What is a Miracle Assistance Dog?
A Miracle Assistance Dog is trained to a high standard of obedience and performs identifiable physical tasks for a person living with disability. Assistance Dogs and their handlers must successfully undertake a PAT, so that they can work safely and effectively in public places and on public transport.
They are not therapy, facility, emotional support, or companion animals. Those classes of dogs are not required to undertake a PAT to perform their functions, therefore they do not have public access.
Who is eligible to apply for a Miracle Assistance Dog?
Anyone living with a disability, where a dog is able to perform physical tasks that lesson the effects of that disability and thus aid in the quality of life or independence of the person. Miracle trains dogs for:
- Physical disabilities
- Medical assistance
- Diabetic alert
- Seizure response
- Hearing alert
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Mental Health support for PTSD
How long do I have to wait for a Miracle Assistance Dog?
It takes 2 years from the time the puppy is purchased and training of the assistance dog has been completed. However an applicant can wait a number of years for a suitable dog.
What training methods does Miracle Assistance Dogs use?
Miracle trainers utilise the latest training theories to ensure that our dogs love their training and that they are able to form a strong and loving bond with recipients from the first day they meet.
We use positive reinforcement training methods and ensure that the dogs enjoy a wide variety of experiences in the world around them.
We do not condone the use of any coercive training methods, physical handling of the dog, or equipment such as check chains etc.
Why can’t I pat an Assistance Dog?
Talking or calling to, whistling at, distracting, or touching a Miracle Assistance Dog can distract the dog from their important work. The handler of an Assistance Dog may be dependent on the dog to alert them to serious medical events.
So, when you see an Assistance Dog wearing its coat, please don’t even make eye contact.
Do I obtain ownership of the dog?
Ownership of the dog is passed to the handler after the successful completion of the first annual review. The handler with receive all relevant information about the dog at this time. Ownership may be transferred earlier depending on circumstances.
Can I have an Alternate Handler?
Sometimes a handler is not able to physically manage a dog, in these instances they can nominate an Alternate Handler to assist them to manage the dog. All Alternate Handlers must complete the same training as the primary handler and must also successfully complete the PAT.
What is the Public Access Test (PAT)?
This is a legislative requirement under GHAD. A dog and handler must prove that they can work safely and effectively in public places and whilst using public transport.
Can I train my own dog?
Miracle does not provide this service.
How long does a Miracle Assistance Dog work for?
Each situation is different. Different dog breeds have different average life expectancies and dogs may have different health problems that force them into retirement.
At Miracle we perform a Quality of Life (QoL) assessment when the dog begins to work and regularly perform re-assessments throughout the dog’s working life. When a dog’s QoL rating falls by 25% or more, then discussions are held with the handler regarding retirement of the dog from service.
What happens to the dogs after they retire?
We work with the handler to determine the best outcome for the dog’s retirement.
In most cases the dog will be adopted by a handler or a family member. In some instances Miracle may advertise for a loving home for a retiring dog.
What is a Miracle Facility Dog?
A Miracle Facility Dog works within a facility such as aged care facilities, special needs schools, refuge centres, hospitals, physiotherapy facilities etc. They do not require public access.
The dog is trained in obedience and a number of tricks that assist those attending the facility.
One person within the facility is responsible for the dog’s welfare and ongoing training. The dog will often live with this person when not working in the facility.
Multiple people within the facility are trained in handling skills.
Do you provide Suitability Assessments for the NDIS?
We perform suitability assessments as part of our application process.
Do you provide reports to support the funding of an Assistance Dog by NDIS?
We are not yet a registered NDIS provider, but we do provide reports for the NDIS to support the funding for an Assistance Dog.
Do you buy puppies or take donations of puppies for your program?
We purchase puppies from a list of registered breeders. Sometimes these breeders will donate a puppy to our program. The puppies are always assessed before being accepted into our program.
We are happy to discuss the suitability of a particular puppy for our programs.
Can I adopt or purchase a dog that has been released from your program?
Yes. We will generally advertise when dogs are available for purchase.
Puppy Carer Enquiries
How much time will Puppy Caring take up?
Puppy Carers are required to attend puppy school, attend dog training sessions provided by Miracle, provide a variety of positive life experiences, and regularly exercise the puppy. Puppies live with the Carer and therefore it is a full-time commitment for the Carer.
What support will I get?
Puppy Carers will receive on-going support from our trainers. Miracle will pay for all veterinary costs and other reasonable costs as agreed between the Puppy Carer and Miracle.
Miracle supplies items such as quality food, collars, leads, toys, crates, bedding, etc.
What does it cost me?
Some Puppy Carers prefer to support Miracle by purchasing food, toys, etc for their puppies
What is the Puppy Carers Responsibility?
Puppy Carers are responsible for the health, welfare, life experience and basic training of the puppy. The Puppy Carers are supported by Miracle in achieving this.
You will also be taught how to deal with behaviours that arise at each life stage of the puppy. Puppy Carers play games with the puppy that will eventually lead them to perform required task training, and they will teach the puppy good behaviours and manners.
Assistance Dogs International
Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 (QLD)
National Disability Insurance Agency
National Disability Insurance Scheme
Public Access Test