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Assist Dogs Cornwall and Therapy Dogs Cornwall are governed by a board of trustees as part of the Children's Clinic for Cornwall Ltd. Charity Reg #1109114

Assist Dogs Cornwall  provide assist and service dogs for children with psychological and physical disabilities, LD and ASD . These dogs are trained over two years in a social setting with trainers, practitioners, the child and parents/guardians.

The dog  is provided to one family for life in order to establish a strong bond between the child and puppy as a best friend, assistant and beloved pet.

Our unique training method allows us to train several dogs with their families in social groups which help us keep the costs down. These training social sessions are important to the success of the program as the families support each other and the children form lasting friendships. The dogs are born at the Centre and raised and trained together so the group becomes an extended family which is cemented by the end of the two years.

Our Training Socials are at the farm with woods, Shepherd's Huts, Tree Houses, rope bridges, a pond and a craft/ training barn filled with candle, soap, perfume making and potions. For access or special sensory needs the training takes place at The Children's Clinic for Cornwall.  We are in process of completing the full access and sensory rooms on the farm.

Management and Volunteers

Head Practitioner The Children's Clinic for Cornwall

Kate Hands-Registered Cranial Oesteopath

Clinic Practitioners/ Therapists

Linda Wileman-Registered Homeopath

Alessandra Cassini- BSc, M.A., U.K.C.P. Registered/Accredited Psychotherapist

Family Support and Child Safeguarding

Heimke Moll-Graduate social worker/ Social pedagogues at University of applied sciences of Social pedagogues – Social Work (Diplom Sozialpädagogin/Sozialarbeiterin) Child Safeguarding Foundations.

Assistance/ Therapy Dog Training Program and Animal Welfare

Kaitlin Oliver-BSc Zoology, Dog Behaviour UK

Shonna Hands- BSc USA International Assist Dog Trainer Psychiatric, Disability, Medic Alert, Facility, Therapy, PAT, International Service Dog Airline Certification

KC Assured Breeding Program

Linda Wileman -Assured Kennel Club Dog Breeder, Crufts, professional Dog Groomer

Research & Development and Risk Management

Ben Hands

AAI Animal Assisted Intervention

Animal Assisted Therapy or intervention is where a specially-trained dog and professional handler work alongside a practitioner (psychologist, osteopath physiotherapist, teacher or healthcare worker), to promote improvements in the physical, social, emotional and cognitive functioning of a person by

  • Building self esteem
  • Overcoming anxiety
  • Increasing Social engagement
  • Facilitating Physical mobility and motor skills
  • Altering patterns of behaviour                                                                               
  • The team work together to create an environment that is engaging, safe  and  more appealing to some than a clinical atmosphere. The animals help put children and clients at ease by lowering stress levels, anxiety and the reluctance to receive treatments.The goal Is to use the connection with the dogs to improve and extend the positive results of the treatment, therapy or care.                 
  • AAI has a multitude of subjective results from direct questioning after  treatments  as well as consistent objective results that show in heart rates, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. The connection between puppies/ dogs and children is indisputable and the  improvement achieved through dogs can be significant.


We are Assist Dogs Cornwall, we are partially funded by the Children’s Clinic for Cornwall, Green Cart Farm, local businesses, donations and 6 volunteers. The families pay a percentage contribution towards the costs based on income.

We have been training and sponsoring Assistance Dogs for nearly 10years. We are driven by the pure joy we witness every time a child bonds with one of these remarkable puppies.

  • Non-verbal children often start to speak to their puppy.
  • Housebound children crippled by anxiety and depression will often leave their homes with their pup by their side.
  • Children with hyper-mobility and attachment disorders can settle, cuddle and focus on their pup's needs.
  • PTSD and Traumatised children can benefit from caring for a pup and shifting the focus of their anxiety towards the puppy's needs for fresh air, play, training, 


Is nurturing the extraordinary bond between the child and the Assist Dog

Children and dogs form a bond that we don’t need to understand; it is safe, pure and provides comfort in what can be a harsh and unforgiving world. Children with disabilities suffer from isolation and bullying; their Assistance Dog is their best friend, a furry shoulder to cry on and a partner towards independence.


Unlike most Assist and Guide dogs, our program is centralised around the dog. We consider the dog's emotional health as important as the child’s. They are a team for life and not passed from one assist case to another, we transfer ownership to the family so that there is no fear of being separated from a beloved pet.

We spend three months ensuring that the families we choose are committed to bringing the dog home as a beloved pet, a member of the family and are willing to care for the dog into and through retirement. Families must pay a percentage of the costs and commit to train their pup at home 15-30 minutes a day as part of the program, they also pay for food and insurance. Some of the sponsorship guarantees that the dog can remain with its family or foster with us through any financial, circumstance or health difficulties.


We visit schools, hospitals, hospices and community centres with a mission to change the perception of Assist Dogs from disability aids to superheroes. This change is essential as we face increasing ASD, PTSD, trauma and Psychiatric disabilities in children, with most have to navigate mainstream school. A child assist dog must be seen as social inclusion aid rather than incur prejudice or bullying. Demonstrations in primary schools are the key.


  • Assistance Dogs can be social magnets and attract other children to play games and enquire about the assistance dog.
  • Our Dogs are skilled at many sports games, magic tricks and demonstrations that will ‘wow’ children and adults alike, encouraging inclusion and engagement for the child, if and when desired.
  • Our Assist Dogs can also create barriers and boundaries to give the child personal space and sensory protection.


  • Our program is unique in that we train socially, which means we teach several puppies, the children and their families together. The training days become very important to the whole family as they provide emotional, social and therapeutic support alongside the required training and learning.
  • Our social days include practitioners qualified in AAI, Osteopathy, homoeopathy, T Touch and Psychotherapy to help with the child, pup, and family's emotional bond and development. All of our trainers are animal Intervention therapists, which is the combination that underpins the success of our program.
  • By training  up to 4 dogs and their child/parent handlers together we have reduced the cost of an Assistance dog  whilst providing a dynamic social, therapeutic environment for the child and their families.
  • We are very proud to have  49 Assistance and Service puppies/dogs in the field that we have bred, trained and placed since 2012.


An Assistance Dog costs range from £20,000 to £36,000 in training, support and health /care for the dogs lifetime including retirement.

By training in groups of children/handlers and their puppies, we have cut these costs down  dramatically but we still  have to ask for the family to contribute a percentage of the costs. We feel it is vital that there be a family plan and fundraising effort as it is an important part of our program to raise awareness within the child’s own community.

Our dream is to be able to offer our dogs to children in need on a sliding scale, with some at little or no cost to the families. This fundraising campaign is the first step towards that goal. 


The Children’s Clinic for Cornwall, Green Cart Farm Distillery,  local business donations, volunteers and a percentage of the costs is paid by the families.

Where are our puppies from

We do our best to ensure the puppies are from reputable breeders and have many generations of health tests and pedigree history. We have an Assist Dog Stud Reggie that has sired many of our best pups.

Assistance dogs must be from at least one Assistance or Service dog parent to ensure suitable working  traits and skills; unfortunately, service puppies are rarely available or affordable. Our waiting lists for a puppy are currently three months to a year long.

Where we are

We have an Assistance Training and AAI Centre in Lostwithiel, Cornwall at Green Cart Farm with 25 acres of woodland, rivers, ponds and fields. Our Treehouses, Shepherd's huts and  Safari tents are where we hold our unique training socials and 1/1 therapy sessions.

We have full access rooms in the Children’s Clinic for Cornwall where we train the puppies with children who need specialist disabled facilities or sensory rooms.

Our Commitment

Assistance Dogs are a long term commitment for the family and ADC. We have had success with every dog we have matched because our support program ensures that hiccups are identified and solved before the puppy arrives or early in the dog's career. We spend most of our time and resources nurturing and securing a bond and healthy dynamic between the child, the family and the puppy, as this is crucial to the success of our program. Most of our dog trainers are therapists, which is the combination that makes this possible.



You will receive the puppy and child’s story pack and be updated as they go through puppy school and navigate life as a team for the next two years. You can cheer them on as they tackle the big International Assistance Dog Certification and be a part of their virtual graduation. With your sponsorship and others, these wonder pups will embark on a ten-year journey of love, loyalty and dedication to their child partner and provide life-altering assistance, life-enhancing support and life-saving guidance to the whole family. 

*Please note our assist puppies and their child’s names are changed for privacy and we do not post photos of the child; we update their magical journey with the sponsored puppy’s photos, testimonials and stories.


We witness life changing improvements, often within days of the child meeting their pup. Many children spend months or years in Doctors' offices, therapy and assessments, yet an innocent puppy can find a way through the child’s block, turn their life upside down, around and back to the joys of childhood.

Assist Dogs Corwall  

The Children's Clinic for Cornwall

Reg. Charity #1109114