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Mobility Dogs

Every year we aim to raise enough donations to fund puppies to complete their training program to help New Zealander’s who have a physical disability to receive a Mobility Dog to support them.

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our incredibly generous customers over the last few years, we are so proud to be a part of helping The Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust to help New Zealander’s in need. At Animates we understand the important bond between humans & pets, which is why we are so proud to be partnered with The Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust and love to see how pets can change lives for the better.

So what do Mobility Dogs do?

Mobility Dogs are trained to provide functional assistance with everyday tasks for those living with physical disabilities including:

  • fetching the phone
  • retrieving dropped items and items out of reach
  • barking for help
  • opening doors 
  • pressing lift and pedestrian crossing buttons 
  • paying for purchases across the counter 
  • loading and unloading washing machines and dryers 
  • and more... depending on the recipient's needs 

Mobility Dogs not only increase independence but also offer companionship, a greater sense of security and a feeling of connectedness to the community. The Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust provides four categories of Mobility Dogs:

  • Service Dog provides support both in the home environment and out in the community with full public access rights. 
  • Assist Dog provides support at home, and public access will be managed by a facilitator.
  • Skilled Companion Dog provides the support of a highly skilled pet and mitigates at least three aspects of disability. 
  • Puppies with People Mobility Dogs supporting in a variety of sectors: health and residential care, criminal justice, education in schools, physiotherapy psychologist/psychiatrist counselling services, emergency and victim services, and social workers, music therapist assistance.

Fundraising Efforts


Throughout the month of August 2017, our target was to raise $100,000 for the Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust. On completion of the charity drive, our stores and generous customers raised a huge $91,500! This donation meant that more puppies received training, having a direct result on the number of Mobility Dogs placed with New Zealanders in need.


After the Mobility Dogs fundraiser ran in October, we also had our Giving Tree donation drive that had a goal of raising $50,000 over the Christmas period but you managed to raise more than $74,000 - that was split between the SPCA and Mobility Dogs. This meant the money the Mobility Dogs foundation received allowed them to bring in 3 more puppies for training! We are delighted that these puppies are now here and named as of 31/3/16, see below for the introductions which we just received from Mobility Dogs.


After the 2014 donation drive and Buddy’s amazing development, customers were eager to learn more about the charity & donate again, so we were excited to host another donation drive in August/September 2015. Kiwi’s donated the incredibly generous total of… $103,116. We were amazed at the incredible generosity New Zealander’s gifted to The Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust once again and you have kindly raised enough money to train not one but TWO puppies to become Mobility Dogs! We can’t wait to meet & share with you the plans for these next two Mobility Dog puppies. We are so thankful to every single person that donated to this worthy charity; every donation will go towards these puppies training to enhance the lives of people living with physical disabilities.


In 2014 we were so excited to have partnered with the Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust that we launched a new fundraising drive for their charity, so customers could learn more about how Mobility Dogs has changed New Zealander’s lives and what their charity is about. During that time we were overwhelmed with our customers’ generosity as $50,000 was fundraised for the Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust. With this huge donation they were able to fund a new Mobility Dog puppy "Buddy" and all of his training - so in the future he could help a deserving New Zealander in need.

Update as of December 2015: ‘Over the last year, Buddy has been learning all about the Mobility Dog training and has developed into a happy, energetic and willing Mobility Dog in training. He is naturally drawn to people and enjoys demonstrating both his skills and his sense of humour, sometimes at the same time. Like most Golden's Buddy loves to be groomed, enjoys a belly rub and enjoys new adventures. Buddy is soon to come to his 1 year assessment to start moving into advance training. This will include broadening his basic knowledge of commands into tasks many of our clients need. His tug play will begin opening doors, his touch game will begin to target a variety of buttons he will encounter throughout his working life and his toy retrieval will become more formal with a focus on naming items, holding them, placing them in specific places or delivering them to his trainer. Mobility Dogs are delighted with Buddy's progress and are keen to guide him through the next stages of his training and development during his second year to start planning for his future Client. "On behalf of Mobility Dogs we would like to thank you for the wonderful support." - Natalie Ramm Mobility Dogs Senior Trainer.