Ireland, Irish Guide Dogs,The Autism Assistance Dog Programme – has been forced to close its waiting list for children with autism who want an assistance dog because it cannot cope with the demand the Independent.ie reports.
The waiting list for its Autism Assistance Dog Programme was closed in March for a second time. When it was re opened in January within the first hour it was swamped with 30 new applications.
The Autism Assistance Dog Programme helps autistic children because the dogs act as a safety aid and promote calmness.
Irish Guide Dogs chief executive Padraig Mallon said:
‘they had allowed the waiting list to remain open until it reached a two to three-year time period. Anything longer was unsustainable.’
He continued to say that the charity did not have the financial or human resources to meet this over-demand.
Irish Guide Dogs relies on fundraising and donations for 80 per cent of its income.
Mr Mallon added:
“We are most certainly disappointed that we had to close the list again. I would like to thank our dedicated staff and volunteers, particularly our dog trainers and instructors who really worked hard to clear the waiting list and to train as many people as possible.”
Irish Guide Dogs has appealed for donations, which can be made by texting ‘WOOF’ to 57500 to donate €2.50 or through its website, www.guidedogs.ie.
The original article by Majella O’Sullivan on the Independent.ie website can be found here