Paws Across Borders: A Global Leap in Canine Collaboration by Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland

14 Dec 2023

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) is making waves in the world of canine assistance, with significant advancements in its breeding program that are set to enhance support for families living with Autism. As part of the International Breeding Cooperative (IBC), run by Assistance Dogs International, AADI is leading the charge in breeding top-tier assistance dogs.

Elaine Cannon, who heads up the Breeding Program, says, “Our partnership with IBC has allowed us to introduce three exceptional female dogs, Ottie, Wren, and Dove, into our breeding program. Ottie, who hails from Centar Silver in Croatia, is excitedly awaiting her second litter. A portion of each litter is distributed to other assistance dog schools within the cooperative, exemplifying our commitment to global collaboration.”

This summer, AADI welcomed a new addition, Nixa, from Croatia. Nixa’s puppies have already begun their international journeys, reaching organizations in Croatia, Malta, and Ireland. But AADI’s global reach doesn’t stop there. Puppies from their program are enriching lives in The Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Israel, and the US.

Elaine elaborates, “A recent collaboration involved importing frozen semen from proven US assistance dog studs, stored at the University of Liège. This project resulted in Ottie’s first successful pregnancy, with Dove also set to benefit.”

David Mc Carthy, Head of Fundraising, explains the motivation behind AADI’s dedicated participation in the IBC: “It’s simple - access to dogs with a lineage of successful assistance dog breeding. These dogs undergo rigorous health and behavioural testing, adhering to the highest international standards. Our involvement in the cooperative has significantly improved the quality and training success rates of our dogs. This ultimately means we can support a greater number of families with Autism to live better lives.”

AADI remains steadfast in its mission to provide exceptional assistance dogs to families impacted by Autism, continually striving for excellence in their breeding and training programs.