Comfort for caring canines

A dog's life: Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce (right) with Assistance Dogs Australia ambassador and client Tim McCallum. Picture: Chris Lane
A dog's life: Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce (right) with Assistance Dogs Australia ambassador and client Tim McCallum. Picture: Chris Lane

Assistance Dogs Australia now have a brand new home with the official opening of their Dog Care and Welfare Facility at Waterfall.

The facility can accommodate up to 30 dogs and has full access for people with reduced mobility.

For the comfort of the dogs, the building has underfloor heating in the sleeping quarters, air-conditioning, bath and food preparation area and provides great natural light throughout the day with generous outdoor pens for relaxed down-time between training sessions.

Founded in 1996, Assistance Dogs Australia trains and places dogs with Australians in unique situations.

They train dogs that specialise in support for people with a physical disability, autism or PTSD.  

Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesci performed the official honours with Frank Zumbo representing Craig Kelly and Assistance Dogs Australia ambassador and client Tim McCallum (The Voice) also in attendance.

Assistance Dogs Australia founders Hannie and Robert Biggs also had representatives in attendance along with Assistance Dogs International President Richard Lord.

 New premises: For the comfort of the dogs the building has underfloor heating in dog’s sleeping quarters and air-conditioning. Picture: Chris Lane

New premises: For the comfort of the dogs the building has underfloor heating in dog’s sleeping quarters and air-conditioning. Picture: Chris Lane

Richard Lord the top dog at Assistance Dogs Australia thanked all the supporters at the event for their assistance in making this new facility a reality .

“This new facility will double our training capacity ensuring more adults and children living with autism or post-traumatic stress disorder or people requiring a wheelchair for mobility will receive a dog sooner,” Mr Lord said.

Twenty two years after its inception Assistance Dogs Australia now has a new facility  built with generous support by the Owen Miller Foundatio, the Goldie Knight Foundation, the Lin Huddleston Charitable Foundation and the Australian Government Stronger Communities Program.

The organisation relies on the generosity and philanthropy of individuals and organisations and their dogs are placed completely free of charge with clients across Australia.

It takes two years to train a qualified Assistance Dog and costs more tan $35,000. 

If people would like to support Assistance Dogs Australia they can find out more details at assistancedogs.org.au.