Giving more freedom and independence to Australians living with disabilities, through the love of an Assistance Dog.
What are Assistance Dogs?
It takes over $40,000 and two years to train and accredit an Assistance Dog. These clever pups learn more than 50 specialised skill cues to meet the specific needs of a person living with disability. Assistance Dogs are placed with clients free of charge, and have a working life of around 10 years.
People living with Physical Disabilities.
Assistance Dogs help people with physical disabilities by performing everyday tasks like retrieving the phone, picking up dropped items, and opening and closing doors, to name a few skills. This helps their humans to get their lives on track and to live with more dignity.
Children living with autism.
Assistance Dogs can help a child with autism to develop communication and social skills, routines, and calm them through difficult times at home and in public. Importantly, Assistance Dogs break down social barriers and help strengthen the family unit.
People living with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Assistance Dogs can help guide those living with trauma back to a sense of safety, helping to improve relationships, encourage their return to work and community, and regain areas of functioning that may have been diminished by their trauma.
Assistance Dogs can change many lives when they are placed at schools where students have additional learning needs and behavioural difficulties. Their calming influence in a classroom environment helps children concentrate and communicate better, and also helps reduce the incidence of anti-social behaviour.
Animal Assisted Occupational Therapy
Assistance Dogs can have a profound impact where other forms of therapy for children are not as effective. The Animal Assisted Therapy Program involves occupational therapy sessions with an Assistance Dog as a therapeutic tool and has facilitated significant breakthroughs.