Therapy Dog

Why a Therapy Dog?

Hope for OUR Children’s therapy dog will sit with children when they are transitioning to care and when they need to give evidence in court. It can be difficult for a child who has experienced trauma to accurately retell events. They will often have sensory memories such as the clock ticking, the bed squeaking or the door closing but don’t always remember sequencing. Providing a calming sensory stimulation such as a therapy dog that the child can sit with, pat and cuddle, can help their brain unwind and recall memories more clearly. This can mean clearer evidence which results in better justice for our children.

What does a Therapy Dog do?

Our Therapy Dogs bring joy and comfort to children in the toughest times.
They help calm children who are in court or giving evidence in court, and also vulnerable children who have been removed from their homes. Our therapy dogs visit the Paediatric ward, the Youth mental health ward, the local hospice, and the Courthouse – providing comfort, distraction and peace to our most vulnerable.

Our Therapy Dogs

Our Sponsors

Kate Wolverton of Wisteria Labradoodles, partnered with us to produce our first two therapy dogs.
In 2021 we received a grant from PETstock to help cover the costs of our third therapy dog.
Cider Fields Labradoodles have partnered with us to produce our third therapy dog and to assist us with ongoing training.
David and Robert from Stay Loyal have been so generous in supplying us with monthly deliveries of top quality dog food.

Apply to be a Handler

Our Therapy Dog Handler Program allows us to utilise experienced handlers to take our therapy dogs out into the community to work with the vulnerable. You will have training with our therapy dogs and a clear understanding of what is expected for the community visits.


  • Experienced with counselling or pastoral care
  • Experienced in working with dogs
  • Experienced in supporting people in broken/vulnerable situations
  • Experienced in working with children with special needs
  • Comfortable in supporting young people recount situations of sexual, emotional abuse and neglect
  • Willing to attend regular counselling sessions for your own mental health
  • Minimum 2 year commitment

Apply to be a Guardian Family

We would love for you to apply to be on our waiting list as a guardian family for our next Therapy Dog.
Our Guardian Family Program allows a therapy dog to become part of your forever family from the beginning, and they don’t need to be re-homed once their therapy career is over.
You will provide exceptional care for the dog and commit to ongoing therapy training with all expenses covered by Hope for OUR Children. Once trained, you will commit to fortnightly community visits with the dog in action.


  • A home with regular contact to children over the age of 5 (children under 5 not recommended)
  • Agree to a home inspection on fencing, suitability, road safety etc before placement of dog
  • Willingness to have the dog live indoors and outdoors
  • Reside within 30 minutes of Toowoomba
  • Preference will be given to families with no other dogs (max of one other dog in residence)
  • Minimum 2 year commitment

How to Apply

  1. Download and read the Guardian Family Agreement below
  2. Fill out an online application form