The Petbarn Foundation has a big focus on community outreach and mental health and has donated $90k to charity partners Empower Assistance Therapy Dogs to provide vulnerable people in need of emotional support, the therapeutic presence of a furry friend.

Empower Assistance Dogs have been breeding, training, and placing therapy dogs within schools, facilities, and community programs.

They have been able to expand this program with the generous support of the Petbarn Foundation and Greencross Vets.  Working together, these three organisations are changing the lives of others by using professionally trained therapy dogs to provide emotional support.

Recently, Pup Locky, named after the lockdown, was placed in Hymba Yumba Independent School, with the intent of providing the students emotional support, by having said students participate in his training to be a future assistance dog, with attendance rates rising from 57% to 90% in the space of a few months.

Behavioural issues in students were also seen to drop an incredible 95% due to the influence of Locky and his happy presence.

With the support of the Petbarn Foundation and Greencross Vets, Empower Assistance Dogs are teaching dogs how to interact safely and reliably with others as well as providing therapy to those in the community who may need some emotional support.