full potential.
Excellence: We exceed expectations in all that we do.

Team Jesse and Gwynn

How To Help

Donate or Shop To Support Our Cause

To ensure the program is available to everyone who needs it, this program is provided free of charge to each recipient. We rely on donations to provide support for shelter rescues dog fees, training equipment, veterinary treatments, Dog Food, and Team Training.

Barb Ashmead

Working with Veterans, First Responders and Non-veterans has been the greatest experience of my life. Watching a team bond and save each others lives is phenomenal and an incredible life changing experience.



Made for success, Purpose for everyone. Goal for every person. A dog for every person. A dog for every goal. A community for all.



Life Changing.



Such a wonderful program. Gracie and I are so thankful to be in it. The instructors are so amazing.


OFP member Tiffany holding her service dog Atlas

A hundred years of thank yous still wouldn’t feel like enough to explain how grateful I am to OFPC and its supporters. I have seen first-hand the amount of people that have had their lives absolutely changed and filled with hope again. Thank you for reminding me there is life after trauma and how to trust my dog.


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