Canines for Care team
The Canines for Care team is led by a multi-disciplinary group of medical professionals, canine detection specialists, infection prevention and control practitioners and, of course, canines.
Canine detection specialists
Teresa Zurberg is the co-founder and program technical lead for VCH's Canine Detection Program and a nationally-recognized canine detection specialist. Her work with the canine team has been featured regularly in international media, including in three books and two documentaries, as well as in countless public appearances with her canine partners. As part of her work, she has contributed to several published scientific research papers that highlight the effectiveness of medical biological detection canines. Teresa has worked in the field of canine detection as a validated narcotic, explosives and patrol handler since 2010 and has been responsible for explosives screening at large transportation hubs, such as BC Ferries, at concert and sports venues, such as Rogers Arena for the Vancouver Canucks, as well as screening industrial warehouses for contraband.
Roy is a Program Lead with Canines for Care, focused on service delivery and team development. He is partner to K9 Traveller. Roy has been involved in Search and Rescue (SAR) in the USA and Canada in Ground SAR and as a K9 Handler. Outside of Canines for Care, he currently deploys K9 Friday in multiple disciplines. He is a member of Ground SAR, Deputy Training Officer and on the Board of Directors with South Fraser. Roy has experience in various aspects of SAR including mountain, swiftwater rescue, mantracking and critical incident stress management. He teaches K9 seminars and workshops, trains handlers and consults with teams regularly. Roy’s background is in scientific research involving electron microscopy. He has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals for techniques and protocol development, Alzheimer’s research, molecular biology, virology, cellular biology and anthropology.
Lale has loved animals from a young age and has lived with an assortment of them. Since moving from Germany to Canada 16 years ago, she discovered her passion for professional dog training. Owning several dogs of her own, Lale's favourite breeds are Manchester Terriers and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. Her dogs have won awards and championships in various dog sports like agility, rally obedience, scent detection and tracking.
A field-bred English Springer Spaniel born in 2014, Angus comes from a long line of recognized hunting dogs. He is trained to find environmental reservoirs of C. difficile contamination in the hospital environment and is the first-ever canine VCH employee. An ambassador for the program, he has travelled across the country screening hospitals. Angus has been featured internationally in the media, appears in three books and two documentaries and has made countless public appearances with his human partner. Angus has become the furry face of the Canines for Care program.
Dodger is an English Springer Spaniel born in 2014 and trained to detect C. difficile in the environment. He completed his training in 2017 and conducted daily screenings for environmental reservoirs of C. difficile in many hospitals across the greater Vancouver area. Dodger retired in October 2021 after searching thousands of hospital units for five years. A big thank you to Dodger for saving lives—one sniff at a time. We wish him a restful retirement.
Rudi, born in 2017, is an English Springer Spaniel who never stops moving and loves coming to work every day. He thoroughly enjoys swimming, running and trying to lick his partner's face. Most of all, Rudi loves finding C. difficile reservoirs—it's his favourite game! Rudi has been a validated biomedical detection dog since October 2020 and was paired with partner Adam in February 2021.
Bournepark Bobby (call name Micro), born in 2019, is a purebred Labrador Retriever imported from the Netherlands. He was bred by Bournepark Gundogs, an internationally acclaimed working kennel that specializes in breeding dogs for hunting and detection work. Micro was selected because of his intense hunt drive, desire to please and his eagerness to learn new tasks. Micro is being taught to freeze and stare at the scent stand to indicate the presence of a target odour. He has not previously been trained on any target odours.
Rockey's Invictus Huck Finn Gone Abroad (call name Finn), born in 2019, is a purebred English Springer Spaniel (Field). Finn comes from Rockey's Kennel, a highly-acclaimed field trial and hunting kennel in Utah. Finn was selected because of his biddable nature, intense search ethic and natural need to retrieve and possess. He has been taught a freeze and stare indication at the scent stand to indicate the target odour. Finn has not previously been trained on any target odours.
Yoki came to us from PADS as her career ambitions were more suited for a life of detection work versus being a service dog. Yoki is a black Lab/Golden Retriever mix born in 2019. Her passions include ball chasing and anything that rewards her for food, making her a perfect detection dog.
Rockey's Invictus Travelling Girl Gone abroad, call name Traveller, is from the hunting kennel Rockey's Kennels in Utah. Traveller was born in 2019 and is part of our C. diff detection team. When Trav isn't sniffing out super bug bacteria, she is working on her doctorate in archeology and regularly can be found digging four-foot holes in the backyard for her explorations.
Rockey's Fancy, call name Fancy is from the well-known Rockey's Kennels in Utah. Fancy was born in 2018 and is part of our C. diff detection team. She is a spirited girl and lives to work or lay on the couch and watch TV. There is no middle ground with this dog, and she puts 110 per cent into everything she does, be it searching or cuddling. Fancy is also the mother of Clan Invicta's first litter of future super sniffers.
Dr. Marthe Kenny Charles
Dr. Marthe Charles is the division head of Medical Microbiology and Infection Prevention and Control at VCH. She is a medical microbiologist and an infectious diseases specialist and has a MSc in microbiology and immunology. She has been involved with the Canines for Care team since 2017 and has published on the reproducibility of the training program.
Dr. Eric Eckbo
Dr. Eric Eckbo is a member of the Division of Medical Microbiology and Infection Prevention and Control. He is in charge of the production of the various odours used in canine scent detection training
Dr. Elizabeth Bryce
Dr. Elizabeth Bryce is a clinical professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC), has an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Regina and is dually qualified in Internal Medicine and Medical Microbiology. Her work at VCH spans more than four decades, during which she has published more than 138 peer reviewed articles and held grants totalling approximately $6 million dollars. Dr. Bryce is the former co-founder of the B.C. Provincial Control Network and a former co-director of the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Control Surveillance Program. She is the co-founder of our canine scent detection team.
Allison Muniak is the executive director of quality and patient safety, infection control and risk management leading our VCH team in quality and safety, risk management, and infection prevention and control. She holds a Master of Applied Science, Human Factors Mechanical and Industrial Engineering with expertise in the design and execution of usability evaluations of medical devices, technologies, and processes. She has been involved with the Canines for Care program since its inception.
Kerry Campbell is the regional project manager for Infection Prevention and Control at VCH. She holds a Masters of Health Administration (MHA) and Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. Kerry is passionate about improving the safety and quality of care provided to our clients. Over the years, she has partnered with a variety of B.C.'s local health authorities to support countless health projects across the continuum from pre-hospital through to community. As part of her portfolio, Kerry program manages the Canines for Care operations.
Alexandra joined the Canines for Care team in November 2020. As the program coordinator, Alexandra supports the day-to-day operations of the canine handler partners and leads the COVID-19 project. She has led projects in several public sector environments and holds a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) and a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation.