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About Us

Smart Pups Assistance Dogs is a dedicated not-for-profit organisation based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. We specialise in providing trained service dogs to assist children with special needs. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of children with autism and seizure related syndromes through training our dogs in ‘task specific’ skills. Our Smart Pups reduce stress levels in children and have a profound effect on the day-to-day lives of the child and family. These positive changes continue as the bond and relationship between child and Smart Pup grows over time.

Since we launched the charity in 2011, our organisation has placed 34 dogs with families across Australia. Placed at 12 to 18 months of age, Smart Pup Assistance Dogs are granted public access and become an integral part of the recipient families life accompanying them on shopping trips, family outings and even holidays. Smart Pups receive no official funding from the government and relies solely on donations, grants and fundraising activities to operate.


We are dedicated to raising awareness about the valuable role these Assistance Dogs play in the lives of children with special needs. We are passionate about helping children and their recipient families achieve a greater quality of life through the loving companionship of a Smart Pup and a furry best friend for life.


Smart Pups is an approved training institution under the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dog Act 2009

Click to Visit ACNC page

The People Behind Smart Pups

Ella Drake

Dog Trainer

Kristy Graham

Dog Trainer

Patricia McAlister

Founder and Director

Leesa Heiniger

Tracey Fox

Jane Borchardt

Dog Trainer

Dog Trainer

Dog Trainer


Jan Harrington

Meagan Pokorny


Vice President

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Our Sponsors

Contact Details
PO Box 140 Pomona  QLD 4568
Ph: 07 54850031