Austin and Pancho Appeal | Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

Help more children get Therapy Dogs

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When my son Austin was born, he was very sick.

He had bleeding on his brain – it was haemophilia.

We were devastated. But we had little idea of the impact it would have on our lives – or how sometimes it would feel like we were prisoners in our own home.

Every hospital appointment led to tears and anxiety attacks. He also has autism so couldn’t make friends, and was withdrawn with his family. As for sleep? Every night was an ordeal.

But since our Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog Pancho became part of the family, everything changed. From being able to attend speech therapy, to seeing him make friends and getting a good night’s sleep, our lives have transformed.

Please support Guide Dogs today.

When Austin met Pancho

Pancho is Austin’s best friend. He’s a very calm, laid-back dog. He teaches Austin how to be calm as well.

Appointments that seemed impossible before are now simple. We can go out and he’ll talk to people about his puppy. At bedtime, Pancho sleeps by Austin’s side.

Life is never easy, but we are one of the lucky ones. There are 45 people waiting for a life-changing dog like Pancho. Demand is so high, as the waiting list grows longer so does the time it takes for families to get their own PAT dog.

When I think about how tough life was before Pancho, I don’t know how we could have waited any longer. Yet that’s the awful reality facing people living with a special need right now — unless someone like you can help.

People like you have opened a whole new world for Austin that we never dreamed possible.

That’s the difference your support has made to my family. And that’s why I hope you will support Guide Dogs with a donation that will help train a PAT dog, so another child like Austin can have that amazing support they need.

I never knew that what Pancho does was possible. You can’t imagine it until you see and experience it.

Please support Guide Dogs today.


There are 45 families who are currently waiting for their own Pet’s As Therapy dog. The only way we can keep up with the demand is to breed, raise and train more therapy dogs like Pancho.

                        Therapy Dog walking with a Trainer pushing a wheelchair                     

Why Donate?


When most people think of us, they think of Guide Dogs. But a Guide Dog is just one of the ways in which we support the community.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT also provides a variety of support services such as the Pets As Therapy (PAT) Program to assist those whom experience behavioural, emotional and mental health conditions, physical disabilities, or isolation caused by age or illness.

Our Therapy Dogs can improve quality of life by reducing anxiety, increasing physical activity, a sense of community and well- being, encouraging routine and commitment, and of course providing non-judgemental and unwavering friendship.

Our PAT Program as well as all Guide Dogs NSW/ACT services are provided at no cost to clients and we are financially dependent on the generosity of the community to allow us to continue to help more people.

Less than 3% of our funding comes from government and ultimately, the kind donations from our community allow us to provide independence and freedom for people who need it the most.