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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.


Smart Pups was one of the first organisations to train assistance dogs for people under 18 years of age and in 2015 were instrumental in changing legislation to allow these children to have their very own assistance dog with an alternative handler.


We specialise in providing task specific trained assistance dogs to work with children with special needs. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of children with autism, epilepsy, mobility challenges, vision impairment and diabetes 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 94 dogs with families across Australia and New Zealand.   Placed at 12 to 18 months of age, Smart Pup Assistance Dogs are allowed full 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 approved and accredited to train Guide Dogs, Hearing Ear Dogs and Assistance Dogs  training institution under the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dog Act 2009.




Click to visit ACNC website

The People Behind Smart Pups

Patricia McAlister

Dayle Telford

Belynda Harvey

Founder and Director

Senior Dog Trainer

Senior Dog Trainer

Ella Drake

Tracey Fox

Jane Borchardt

Carolyn Milne

Dog Trainer

Dog Trainer

Dog Trainer

Dog Trainer


Rebecca Oakley

Erica Deberg

Kiera Bishop

Kate Taylor

Dog Trainer

Dog Trainer

Dog Trainer

Foster Manager

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Our Sponsors

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