Dogs for Good was established in 1988 and is a national charity which trains assistance therapy and pet dogs to make life-changing differences for disabled adults and children. They provide three services, Assistance Dog service partners assistance dogs with autistic children and physically disabled adults and children to enable them to lead independent lives. The Community Dog service involves their therapy dogs working in community settings such as schools and social care to improve the physical and emotional well-being of people with various conditions. The Family Dog service provides specialist advice to families with an autistic child to help them train their pet dog to support the child with daily activities and reduce the child’s meltdowns.
They partner assistance dogs with autistic children aged between 3 and 10 years old and with people aged over 7 years old who have a physical disability such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida and acquired brain and spinal cord injuries. An assistance dog’s support opens up a new world of opportunities for a disabled person and improves their well-being by enabling them to lead an independent and fulfilling life.
Aftercare support is integral to the effectiveness of their partnerships. All their clients receive ongoing aftercare which enables them to monitor the partnerships and ensure that they continue to have an impact on their clients’ lives. The aftercare package for each client consists of, annual visits from their instructors, 24/7 access to their support services team for advice, equipment such as training aids and assistance dog jacket and lead flash and a contribution to the cost of the dog’s food and vet fees.
Aftercare support is a vital part of their Assistance Dog service. Through aftercare they can ensure that the assistance dog partnerships continue to meet the needs of their clients and improve their lives by providing independence and confidence.
A grant of £500 was awarded by The King Henry VIII Endowed Trust, Warwick. The Trust has supported Dogs for Good since 2008 and several grants have been awarded to provide aftercare support and to train and partner an assistant dog for adults and children with various disabilities.