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29 August 2018

Smart Pup to bring greater independence for Mitchell

Filed under: Latest News

A hand up has been provided to a family in Bundaberg, to help their Autistic son lead a more independent life, with the help of a Smart Pup Assistance Dog.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges, provided a $10k Grassroots Community Grant towards the endeavour – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of its 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round. In addition, the fundraising efforts of the Lodges was matched, followed by a final top up to ensure the family reached its $20k target.

Tyrian Lodge Secretary John Richardson said the specially trained pup would make a significant difference to Mitchell’s quality of life.

“We’re very proud to have been able to help Mitchell and to have expedited this fundraising initiative with the help of Hand Heart Pocket. The Smart Pup will become part of the family and be by Mitchell’s side every day,” John said.

“Being so calm in nature, the pup will help to lower anxiety levels and help Mitchell adapt to different social settings. It might even give Mitchell the confidence to experience new things,” he said.

It will be a little while though before the family can take the Smart Pup home, as it typically takes up to a year to train the canine and ensure it completes the necessary home placement sessions.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it’s great to see Lodges working together to respond to need within the community.

“Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges brought this worthy cause to our attention which we were able to support through our Grassroots Grants initiatives,” Gary said.

“Empowering people to lead more independent lives is what we’re known for. Our focus, as we have done in this instance, is to provide sustainable support for charitable causes that have limited access to other funding sources,” he said.

“It’s our pleasure to provide this life-changing support,” he said.

Photo: Bundaberg family welcomes Smart Pup Assistance Dog with the help of Hand Heart Pocket's Grassroots Community Grant. 

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