Olivia's Assistance Dog Appeal

2 August 2016


Our next Assistance Dog Appeal is for a very special member, James Sherratt. James is a 14 year old boy who has Cerebral Palsy. James also has an intellectual disability and suffers from anxiety.


James was born at 25 weeks, making him a 15 week premature baby. He suffered from a lot of difficulties in his early few months of life. Due to the earliness of his birth he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when he was two years old which affects his movement and posture.


James' special dog will be trained to help with specific needs - providing him with physical and emotional support, picking up or retrieving things that are out of reach, provide access to and be involved in activities that are currently impossible for him. It will also be trained in 'Alert Barking' to bring help if James ever feels unsafe or is in trouble.


An Assistance Dog can change the world for James, allowing him to grow more confident and reassuring him when he is feeling anxious.


James 1 James 2 James 3



15 July 2015


Disability Recreation and Sports SA are currently conducting an appeal to help Olivia acquire an assistance dog.


Olivia is a young South Australian teenager who is suffering from Progressive Neurological Loss caused by Metachromatic Leukodystrophy - a condition she was diagnosed with at age 7. Olivia is now 13 and relies on her wheelchair to get around and uses a communication device to talk and communicate her needs.

An assistance dog would be invaluable to Olivia in helping with her domestic and personal chores such as picking up items like her communication device, pushing light switches, opening doors, accompanying her to school and, very importantly, alerting someone if Olivia is in difficulty.


All donations will help Olivia to achieve independence, freedom and to gain a very special friend and companion.



Please call our Fundraising Department on 8234 1533.


Thank you so much for your kindness – what a difference you will be making to Olivia's life.










Previous Assistance Dog Appeals

Aidan Barry


January 2016


Aidan with his assistance dog, Archie. Thank you to everyone who donated!


IMG 3444IMG 3443



14 May 2015


Thank you to many, many people who so kindly donated to our appeal to raise funds for an Assistance Dog for Aidan. Aidan's new best friend is now undergoing the final stages of his training and will be with Aidan soon.


The incredible response we have received from so many generous people means that Assistance Dogs Australia are able to put this money to use immediately to start training a special dog with the unique skills required to support Aidan in his journey ahead.  Thank you for your wonderful support to help make this happen.


15 October 2014

We would like to say a huge thank you to all of you who have provided such generous support, to help Aidan on his journey to getting an Assistance Dog.

Since we were last in touch, I have an exciting update for you!

Aidan has had a successful interview with Assistance Dogs Australia (ADA), whose dogs are specifically trained to help people with physical disability.

As you know, it takes two years and costs in excess of $27,000 to train up an assistance dog to the high standards required. When fully qualified, the dog has full public access to support his owner wherever he goes, and is capable of responding to over 50 specialised voice commands. 

During the first year of training, each puppy is raised by a Puppy Educator, who is closely supported by ADA’s qualified team of Dog Instructors. A Puppy Educator can be an individual, or a whole family, and during the first year they help socialise the puppy and ensure it has mastered its basic training.

Even better, if the person who requires the Assistance Dog can be involved in this puppy education phase. This will be fantastic for Aidan, puppy and their wider family – with both the Aidan and puppy benefiting immediately by forming a close bond through their early training.   

We are delighted therefore that, thanks to your support, Assistance Dogs Australia will be able to give the training and support for Aidan, and his mum Bernie, to become Puppy Educators.  This will increase the technical understanding and abilities of Aidan as a handler and co-trainer to become a good owner of his future Assistance Dog. It is intended that the puppy Aidan helps to raise, will grow up to be his very own Assistance Dog, once it has successfully completed its advanced level Assistance Dog training at 14-18 months of age.

We cannot thank each of you enough for your swift and generous response to help Aidan.  Thanks to your help, Aidan can begin this exciting journey much earlier.  We are still fundraising but - Watch this space!




“Having a puppy and becoming a puppy educator will be both a fun and challenging experience for me. It would be great for me and the puppy to get to know each other and create the special bond between us before it’s final skills test and then becoming my assistance dog.  Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed with donations - it is amazing - I am so happy and excited! “Aidan Barry


…………..And his Mum, Bernadette


“When Aidan becomes a puppy educator, he would be responsible for the dogs training and care from a very young age. This would certainly create a great psychological bond between Aidan and the puppy. It would allow us both to experience the joy of bringing up the puppy and helping to pass it skills test would be great achievement for both the puppy and us. The puppy would become an important family member had extremely familiar with our routine, and we could become familiar with the puppy’s needs and routines within the home environment. It would be a great opportunity for Aidan and myself to experience the joy of having a puppy in the home and a sense of achievement when the puppy and Aidan pass their skills test.  We want to thank everyone who has generously donated so far – it will make such a difference to our lives. Bernadette Barry.



20 August 2014

Currently at Disability Recreation and Sports we are conducting a very special appeal to raise funds for an  Assistance  Dog for Aidan.

Aidan is an Adelaide teenager with severe disabilities including having no arms, heart and lung conditions and hearing and vision impairments. Aiden has had 4 open heart surgeries and two closed heart surgeries. He has been dependant on a pacemaker since the age of three. 

Aidan was recently award the Courage Medal at the Pride of Australia Medal Ceremony. Click on this link for the full story

An assistance dog would be invaluable to help Aidan access, and be involved in, activities  which  are currently impossible for him. 

Things like catching public transport, opening and closing doors, cupboards etc, pushing buttons on pedestrian lights, assisting with shopping and checkouts. Alerting someone if Aidan is in difficulty or the phone is ringing. 

Aidan will be able to independently access shopping centres, movie theatres, cafes and social and sporting events. Things his Mum never thought would be possible for him.  

Aidan is a positive, self - motivated young person who hopes to attend University. With his own Assistance Dog this will be made so much easier. 

Will you please help Aidan in his quest for independence, freedom - and a very special friend and companion.


Please call our Fundraising Department on 8234 1533  or email jan@drssa.org.au to donate.

Thank you so much for your kindness – what a difference you will be making to Aidan's life.