We work with schools in the teaching of Safe Pet Ownership and Pet Welfare. We have recently developed a number of Lesson Plans for Primary Schools – which focus on: how to safely greet and care for dogs.
DOGS FOR DIVERSITY
Diversity is a core value for us. Not every one of our puppies can graduate as an Assistance Dog (due to the very strict criteria that needs to be met). Therefore it is very important to us that there is a specific role for every one of them. We strongly believe in using our dogs for lots of reasons and feel it is the future.
Here is a list of the roles our dogs fill (outside of Assistance Dog roles):
- Adolescent Therapy: This is where one of our dogs sit’s on psychotherapy sessions with an Adolescent Psychologist
- Hospitals: A number of our dogs are placed in Hospitals where they interact with both the patients and staff.
- Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation: We have a new puppy training pilot program where the residents will participate in the development of our assistance puppies over an 8 week supervised training period
In 2013, the Dogs for the Disabled was approached by Irish Prison Governors interested in getting involved with the charity. After initial talks it was felt that the buddy dog programme would benefit all parties: the charity, inmates and the prison. Shortly after, four young adult dogs were placed with four handlers within Shelton Abbey Open Prison, for a trial project and our community programmes developed from there.
We are the only charity globally we know of that have a prison breeding programme and it’s a hugely successful programme now, running almost 4 years. The first puppies born in the Dochas women’s prison in Dublin are now all working assistance dogs, very placid happy dogs.
Newborn puppies need a lot of love and 24hour care to become the super stars we need. There are lots of children walking and adult wheelchair users living more independently today because of the women, staff and the Dochas centre breeding programme and on behalf of all our partners I would like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU!