Founded in 1996, Assistance Dogs Australia is a national charity which trains Labradors and Golden Retrievers to help people with physical disabilities, providing them with greater freedom and independence.
As a result of our program these highly trained dogs allow recipients to have greater mobility, gain confidence and allow them to have higher self-esteem.
Each Assistance Dog takes two years to train and requires an investment of over $27,000 – however Assistance Dogs are provided to people living with severe disabilities free of charge throughout Australia.
Assistance Dogs Australia provides a free service to people with physical disabilities. Our recipients include those born with developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy and spina bifida, those who acquire debilitating illnesses like multiple sclerosis, and those who have been in tragic accidents and will never walk again. Disability is something that can happen to anyone at any stage of life.
What does an Assistance Dog do?
Assistance Dogs are trained for two years to perform specific tasks to help their disabled team mate;
- Open and close doors, drawers, cupboards and fridge
- Retrieved dropped items
- Press the button at the traffic lights
- Take the washing out of the machine
- Remove items of clothing
- Pay the cashier at the shops
- Alert bark if their owner is in danger
Apart from the tangible day to day tasks an Assistance Dog can;
- Assist with the development and improvement of motor skills
- Provide greater freedom and independence
- Reduce the need for a carer
- Improve self-esteem and confidence
- Give love and companionship
- Be a great icebreaker and help their owner become more involved in the community reducing the feeling of isolation
Assistance Dogs provide emotional support as well as a physical service to their ‘team mate’. They bring independence, freedom, confidence, happiness and hope.
Why we need your support
Every dog trained costs over $27,000. This covers all training, food, veterinary treatment, kennelling costs, placement and follow up care.
Assistance Dogs are placed free of charge with their new disabled owner.
Assistance dogs Australia provides three types of dogs to assist people with physical disabilities:
- Service Dogs – are placed with adults with physical disabilities, these dogs are the most highly trained to help their owner inside and outside of the house. All service dogs have full public access right so they can accompany their owner anywhere in the community.
- Companion Dogs – are mainly provided families with a child with a disability or to people who may need some assistance around the home.
- Facility Dogs – Trained to be companions to everyone at care facilities such as nursing homes or children’s hospices.
We have up to 50 people on our waiting list, with and an up to two years wait for a dog.
Assistance Dogs Australia;
- Places Assistance Dogs with people with disabilities free of charge.
- Offers a lifetime of support.
- Ensure that Assistance Dogs are trained to the highest standard to offer the most help they can.
- Is a registered charity which does not receive government funding and relies on the generosity of the public to provide its valuable services to the community.
- Is accredited by Assistance Dogs International.