Tip top dog day out for Woof and Walk
Long and short haired, small and big, young and old.
Dogs from around Auckland turned up for the annual Woof and Walk event in support of Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust.
The walk through One Tree Hill Domain saw almost one hundred four-legged friends walk through the paddocks to raise awareness of the trust.
The walk was led by Isla Stythe, 7, who has a syndrome causing autism, development delay and epilepsy.
Isla led the walk with her dog Bo.
Actor Ben Barrington, Silver Fern Kayla Cullen and their dogs were also at the front of the pack.
The trust’s funding development manager, Wendy Isaac, says that the day aims to promote responsible dog ownership and having fun with furry companions while also raising awareness for the trust’s cause.
She says that the day also provides an event for people with disabilities who usually wouldn’t be able to attend something like it.
‘‘It’s about having a disabilityfriendly event because kids with autism often can’t come to something like this,’’ Isaac says.
Assistance Dogs New Zealand’s vision is to be the leading assistance dog provider in New Zealand.
It’s mission is to enrich the lives of people living with disability providing purpose bred and trained assistance dogs, to meet the unique needs of each individual client and family.
Assistance Dogs New Zealand strives to deliver a personalised and tailored assistance dog service people with disabilities.
An assistance dog is expected to cost approximately $48,000 in its lifetime, from breeding and training to vet and food costs.
The family the dog is going to raises $20,000 of that and the organisation raises the rest.
Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust does not receive government funding.
Isaac says there are 36 assistance dogs currently in operation nationwide and most of the dogs are with people with autism.
‘‘A lot of the kids we work with have multiple disabilities … these dogs have to be three assistance dogs in one,’’ Isaac says.
The trust provides about 10 to 12 dogs per year but, with a waiting list of more than 50 families, that needs to double, Isaac says.
For more assistancedogstrust.org.nz. see