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What happens to assistance dogs if their owners die?
Middle ground between a rescue and a pedigree for me?


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26 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:20 AM

I've been thinking about all of the points raised in my last thread and have had plenty of conversations IRL with various people. If we go the rescue dog option, I think we are best getting a puppy or doing a private adoption through one of the breed rescue groups. The problem with a young puppy is that it is more of a gamble, health and temperament wise and it may take us 12 months of training to realise the dog just isn't cut out for service work. Otherwise I think an older pup from a good breeder is the other option.

My brother mentioned that he saw a group for rehoming service dogs if something happens to their owners. I've looked, but can't see anything and thought that most groups have a condition that in the event of the handler dying, either another family member adopted the dog as a pet or it was returned to them. My brother is quite invested in this - he was the one who first suggested I look into this 18 months or so ago - as he tried to get an assistance dog for his wife before she died (brain tumour). Apparently back then he did find a group that rehomed service dogs and he thinks this would be a fantastic option for us. Does anyone know any groups like this? If there is one, I think it could be a fantastic option for us - i wouldn't feel so guilty about not saving a dog from death row and we would have a dog that we know is suitable temperament wise.

I am also looking at labs and goldies as well as shepherds now although I would prefer a shepherd. So, for those that thought I wasn't listening, I was and as I said, I do appreciate the time you took to share your opinions with me.

#2 Oriental lily

Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:13 AM

I imagine if these dogs were still faily young then they would be fairly valuable. I imagine they would be quickly snapped up by another family or person with the same condition.

For example if a ms suffer passed away and the family of the person did not want the dog as a pet then the person who passed away would have friends and associates also with ms also wanting such a dog. And it would be placed with them.

I just don't think their would be fully trained assistant dogs 'on the market' long enough to need a service Rehoming them.

Wouldn't they also be taken back by the organization who originally trained them? Who would sell them on?

Karla have you contacted service dog associations to see if such dogs ( perhaps older ones) are sold at a cheaper cost?

Or if you could go on a waiting list?


Also have you thought about fundraisers or having some sort of appeal to raise funds to be able purchase a fully trained dog out right.

Your situation is pretty special.

I know our school has fundraisers for families to purchase specialist equipment for children,

And raising funds to purchase a dog would really spark the excitement in a community when it's for such a good cause and really assist your sons.

#3 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:23 AM

That's what I thought too OL but I promised my brother I'd look into it. He's adament he's seen rehoming services for service dogs.

There's a 3 year wait for a fully trained dog. I have no issues with doing the fundraising, but I don't want to wait 3 years!

#4 (feral)epg

Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:03 PM

It's also worth considering taking on a "failed" assistance dog!  The training is pretty rigorous and not all dogs ultimately prove useful enough.  Contact some of the associations and ask about the dogs that don't complete the training program.

#5 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:03 AM

Why would Karla who needs a trained assistance dog consider taking on a failed assistance dog? unsure.gif

Would the agencies you have talked to know about that kind of networking?

#6 hiddensecrets

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:14 AM

QUOTE (~Karla~ @ 18/11/2012, 06:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's what I thought too OL but I promised my brother I'd look into it. He's adament he's seen rehoming services for service dogs.

There's a 3 year wait for a fully trained dog. I have no issues with doing the fundraising, but I don't want to wait 3 years!

I am in the same boat OP....if you find out if there are rehoming services for service dogs PLEASE let me know  hands.gif

#7 Oriental lily

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:01 AM

Karla I think service dogs such as ex police dogs and ex sniffer dogs might have a Rehoming service. Often theses dogs are trained a certain way that makes them hard to place because they are trained to be highly driven.

However they are totally different to assistance dogs. Which need a more more placid, intelligent temperament.

So maybe that is where the confusion is?

My sil recently adopted a lab x the other month from a foster carer,the pup is about five months old.

He is the sweetest, most biddable, calmest, friendliest, pup I have ever met. I met him for the first time on the weekend.

Funnily enough I though about you lol.

She also has two young kids.
He does not even jump up on them!

And he is already huge.


So really I think an older pup would be your best bet. This pup came to her desexed and only for 300 dollars.
Bargain!

#8 Guest_~Songbird~_*

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:08 AM

,

Edited by *SnowFlower*, 20 February 2013 - 05:21 PM.


#9 DM. 2012

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:17 AM

You should co tact Guide Digs Australia or another of the assistance dogs organisations. And like a PP said, there are probably plenty that don't pass the testing, I'm sure they need homes.

#10 bubba boo

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:32 AM

I would not recommend getting a failed assistance dog. I got a failed assistance lab for a pet and even as a pet the dog was really difficult. These dogs fail for a reason and often it is a problem with training or temperament. You really don't need a dog which could have these problems as it would just add more issues.

#11 wilson99

Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:55 PM

Try smartpups.org.au

I know they ask for $10000 donation to get a dog but it comes fully trained. They may be able to help give advice on a failed dog at least.

#12 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

Failed assistance/guide dog isn't an option. I have spoken to a number of organisations and they have all said that the dogs fail for a reason and they wouldn't work out for our situation. Guide dogs are trained to lead out in front whereas I need a dog who will walk next to a child. The guide dog people think the level of re-training plus whatever the reason it failed would make it way too hard to try to train one if their failed dogs to the role I want to train it to.

It's a moot point now anyway. I'm picking up our new dog tomorrow. We've ended up a Lab puppy, but she passed the temperament test with flying colours and adores the twins. She kept following them around and is very sweet and very smart and incredibly people-orientated. I assessed her with the guides I was given and an old guide dog trainer has also spent time with her and agreed she has the perfect puppy temperament for an assistance dog. Obviously there's no guarantees, but she'll make a great pet at least, and with the organization who we are going to be working with will help us reach the highest level we can with her.

#13 Oriental lily

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:11 PM

How exciting!

I am so happy for you and your family.

Crossing fingers that all goes well with training.

I hope to get a lab pup in a couple of years for my eldest dd.

You need to show us pics!

Edited by Oriental lily, 22 November 2012 - 08:12 PM.


#14 hiddensecrets

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

QUOTE (~Karla~ @ 22/11/2012, 05:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Failed assistance/guide dog isn't an option. I have spoken to a number of organisations and they have all said that the dogs fail for a reason and they wouldn't work out for our situation. Guide dogs are trained to lead out in front whereas I need a dog who will walk next to a child. The guide dog people think the level of re-training plus whatever the reason it failed would make it way too hard to try to train one if their failed dogs to the role I want to train it to.

It's a moot point now anyway. I'm picking up our new dog tomorrow. We've ended up a Lab puppy, but she passed the temperament test with flying colours and adores the twins. She kept following them around and is very sweet and very smart and incredibly people-orientated. I assessed her with the guides I was given and an old guide dog trainer has also spent time with her and agreed she has the perfect puppy temperament for an assistance dog. Obviously there's no guarantees, but she'll make a great pet at least, and with the organization who we are going to be working with will help us reach the highest level we can with her.

Oh how wonderful....I wish somewhere in WA trained dogs to be assistance dogs as thats my only hope for an additional pet for DD1 and DD2 as the landlord has put on the breaks on pets.

#15 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:25 PM

QUOTE (hiddensecrets @ 22/11/2012, 08:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh how wonderful....I wish somewhere in WA trained dogs to be assistance dogs as thats my only hope for an additional pet for DD1 and DD2 as the landlord has put on the breaks on pets.


Have you tried Righteous Pups? They're in SA I think, but do do interstate placements. The waiting list is very long though and you do need to raise funds/pay a significant amount (I don't know exactly how much - Smart Pups require minimum $13,000). Worth a shot at least!

#16 The Old Feral

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:34 PM

How exciting! Can't wait to hear how she settles in, and see some pics.

How did you find her?

#17 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

For you OL. original.gif

http://m.flickr.com/photos/83822366@N07/8208446928/lightbox/

Not a very good photo. I'll get better ones tomorrow and over the weekend.

#18 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:37 PM

The Old Bag, she's a rescue pup. Her mum was picked up by the pound literally days before she gave birth to 11 pups. Her mum is an absolute sweetheart - I wanted to take her, but DH said she was too old. sad.gif

#19 libbylu

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:40 PM

I had a friend growing up who's family took on assistant dog puppies prior to their formal training period.  They ended up with a few of the dogs they had as puppies back with them in their old age, once they were past their working life.  I think if the dogs could still work they would be reassigned to a new owner with the relevant needs.

#20 Weirdly Santa

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:41 PM

That's great news for your family, Karla.  I really hope it works out for all of you - including pup of course.

#21 Oriental lily

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:05 AM

Simply adorable.

Look at those eyes!

I really hope he is the perfect pup for you Karla.

#22 hiddensecrets

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:46 PM

QUOTE (~Karla~ @ 22/11/2012, 06:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you tried Righteous Pups? They're in SA I think, but do do interstate placements. The waiting list is very long though and you do need to raise funds/pay a significant amount (I don't know exactly how much - Smart Pups require minimum $13,000). Worth a shot at least!

I looked at them but you have to travel to them for training which I can't afford to do. I found disability aid dogs that train you and your dog. They are about 2 hrs away but our current dog wouldn't pass and the shire that owns the house are hardly likely to approve a dog prior to being trained sad.gif

#23 Lyra

Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:01 PM

Congratulations! I hope it all works out for you

xx

#24 noonehere

Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:09 PM

I have never heard of a services dog ( i think his was airforce security) being rehomed.
When grandad retired his dog did to and came home to the family.

Things may have changed as that was 10 or so years ago though..

#25 Weirdly Santa

Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

Karla - how is he settling in?  Would love an update!




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