APPLY FOR AN ASSISTANCE DOG
Thank you for your interest in applying for a Smart Pups Assistance Dog to help your child with special needs. The process can be an emotional undertaking and can also be a little unnerving, as you will need to provide personal and sensitive details about the unique circumstances of your child and family. Please be assured we only ask for information we need to properly assess your eligibility for a Smart Pup Assistance Dog and objectively determine how, and if, a Smart Pup could help.
Smart Pups requires written confirmation from your doctor detailing your child’s diagnosis. We also ask for a professional opinion as to how an assistance dog would assist your child on a daily basis and the likely immediate and long-term benefits for the child and the family as a whole. Your Smart Pup will be individually trained to master skills to help enhance quality of life and improve the level of independence for your special needs child. Your Smart Pup will also be certified for Full Public Access with your agreement to be the ‘Handler’ of a Three-Unit-Team, which includes the Smart Pup, the Child and a Handler.
As the Handler, you [or a person/s nominated in your household] must be prepared to dedicate time each day to work with the dog to maintain its health and wellbeing. All dogs must be walked and exercised daily for at least 30 to 40 minutes; your Smart Pup will require the same commitment. One of our trainers will show you what to do and how to work with your Smart Pup when the dog is ready to be placed with your family.
If your application is successful, your application has demonstrated to the Smart Pups Selection Committee that you:
CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE APPLYING
Before applying for a Smart Pup Assistance Dog, please be aware that we do not charge for our dogs but we do ask you to either donate or fundraise to help with the costs of training your assistance dog.
We ask for a minimum donation of $20,000. Each certified Smart Pup Assistance Dog costs around $30,000 to raise and train. Smart Pups will work to fundraise $10,000 for you.
We have a number of reasons for this:
Your family will have to make some changes to accommodate your new Smart Pup. Living with a Smart Pup can be a life changing experience with many advantages, however, as with any partnership it doesn’t happen overnight. To reap the rewards there will be challenges and obstacles to overcome. An Assistance Dog is not the answer for everyone or everything, so it’s important to be realistic. As you consider the amazing advantages of having a Smart Pup to assist your child, you must also consider all aspects of owing and caring for a working Assistance Dog.
The team at Smart Pups suggests you ask yourself, and all other responsible adults in your family, the following questions before you complete the application form:
It’s vital that the whole family is in agreement and is fully aware of the responsibilities of owning a Smart Pup. If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: An applicant may be declined at any stage of the application process if the criteria are not met.