Helping Change Lives One Dog At A Time Helping Change Lives One Dog At A Time CREDIT: dave worsley

Helping Change Lives One Dog At A Time

Thursday 2 August 2018, 1:17PM
By dave worsley

For many people in New Zealand a dog is much more than just a friend, an exercise companion or a guard dog. 

At Assistance Dogs NZ our dogs provide so much more than a regular dog, they are an invaluable aide for those in need. To become one of these special dogs it takes approx. 18 months, and over $60,000 to breed, train and place with a family.  Assistance Dogs NZ are asking for help to get these great K9’s to the people who need them most.

These dogs perform tasks for their owner on a daily basis that they are unable to perform for themselves, providing a measure of freedom and independence and giving them as normal a life as possible. A large percentage of these dogs are matched with disabled children, providing safety and comfort in distressing situations.

This week 5th – 11th August is Assistance Dogs NZ Appeal Week and your support is needed to raise the awareness of Assistance Dogs, and the necessary funding to change more lives of people living with disability.

Anybody with a disability can apply for an Assistance dog. There are many families around New Zealand with complex needs who would benefit from an Assistance Dog and are on the waiting list.

Assistance Dogs breed and raise Labrador retriever or Golden retriever puppies. These puppies are raised by volunteer puppy raising families from eight weeks to around 14 months of age. 

Puppy raisers take a puppy into their hearts, and their homes, and socialise the puppy in a range of environments and situations of everyday life to prepare the puppies for training.

Once the puppies become mature adult dogs they are assessed and formally trained for 4-8 months depending on the specific disability(s) they will be destined to support. Assistance dogs are trained specifically for the unique needs and disability of each individual client

A large percentage of those in need are children with disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and many other neurological and physical disabilities.  We support adult clients with conditions such as Multiple sclerosis, Head Injuries, Diabetes and Physical disabilities.  

It costs over $60,000 to breed, train and place just one assistance dog with a specific client in need. We have assistance dogs partnered with clients living with disabilities throughout New Zealand and are asking for your support to keep this vital service alive.

Assistance Dogs New Zealand is an accredited organisation with Assistance Dogs International and 5th – 11th August 2018 is International Assistance Dogs Week and our nationwide appeal campaign throughout NZ. Assistance Dogs New Zealand is a registered charitable trust of 10 years.