Give a pup best start to life

Helen Stathy, centre, with puppy Jiyu, and Jenn Levy with pup Frankie and Lindy Ettridge with pup Luka. Picture: David Baylis d419890
Helen Stathy, centre, with puppy Jiyu, and Jenn Levy with pup Frankie and Lindy Ettridge with pup Luka. Picture: David Baylis d419890

Assistance Dogs Australia is seeking people in the southern suburbs to raise puppies before they are trained for their assistance roles.

The national charity raises, trains and places dogs with people with physical disabilities, free of charge.

Canning Vale resident and western region co-ordinator Helen Stathy said puppies would be placed with a raiser from between eight to 12 weeks old up until they were about 16 months old.

‘Depending on their progress and maturity, they then move to advanced training with professional assistance dog trainers until they are about two years old,’ Ms Stathy said.

‘They are then matched with a client to best suit that person’s needs and lifestyle.’

To become a puppy-raiser, applicants must fill out a form, go through an interview process and have their home and back yard checked to make sure it is suitable for a dog.

Once approved, raisers attend a training workshop for assistance dogs.

Ms Stathy said puppy-raisers received a huge amount of satisfaction knowing they were helping people living with physical disabilities.

‘Puppy-raisers need to be able to either take the pup to work with them and have time to give them attention regularly during the day, or be working only part-time to minimise time they are left alone at home,’ Ms Stathy said.

All food, veterinary costs and training equipment are paid for.