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Apply for an

Assistance Dog

How do I apply?

Thank you for your interest in applying for an Assistance Dog. Unfortunately, the demand for our services currently outweighs the funding we receive and as a result, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily pause taking new applications. This is a drastic measure to allow us some much-needed time to train and place our current dogs and get our new puppies ready, whilst ensuring the clients currently on our waitlist receive their dog as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment.


In the meantime, please be sure to follow our Facebook page and sign up to our newsletter to receive updates, and check back in later in the year to submit your application of interest.

The process when applications re-open:

Who can apply?

Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust will consider applications from people living with a range of disabilities. We work with both adults and children.


Each of our Assistance Dogs are tailor-trained to provide at least 3 tasks that support our clients in their daily lives. These tasks can include tethering (resists), bracework, behaviour interruptions, scent-based training and more. If you think a dog could assist you with your disability, then you may be eligible to apply. We will also consider applicants with multiple disabilities.


Examples of the disabilities we work with include (but are not limited to):

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Asperger's Syndrome

  • Brain Injury

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Developmental Impairment

  • Diabetes

  • Down Syndrome

  • Other neurological disabilities or conditions

  • Other physical disabilities or conditions

Receiving the application:

The first step in applying for an Assistance Dog is to complete the Online Enquiry Form which will be placed on the right of this page. An application package will then be sent to the applicant, who must complete all of the additional information required and return it to ADNZT. Once the initial application is accepted, a medical clearance form will need to be completed. This must be completed before the application can proceed. Please note that you can fill in the online enquiry form even if you want to get some more information about getting an Assistance Dog, there is no obligation to follow through with the application.

Provisional waiting list:

Once the application package is complete and returned to ADNZT, we will review the material to determine if the application is suitable to proceed. If suitable, the applicant is then placed on our Provisional Waiting List.


An ADNZT staff member will make contact and arrange a convenient time to meet with the applicant and their family. The interview allows time to discuss the Assistance Dog service in more detail and to help both the applicant and ADNZT decide if receiving an Assistance Dog would be beneficial and appropriate for the applicant and their family.

We need to gain a good understanding of the environment in which the dog will live and work. This will help us know which type of dog will be best suited to the applicant. Matching the right dog to the right client is critical.

Further assessment:

Often it's beneficial to arrange an additional meeting to answer questions that have arisen since the first interview, and to allow ADNZT staff an opportunity to gain further information about the client's specific needs and their disability.

Official waiting list:

Once the interview and assessments are complete and all medical forms have been received, the applicant is placed on ADNZT's official waiting list to receive a dog.

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