In 2017/2018 Jared Dunscombe Fund has partnered to support Righteous Pups, a long-standing charity who train Assistance and Therapy dogs. These pups work alongside children with autism, disabilities, and those at psychological risk. With a legacy that has helped over 5,000 children in the past decade, Righteous Pups dreamed of expanding their facilities for a new diabetes alert dog program and their at risk youth programs.

In 2015 Righteous Pups had secured two Lysaght sheds which were destined for the Vietnam War as mess halls but were never sent and had been sitting in containers in a navy shipping yard. After writing to the Defence Minister, the Federal Government gifted these sheds to Righteous Pups but Righteous Pups had no way of funding their construction.

Jared Dunscombe Fund has made this expansion possible with the construction of these two new training facilities.

JDF funded the earthworks and laying of concrete slabs in the first half of 2017. In September 2017, a group of volunteers went to Righteous Pups in Bendigo and we began building the new facilities. The team worked so hard all weekend and by Sunday afternoon the walls and windows were complete and the roofs were started. Some of the team returned in December and completed one of the facilities so that Righteous Pups could move in and begin using it for their programs. We hope to organise another weekend in early 2018 to complete the roof on the second facility.

Facility 1

A dedicated non-contaminated facility for a new Diabetes Alert Dog training program. In 2015, Righteous Pups partnered with the world premier Type 1 Diabetic Program in the USA, Dogs 4 Diabetics. This type of service dog program is science based and relies on the dogs being trained to identify by scenting, the chemical released in the liver when a Type 1 Diabetic experiences a dangerous sugar low. Unlike any other program in Australia, these dogs are pre-trained to alert to this chemical release before placement with a child with Type 1 Diabetes, to ensure the dog has a proven statistical history of success rates for alerts. These dogs will accompany the children everywhere and alert others that the child’s sugar levels have reached dangerous lows so that they can take immediate action. The dogs are also trained to check on them during sleep, helping to recreate a world that is more safe and predictable for the child and their parents.

Facility 2

This will house the Bridging the Gaps Youth Training Program. An innovative and highly intensive training program for young people aged 11-18 who are at significant risk, specifically educational and psychological risk. These young people attend the Righteous Pups Training Centre one day per week to work under the guidance of a Counsellor and Professional Dog Trainer. The program utilises the human animal bond in a series of small group encounters and explores issues such as healthy conflict resolution, boundaries, trust, healthy relationships, emotions, leadership and empathy. Each young person is transformed from the significantly at-risk category, to being engaged, focused, doing well with a clear direction of a positive and promising future.