Integra dog partnership a win-win for all
Sport Integrity Australia has been working in collaboration with Integra Service Dogs Australia (Integra) to provide an opportunity for staff to foster service dogs in the final stage of training before being introduced to their guardian, or as respite when their guardian is away from home.
Integra works with Veterans and First Responders and their families suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by enriching lives through specifically trained canine companions. The program delivers highly trained service dogs that provide security, assistance and friendship to their guardians. The program also provides Veterans and First Responders with renewed purpose, confidence and unconditional support.
Chief Finance Officer and Integra partnership coordinator Bec Tyler said Sport Integrity Australia proactively advocates for mental health awareness and better mental health practices across the Australian Government and through Australian sport by establishing important partnerships and programs such as Integra.
“There are many innovative ways of promoting positive mental health,” Bec said. “Our involvement with this very important initiative promotes a positive influence on the working environment of our staff, while providing a valuable community service.”
She said service dogs fostered through the Integra and Sport Integrity Australia partnership are frequent visitors to the Sport Integrity Australia Canberra office and “are greeted with much joy and excitement, with uplifting results”.
To further celebrate and recognise the partnership, and as part of our Mental Health Month activities, we invited some of the Integra dogs into the office to present them with their new Sport Integrity Australia-branded service dog vests. It was also an opportunity for staff to learn more about the program and the fostering opportunities and to hear firsthand how the Integra program is enriching lives.
We’d like to thank Ben, from Integra, together with his canine pals Ozzie and Hooper for visiting us, and our current foster dog, Jo Jo.
Further information about Integra’s work can be found here: Integra Service Dogs Australia - Integra Service Dogs Australia (isda.com.au)