Dogs For Kids is a not for profit organisation based in Victoria, Australia.
Anyone with a four-legged best friend knows the benefits of their unconditional love and loyalty. Imagine a dog that is not only loving and loyal, but has also been expertly trained to help a child. Our dogs are taught to intuitively prevent bolting, reduce meltdowns and decrease self-harm behaviours. They also help children to sleep better, build confidence and reduce their anxiety.
The comfort and companionship that our dogs provide children is hard to measure, yet so easy to see. It’s a beautiful relationship and one that we are proud to establish and support.
We promote inclusion and break down social barriers in order to realise potential, and foster wellbeing, love and friendship.
Dogs for Kids was founded by qualified guide dog trainer Katie Hunter in 2012. After being involved in a pilot program working with dogs and children living with autism, and seeing the positive outcomes of the relationships, Katie started Dogs for Kids so she could continue facilitating this important work.
Dogs for Kids continues to evolve and has a growing network of clients, trainers, foster families and volunteers.
We exist to make lives better. Our purpose is to promote inclusion and break down social barriers in order to realise potential, and foster wellbeing, love and friendship.
Our practices operate to uphold the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Our Board Members
Dogs for Kids was founded by Katie Hunter, a qualified guide dog trainer who has over ten years experience in the animal industry including vet nursing, animal care and dog training (pets, obedience, agility, companion dogs, autism assistance dogs and guide dogs). Katie has trained multiple autism dogs and their clients, she has also trained and placed many pets as therapy dogs and co-ordinated puppy programs for guide dog schools in Australia.
Tracey joined Dogs For Kids as a volunteer puppy raiser in 2015, later becoming a Board member in 2017. Having worked in the disability sector since 2008, Tracey is driven by a genuine desire to nurture and advance learning and development for all children. Tracey believes in infinite possibilities for children of all abilities, and is an advocate of inclusion and equality.
With a diverse background in fundraising, marketing, event management and publicity, Kim has spent the last 14 years working with charities in the home-based palliative care and adult disability sectors. Her extensive expertise is helping Dogs For Kids to build on its fundraising and awareness platforms within the wider community. An avid dog lover herself, Kim is fur mum to two wayward pugs and a cantankerous chihuahua.
Emma’s love of dogs began with her Labrador Nubi, who she lost at age 14 a few years back. After Nubi passed, Emma joined Dogs For Kids as a foster carer, preferring to raise puppies rather than having her own dog. She was as proud as any mum to see her second foster pup Jaffa graduate as an Assistance dog. Emma is also a proud mum to three boys and teaches at a primary school, where her students are always delighted to meet Dogs For Kids pups.
Brian’s Dogs For Kids story began when his cousin’s young son Vili was matched with an Assistance dog. Managing Partner of digital marketing agency AKQA, Brian used his expertise to help Vili fundraise the $25,000 needed to train his dog. A Board member since 2019, Brian and his team of specialists at AKQA support Dogs For Kids by taking care of our website and digital communications.