Assistance Dogs NZ Doing A Good Job In The Community
The Annual Appeal week for Assistance Dogs New Zealand is August 5th-11th but not many people are aware of just what the ADNZ charity does in the community.
ADNZ provides service dogs for people with disabilities, 90 percent of these being children with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, degenerative disorders resulting in wheel chair use, and 10 percent adults with disabilities such as diabetes, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Epilepsy.
The dogs perform tasks for clients which enable them and their families, to function better in their homes and communities. Accompanying family on supermarket shopping can be prohibitive for some children with autism as a result of the bright environment and that’s where an ADNZ dog comes into their own.
ADNZ breeds dogs and raises the puppies within the community, thanks to volunteer families. Qualified staff train the dogs and once ready place and train the teams (dog and client/family) as well as provide a follow up service for the length of the dogs working life.
This is done thanks to the generosity of donations, grants, and bequests as there is no government funding. Each dog costs $65,000, which covers from when it is conceived to when it is retired.
Puppy raisers take a puppy into their hearts and their homes, socialise and familiarising the young dogs in a range of environments and situations of everyday life to prepare the puppies for training.
Once the puppies reach the age of 12 to18 months they are assessed and formerly trained. The training takes between four to eight months depending on the specific disability/s they will be destined to support. Assistance Dogs are specifically trained for the unique needs and disability of each individual client.
Anybody with a disability can apply for an Assistance dog. There are many families around New Zealand with complex needs who would benefit from and Assistance Dog and are currently on a waiting list.
ADNZ is a registered charitable trust and an internationally accredited organisation which is what gives its dogs the right to public access. ADNZ is accredited with is Assistance Dogs International.
Locations of dogs and trainers/families during the appeal week will be available shortly on the ADNZ website and facebook.