An Assistance Dog for Natalie
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There are other organisations/registered charities which train these types of dogs for those with disabilities of all kinds, but do not levy a $20,000 fee or fundraising requirement upon those in need of such dogs. Have you approached any of these other providers? Application to one of these other organisations would not require you to raise so much money and could provide you with a trained dog without having to wait and/or pay (or seek donor support to raise) $20,000. You can find other organisations in the Charities Services Register and in NZ business directories like this https://www.hotfrog.co.nz/
on 18 Jan 2019
Thank you for concern Cath. Yes, we did investigate other options before choosing Assistance Dogs NZ. At the time we put Natalie on their wait list there was no other charity doing what they do for children like Natalie. There were services dogs for mobility, epilepsy, the blind, but nothing for autism and Natalie's other needs. Perhaps other charities that do this have sprung up in the meantime but I think you may be confusing therapy dogs and companion dogs with service dogs. Assistance dogs are registered service dogs. They are trained to a much higher and more specialized level and can go places that the others can not. Assistance Dogs NZ are not imposing a fee on us. They have asked that we aim to fundraise $20000 to help offset the cost of raising and training the dog which is approximately $48000.
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