WHO ARE WE?

We began in 2011 when Cath Phillips discovered just how hard it was to find someone who would accredit her dog Buddy. Having bipolar II, Cath realised that she was more stable and relaxed when her three Ridgebacks were with her. But three big dogs were too much to take to the supermarket. Cath decided that Buddy was the best dog for what she needed and downloaded a Public Access Test from the net. She then spent a considerable amount of time trying to find a trainer who would test Buddy for her. Finally, she found Mali Rolph from See Spot Run and Buddy passed his test with flying colours.

In February of 2012, the first two dogs were certified. mindDog operates under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 which guarantees public access for all dogs trained as assistance dogs.

WHAT DO WE DO?

A mindDog is a psychiatric assistance dog. An assistance dog (also known as a service dog) is covered by the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992. An assistance dog is trained to assist their handler in public and is guaranteed access to all public places including shopping centres, hospitals, public transport and restaurants. According to this Act, an assistance dog is trained to alleviate the effect of a disability and must meet standards of hygiene and behaviour.

mindDog assists mental health sufferers to procure, train and certify psychiatric assistance dogs. These dogs assist people with mental health disorders whose lives are often severely compromised by anxiety and fear. With their mindDog they are able to travel on public transport, access public places and take part in social activities which have been closed off to them.

HOW DO WE DO IT?

Before your dog becomes a mindDog there are some fundamentals you both have to know. How good is your dog at basic obedience? Does he sit on command? Will he drop and stay? If you are in a busy place with lots of distractions, does him come when you call him? Will he walk calmly beside you on a loose lead without pulling or lunging? How is she with kids or other dogs? Does she bark frantically if she’s excited?

These are all things you both need to have well under control before he gets his mindDog Trainee vest. If your dog isn’t so good at the basics, you may want to join a local obedience club for some help. If social anxiety is a problem for you there are some great training books and videos on the internet. Remember, mindDog recommends positive response training only.

ABOUT US

Established: 2011

mindDog is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to help people procure, train and accredit psychiatric assistance dogs. A mindDog comes in many different shapes and sizes, and many look different to other assistance dogs experienced by the public previously.

STORIES

mindDogs truly do change people's lives for the better. Here are just a few...

mindDog Gallery
Buddy was the very first mindDog and without him there would have been no others. Of our three dogs, he was always the first one...
BUDDY'S LEGACY
2003 - 2013
Molly Polly
Molly Polly is a fluffy little silky terrier with a massive heart. Her family wanted an alert dog to help save one of their type 1 diabetes...
MOLLY POLLY
mindDog
Tashi
She’s been my pet for four years before starting her training as a mindDog. I have PTSD which makes it hard for me to leave the house...
TASHI'S STORY
mindDog
Sasha
Diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety, suffering frequent panic attacks and agoraphobia I would hardly leave the house. Not even to do...
SASHA'S STORY
mindDog
10

BOARD MEMBERS

30

TRAINERS

650

CLIENTS

8

STATES

Our People

CATH PHILLIPS

FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN
Our People

GAYL O'GRADY

HEAD ASSESSOR & TRAINER
Our People

JANELLE NAUGHTON

DIRECTOR & TRAINER
Our People

MATTHIAS DUBBERT

DIRECTOR & TRAINER
Our People

CHEZ DAVENPORT

DIRECTOR
Our People

TOM HATFIELD

TREASURER
Our People

LAURA JOHNSON

DIRECTOR & VERTERINARY SURGEON
Our People

EMILY SMITH

DIRECTOR
Our People

ANGEL BLEICH

DIRECTOR
Our People

KIEREN CULLINAN

WEBSITE ADMINISTRATOR