Pet & Retired Dogs Program
For more than 60 years, Guide Dogs SA/NT has enabled independence, participation, inclusion and wellbeing for people living with vision impairment, children with autism, and their families.
We provide life-changing Guide Dogs to people who are blind or vision impaired, Autism Assistance Dogs to families of children with severe autism, and Therapy Dogs as companions to eligible individuals.
Each year we have a small number of dogs ready for a ‘career change’. They are ready to become pets or to ‘retire’ from their working career. They are available to members of the public for purchase.
How old are the dogs that are available to purchase?
This ranges from 6 months of age through to retiring dogs which generally become available around 8 to 11 years of age.
How much do these dogs cost to purchase?
These dogs range from $2,200 to $5,500*. Costs vary depending on the age of the dog, how much training the dog has received to date, and if there are any health issues or on-going care required. If you choose to purchase one of our ‘career change’ dogs, payment is made before the trial period and a full refund occurs if you choose not to purchase the dog after this period.
*price may vary at the discretion of Guide Dogs SA/NT according to the specific needs and circumstance of each dog
Are the dogs desexed?
Dogs at point of sale are desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, and on preventative treatments for heartworm, intestinal worms and fleas.
How long will I have to wait to get a dog?
When a dog becomes available, the entire waiting list is examined to find the best possible match between the dog and the applicant. An applicant’s lifestyle, location, experience and special skills will be considered when making matches. This is particularly important for dogs that have special needs.
Supply fluctuates and demand is high, so waiting times can be lengthy.
Clients and their families are given first option to retain their retiring working dog, sometimes choosing to keep them as a pet in the home they know. If they don’t, the best match for a successful relationship between the dog and an applicant becomes our priority, there is no number order with applications.
Who can apply to purchase a dog?
Due to demand, Guide Dogs SA/NT can only provide dogs to people living in South Australia.
We only place our dogs in a home where they will have human companionship for most of the day; this includes living and sleeping inside as part of the family.
Our dogs are not suitable as your pet if you plan to leave them alone for more than four hours a day. Our dogs have been raised to be around people for the majority of the day, and leaving them without human companionship for long periods may result in anxiety and destructive behaviours.
How will I know if this is the right dog for me?
You will be given an opportunity to meet any dog offered to you before purchasing, and in most cases, a two-week trial period is provided.
If you choose to purchase the dog, all paperwork will be changed over to you as the owner and the dog will become yours.
What equipment is provided?
During the two week trial period, you will be provided with:
• Collar and lead
• Dog bed
• Food/water bowl
• Toy/s suitable for that particular dog
Applying to purchase a ‘career change’ dog:
If you have any further questions, please contact the Your Support Line on 1800 757 738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.