PICTURES: Autism charity welcomes new assistance pups

The charity says it costs €15,000 to provide a fully trained dog

PICTURES: Autism charity welcomes new assistance pups

Image supplied to Newstalk.com

An Irish charity has welcomed eight new puppies following its first breeding programme.

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) say the programme was introduced to tackle a five-year waiting list.

The eight dogs are Golden Retriever/Labrador cross pups, and will go to children with autism who need a highly-trained assistance dog.

The AADI is the only Irish charity to breed and train assistance dogs solely for children with autism.

The charity says it costs €15,000 to provide a fully trained dog, free-of-charge, to a child with autism.

AADI says it has since received over 800 inquiries.

But with the success of its new breeding programme, it has ambitious plans to train and place 20 dogs a year.

Image supplied to Newstalk.com

CEO and founder Nuala Geraghty said: "These dogs are life-changers for the children and their families.

"As our charity relies heavily on volunteers, we urgently require funds to support the puppies in their journey to become highly-trained assistance dogs.

"Our organisation depends entirely on the generosity of the public to raise the €15,000 needed to train each pup.

"We are asking people to donate money or to get in touch with us if they have an idea for a fundraising initiative."

Image supplied to Newstalk.com

The new litter are currently with volunteer Puppy Foster Carers across Munster, who will bring them up for the first 12 months.

The dogs will then enter training, before being assigned to families free-of charge.

The new litter are currently with volunteer Puppy Foster Carers across Munster, who will bring them up for the first 12 months.

The dogs will then enter training, before being assigned to families free-of charge.

To donate €4 to AADI, the public can text ‘autism’ to 50300 - or get more information here