Stop what you're doing and just look at these photos.
Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) has today released pics of its first litter of assistance puppies.
The eight Golden Retriever/Labrador cross pups were specially-bred in order to tackle a five-year waiting list for children with autism who need highly-trained assistance dogs.
So not only are they adorably cute, they will actually spend their lives helping children.
It costs €15,000 to provide a fully trained dog, free-of-charge, to a child with autism and the AADI, which is headquartered in Mallow, Co. Cork, relies solely on donations. The charity receives no government funding and has received 800 enquiries since suspending its waiting list two years ago.
Nuala Geraghty, CEO and founder of AADI said:
"These dogs are life-changers for the children and their families. As our charity relies heavily on volunteers, we urgently require funds to support the puppies in their journey to become highly-trained assistance dogs.
"Our organisation depends entirely on the generosity of the public to raise the €15,000 needed to train each pup. We are asking people to donate money or to get in touch with us if they have an idea for a fundraising initiative.”
While an autism assistance dog’s primary role is to keep the child safe, they also offer additional benefits such as providing companionship and reducing stress and anxiety.
“This puppy breeding programme is a huge step in helping us to provide these dogs to children with autism. For the first time, we have the ability to breed our own pups which will dramatically increase the rate at which we can provide assistance dogs to children with autism who have been on the waiting list for some time. Receiving one of these dogs would be a dream come true for many families.”
Want to help? Here's how.
To donate €4 to AADI all you have to do is text ‘autism’ to 50300.
What a brilliant initiative. Fair play to all involved.
For more information on how to get involved, become a corporate partner or even host an event for AADI, email [email protected].