Saskatoon was host to the Saskatchewan Association of Police-Affiliated Victim Services Conference, which saw Victim Services Justice Facility Dogs and Handler teams from across the province meet up, along with other victim service workers.
The conference was an opportunity to raise awareness to the different ways in which crime can impact individuals, families and communities.
Victim Services Coordinator with the Moose Jaw Police Service Donna Blondeau attended the conference with PADS justice facility dog Kane.
"Myself with PADS JFD Kane actually did a presentation called Paws of Strength. Our presentation was to explain to people what we do, the purpose of having our dogs and the assistance they provide to victims of crime and tragedy. It was a very well attended and interesting conference."
Blondeau explains why conferences like this can be so important.
"Members and our executives feel it's important to educate ourselves, educate others, provide knowledge and support, and just let people know we are there. I think it's good for us to get together."
Kane has been a member of the MJPS for almost 4 years now. Blondeau says they received Kane after his training was finished, but that's when hers started.
"Kane was trained when we got him. He had 2 and a half years of training. I had to be trained to deploy Kane, I had to learn his commands, I had to bond with Kane. A lot of the presenters had a story to tell and Kane was offering a lot of assistance. He was available for people just to kind of hang out with him and be with him."
The theme of this year's conference was 'Tell us Your Story,' and they heard from a number of speakers. The conference also featured delegates from various community based organizations, government agencies, law enforcement, health care professionals and victim advocates.