Graduation Ceremony

Graduation Ceremony, 3rd October 2016

First two graduates for the Service Dogs Malta Foundation Applause greeted Ialta, a Labrador, and Jack, a beagle, as they were led down the red carpet by trainer Lindsey Napier to receive their official vests from the head trainer of the Service Dogs Malta Foundation, Robert Spiteri, and the graduation certificate from Joseph Stafrace, founder of the organisation. After a year of intensive training, Ialta graduated as an Autism Support Service Dog and Jack graduated as a Diabetic Alert Service Dog.

The ceremony, which was attended by Parliamentary Secretary Justyne Caruana and shadow minister Robert Cutajar , was held to mark and celebrate these dogs’ achievement and symbolically hand the dogs over to the persons who are now in their care.

As an Autism Support Service Dog, Ialta’s job is to accompany his owner, Avi Cantor Denaro, who is on the autistic spectrum, at all times and be a calming and reassuring presence, helping him carry out his daily activities with more confidence. Speaking with great emotion, Galya, Avi’s mother, said: “There are no words that can begin to express our gratitude , thanks to the Service Dogs Malta Foundation, Avi is going to live independently with his Autism Service Dog - absolutely amazing, something that we, his family never dreamed could be possible.”

Also emotional and proud of Jack’s achievement in qualifying as a Diabetic Alert Service Dog, his owner, Susan Fenech, wrote on her FB page:  “I fell in love with his face as soon as I saw him on 2 years ago and adopted him when he was 6 months old. After 9 months of hard work Jack has qualified as a diabetic alert dog. My best friend can now also save my life. Couldn't be prouder.”  Jack’s job is to alert Susan when her blood sugar level is about to drop to an alarming level.

The dogs were blessed by Fr Antoine Apap of Qawra Parish Church.


Citadel's Art Competition

As part of its Corporate and Social Responsibility initiatives for 2014, Citadel Insurance organised an art competition for children with the aim of assisting the Service Dogs Malta Foundation. The twelve best paintings are now published in a 2015 calendar.

The Service Dogs Malta Foundation is a registered NGO whose aim is to offer visually impaired persons the services of professionally trained service dogs.  Citadel's CSR team are raising funds for the training of Bailey, a puppy who requires €15,000 for her training to become a service dog.






 Our Experience in the UK

Date: 10th July 2014
Author: Robert Spiteri

Just returned from a great learning experience in the UK. Meeting exceptional and highly motivated trainers working with service dogs. Hope that we manage to introduce the service to Malta but we need much support from both the general public and authorities. Let's all work together to offer added mobility and independence to those in need. 



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