Assistance Dogs NZ In Need Of Help To Provide Support To Other Kiwis

Saturday 11 August 2018, 9:59AM
By dave worsley

The appeal week ends on tomorrow, but that doesn’t stop Assistance Dogs New Zealand still aiming for extra funding and resources, in fact they’re happy to keep in front of the public all year. As with all charities they are struggling for finance.

At Assistance Dogs NZ 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 in need of help and in need of finance 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.

Families such as the Carnahan’s in Christchurch are now able to do more things together as a result of an Assistance Dog. Lachlan Carnahan suffers with Low Tone Cerebral palsy and Global Development delay and Autism which can be tough on all members of the family. However Assistance Dog, Lady has been an invaluable help and a major part of the family enabling Lachlan with the ability to interact socially and make friends as well as involve in aspects of life which may otherwise be taken for granted by others.

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. 

Assistance dogs are 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 is a registered charitable trust of 10 years.