Assistance Dogs

PROVIDING SERVICE DOGS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

At Compass, we understand that early intervention is the most powerful strategy in assisting people with a disability to live life at their full potential. With this in mind, the Compass Assistance Dogs Program was established in 2016.

Through the work of our specialist team, we raise, train and place Assistance Dogs with children with Autism from the age of just 6 years old. Within days, these amazing creatures will literally change the trajectory of that child’s life – and the lives of their family – FOREVER.

In a revolutionary shift for the sector, our Compass Assistance Dogs Program does not require families to fundraise to meet the cost of the dog. We understand how much of a barrier this cost can be to Australian families.

Instead, we have a number of ways to raise the funds on behalf of the families in need. Our signature Corporate Sponsorship program offers naming rights for the puppies to businesses in return for mainstream media opportunities and other valuable promotional activities. We also raise funds through key Events, our Dollar-A-Day Program and more. 

All of these initiatives mean that our puppies can be GIFTED to local families in need.

Find out more about our program below!

A MESSAGE FROM OUR AMBASSADORS: TODD AND SAMI FROM MIX FM

“We are so incredibly proud to be ambassadors for CAD as we have seen first-hand the life changing differences these gorgeous dogs make to the lives of our young local children. We always say dogs make more friends than people because they spend more time wagging their tail and less time wagging their tongue!

We have been Compass Assistance Dogs Ambassadors for 3 years and we are still blown away every time we meet one of the new pups and feel honoured we are able to watch the dogs be matched with such wonderful children. The success stories would bring anyone to tears.

“One of our children actually has a Compass Assistance Dog and he is the most amazing dog you have ever come across”, said Sami. “The first night Major (sponsored and named by the Maroochy RSL) came into our home, our boy slept through the night for the first time in over 7 years. We kept checking them both to check they were okay”, she laughed. “There is not a single day that goes by we do not thank Compass and the team for what they have done for our family and for our son and we are just in total awe of how clever and gentle Major is in our household!”.

We encourage anyone to help this great organisation by donating money or time or fostering a pup. Everyone asks how you can let the dog go after fostering it for 12 months – but while it is hard to let go, when you see the changes they bring to the child’s life, you see all the work and love pays off ten-fold for that local child. It really is the ultimate selfless act and a wonderful gift you can give that will completely change the trajectory of a child’s life!”

Love Todd and Sami xx

OUR SPECIALIST TEAM: MEET PHIL AND BEV

PHIL BROCKLEHURST, OPERATIONS MANAGER

Meet Phil, our Operations Manager and the Co-Founder of the Compass Assistance Dogs Program.

Phil has worked as a professional service dog trainer since 1992! For 24 of these years, he worked as a Guide Dog instructor both in the UK and across Australia.

Phil is so proud to have been involved with the Compass Assistance Dogs scheme from its inception – initially as a volunteer (thanks Phil!) and now as a key staff member.

Despite the number of years Phil has worked with Service Dogs, he continues to be fascinated and amazed when witnessing the incredible difference our dogs make to the families they’ve been placed with.

Fun Fact about Phil: He used to train stunt dogs for both TV and film work!

BEV BROCKLEHURST, TRAINING MANAGER

This is Bev, our Training Manager extraordinaire and a dog mum through and through!

Bev has been in the Service Dog industry since 2001. Originally from the UK, she started her career working for Guide Dogs UK, before moving to Australia in November 2004.

Bev worked for Seeing Eye Dogs as an Instructor covering Queensland and the Northern Territory, and was also their puppy development supervisor before coming over to Compass.

In February 2017, Bev jointly started the Compass Assistance Dogs Program and puppy raised our first ever dog – Bentley.
She went on to establish the Puppy scheme for our program on a voluntary basis for over two years before becoming a permanent member of our team.

Fun Fact about Bev: She has volunteered in China with Giant Pandas, in Australia with Turtles and Native wildlife, in South Africa with Rhinos and in Cambodia with Elephants!