Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust (ADNZT) is a registered charitable trust, providing trained dogs to clients with any disability. We are committed to providing a quality service which evaluates each applicant individually and provides assessment, training and follow-up to each individual client's specific needs. We provide our service to people with a range of disabilities and will consider an application from any person with a disability.
Our mission is to enrich the lives of New Zealanders living with a disability. 90% of our clients are children under 12 years old with autism, and often multiple disorders. Each of our clients are individuals - we take on New Zealanders with disabilities who have no other organisation to turn to and work collaboratively with other NZ service-dog organisations to refer the rest.
Our organisation is one of only six in New Zealand that have government-granted public rights access under the Human Rights Act 1993 and Dog Control Act 1996. We are a member of and internationally accredited by Assistance Dogs International and are incredibly proud of the high standard of dogs we provide for our clients throughout the country.
ADNZT was founded in 2008 by Julie and Rick Hancox after Julie left the field of a prominent service dog organisation.
During her career, she came across people with various disabilities that did not receive the same access to service dogs. There was nowhere for people with disabilities such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Diabetes to go to obtain a dog to assist with their disability with legal public access rights.
After being introduced to families bringing in dogs from the US to assist their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Julie took on the challenge of creating an organisation in New Zealand to cater for this gap of service in our community.
Julie formulated her own dog training programme and with the constant assistance and support of Rick, Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trusts now services over 40 clients New Zealand-wide with a waiting list that is continuously growing beyond the capabilities of this unique and successful charitable organisation.
The ADNZT team continues to offer great things to the community through strong breeding stock, professional training and dog assessment programs and a consistently high placement success rate. Without a doubt, the team are committed to our cause and work tirelessly to overcome the many obstacles that come our way.
In 2010, ADNZT was granted full access rights under New Zealand Legislation, allowing all ADNZT pups and dogs to travel in public places. This means that an ADNZT staff member, volunteer, or client has the right to take an ADNZT puppy or dog into any public place - including, supermarkets, shopping malls, food outlets, motels or hotels, movie theatres and restaurants. They are also entitled to travel on all forms of public transport. Discrimination against persons relying on or training an Assistance Dog may be considered a breach of the Human Rights Act 1993 and/or Dog Control Act 1996.