Will you run or walk for those who can’t?

With just a few weeks until the Cork Women’s Mini Marathon 2018 it is time to get into gear, and what better way to get motivated than by joining team Dogs for Disabled?

They are running and walking for those who can’t run or walk for themselves, and if you’re not running or walking then maybe you would consider sponsoring one of their two legged or four legged participants?

Dogs of the Disabled is a nationwide charity, the only one of its kind in Ireland and has been providing assistance dogs, free of charge, to children and adults with physical disabilities for over a decade. Over 80% of the charity’s clients are children, between the ages of 6 and 12 years, living with severe physical disabilities which effect their independence and social interaction.

Their dogs are specially trained to assist a physically disabled person to carry out a range of practical tasks in order to achieve greater independence. These everyday tasks include opening and closing doors, picking up dropped items, emptying the washing machine and helping a child with severe walking difficulties to walk with greater ease and balance.  The range of services provided by assistance and support dogs has steadily increased over the past few decades, and whilst other countries have embraced the use of dogs for those living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Ireland has been slow to utilise assistance dogs in this way. Recognising this gap, Dogs for the Disabled are currently undertaking a pilot programme in this area.

Dogs for the Disabled breed all their own puppies and have programmes running in partnership with the Dochas Centre, Mountjoy, Dublin and Coolmine Therapeutic Centre where some of the puppies are cared for and do initial training. With 210 dogs nationwide and 150 currently out working, it costs the charity €15,000 to train and support each Assistance Dog.

Dogs for the Disabled receive no government funding, relying completely on the generosity of sponsorship, donations and fundraising, and the dogs are partnered with disabled people at no cost to the recipient.

To be part of their team on September 16th, you must register for your place directly on the Mini Marathon website, and then contact them on 021 431 6627 info@dogsfordisabled.ie for your sponsorship pack  You can find more information about Dogs for the Disabled at www.dogsfordisabled.ie www.facebook.com/IrishDogsForDisabled/DSC_1486