The puppy carers would be required to look after the puppies from Thursday to Monday every second week and participate in a local excursion for a couple of hours.
Locals will be asked to care for dogs, such as Assistance Dogs Australia’s newest puppy recruit Jiyu, who may look cute and cuddly, but in two year she will change the life of someone with a disability.
Puppies like Jiyu will open the door to a new independence for their future clients, but to do this they need help.
Assistance Dogs Australia’s Perth instructor Helen Stathy said caring for a puppy was a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
‘Puppy carers will teach these pups to undertake tasks that are difficult or even impossible for people with a disability to achieve,’ she said.
‘They’ll teach them to pick up all sorts of objects such as mobile phones and keys, and make sure they are able to alert bark when required.
‘You can also take the pups to the shops, cafes, on public transport and even to the cinema as it is all these experiences that will help them become an assistance dog.’
Ms Stathy ensures carers are guided through every step during training, providing instruction and support while the pups are on short-term leave from the prison.
‘The best part of being a puppy carer is helping to change someone’s life by training a fantastic Assistance Dog,’ she said.
‘To see the impact these dogs make on someone with a disability one day is priceless.’
Each dog takes two years to train and is placed with a recipient free of charge.