People with physical disabilities program

For over 20 years, we’ve been training and placing very special dogs with Australians with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and those who have been in serious accidents. The benefits are immediate and impactful — reducing stress and isolation for individuals and families, while improving relationships and allowing people with disabilities to save much-needed money on paid care.

Additionally, recipients of dogs are more likely to venture out of the house with their buddy, increasing their physical activity and often reducing reliance on medication. And the bigger picture? Physical Disability dogs lower taxpayer costs to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and help people with disabilities participate more actively in their community, stimulating the economy and helping to educate the public about their very special companion.

For people with physical disabilities, dogs are trained to do tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Retrieving dropped items
  • Opening and closing doors, wardrobes and drawers
  • Opening and retrieving items from the fridge
  • Pulling washing out of the machine (front loaders only)
  • Removing items of clothing such as socks and jumpers
  • Retrieving the phone
  • Alert bark if their owner fall out of their wheelchair or is in danger
  • Press the buttons at the traffic lights and lifts
  • Accompany their owner on public transport
  • Brace when need to support their owner if they become unstable in their chair
  • Emergency bark
  • Deliver and retrieve items at the shop counter
  • Help carry or pick up shopping items

A Physical Disability Service Dog has full public access rights meaning they are allowed in any public place* and on all public transport. It is illegal to refuse entry to a Service Dog*.

*The only exceptions are zoos, aquariums, sterile environments, food preparation areas and quarantine areas.

People who receive a Physical Disability Service Dog are provided with a photographic identity badge as proof of Service Dog status, which they must take with them in public, and a Service Dog jacket for the dog.

How can I apply for a Physical Disability Service Dog?*

*Please note that currently our Physical Disability Service Application process is on hold due to overwhelming demand and the immense success of this program. We are working hard to reopen the application process and provide the best service we can, as soon as we can, to those who could benefit from one of our extraordinary dogs.

Each Assistance Dog costs over $35,000 to train

This includes everything from purchasing a puppy to food, vaccinations, training and placement. Assistance Dogs are provided free of charge to people in need.

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