INTRODUCTION TO MOBILITY DOGS
Thank you for your enquiry to Mobility Dogs.
Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust (Mobility Dogs) is a Charitable Trust established in 2003. Our Mission is to enhance the lives of people living with long-term disabilities, increasing independence, confidence, self-esteem and participation in New Zealand communities.
We achieve this through the following initiatives: undertaking the training of Mobility Assistance Dogs; providing Mobility Dogs to people living with disabilities and instructing them in the skills required to work with a Mobility Dog.
THE SPECIALIST TASKS OF A MOBILITY DOG
Our everyday work is focused on partnering highly skilled Mobility Dogs with individuals living with disabilities including, but not exclusive to, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal injury, stroke, and Parkinson’s. Mobility Dogs are trained in a range of specialist tasks such as:
• Retrieving and delivering items
• Paying for purchases across a counter
• Assisting with taking off clothing ie. socks, jackets, dressing gowns etc
• Opening and closing doors, cupboards and drawers
• Carrying items
• Pressing buttons ie. pedestrian and restroom buttons
• Depositing items into baskets and containers
• Barking for help on command
• Delivering items from one person to another
We recommend you go to our website www.mobilitydogs.co.nz as you will gain an overview of the Trust. There are several client stories that will give you a sense of what to expect from being partnered with a Mobility Dog.
THE PRE-APPLICATION PROCESS
Please note that filling out this form does not guarantee you will be suitable to receive a Mobility Dog. We do not accept applications from people under the age of 16 or at school.
The process for receiving a Mobility Dog is divided into three separate stages outlined below. As each stage is completed and reviewed by the Mobility Dogs team, you may be asked to continue to the second and finally the third stage or be advised that your application is not proceeding to the next stage.
We understand that this can be a lengthy process for you, however we aim to ensure that a Mobility Dog is appropriate for your specific situation and will enhance your life.
• All applicants will be considered for a Mobility Dog in accordance with our Equal Opportunities Policy.
• All applicants will be treated with respect and fairness in accordance with Principal 2 of Mobility Dogs Code of Ethical Conduct
• Primary disability must be a physical disability
• A Dog can enhance daily life by undertaking functional tasks
• To be able to adequately manage and care for a dog and have key support person(s) supporting the placement
• Home environment is suitable for housing a Mobility Dog
Whilst the cost to raise and train a Mobility Dog is met by the Trust, there is a placement cost of $10,000 which contributes to associated placement costs if you receive a dog. Should you be accepted into the program, the client coordinator -applicants can give you the steps to follow to apply for funding. Applicants who successfully move into stage three of the application process will also incur the cost of a Functional Assessment. Once our dogs are placed with clients all ongoing costs of the dog are met by the client and we recommend you seek Pet Insurance cover. On average the ongoing costs are approximately $3000 per year.
Due to demand for a Mobility Dog and individual client requirements we are unable to provide set timeframes for completion of the application process.
We undertake to:
• Keep applicants informed throughout the application process
• Respond to any enquiries promptly
• You will be advised of the final outcome by Mobility Dogs when the Mobility Dogs team have reviewed and assessed all your documentation.
• If you are successful we then begin a process of looking for a suitable Mobility Dog with the training, skills, personality and physical requirements to match your needs.
- Please complete as fully as you can and press submit at the end of the form.
Generally, the team will review applications monthly. They may want to ask you further questions about your application in which case they will get in touch.
- It may be that your application does not procceed any further and you will be advised of this out come accordingly.
- Or, if you have any queries about the application form please give the Client Coordinator a call or email.
- If you proceed to this stage of the application you will be required to have a home visit where you will meet one or two of our team.
- At the home visit we ask you to have at the appointment any support people, friends, family, health professionals etc who will be involved in you potentially receiving a Mobility Dog.
- Having a Mobility Dog in your life can be very rewarding. However, the dogs require a great deal of time, care and attention from you. Sometimes living with a disability means care of a dog can be challenging. It is during this meeting that we can discuss how this will be managed by you or your support people.
- Cost of the dog will also be discussed at this visit.
- It is at this stage the team meets again to review your application. You will be contacted by the Client Coordinator to advise if the application will proceed to stage 3.
- A functional assessment is the next stage in the process to confirm you are a good candidate for a mobility dog and to inform the matching process.
- The functional assessment needs to be done by a physiotherapist or occupational therapist. If you can travel to Auckland, we can help set this up for you but otherwise, you can nominate a therapist, preferably that knows you. We will liaise with your nominated therapist about the process for the functional assessment.
- The functional assessment will take about an hour of your time and the therapist will discuss your function now and how it might be impacted by a mobility dog. The therapist will also do some routine functional assessments.
- The cost of the functional assessment will be met by you and will need to be paid to the provider directly an approx cost of an assessment is approximately $240.00+gst. If using Neuro Rehab Results our Provider for the Auckland area this will need to be paid before the appointment is confirmed and 7 days prior to the assessment date. Providers outside of Auckland will have their own payment terms and conditions which must be met by you.
- If you are successful you will be advised accordingly.