Having a cup of tea together some weeks ago, friends Carole Bradley and Diane Casey discussed the latest news and topics.

During their chat they talked about Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, a national charity focused on transforming the lives of children with autism and their families, by training and providing highly skilled 'task specific' assistance dogs to children with autism who are struggling with the sometimes distressing elements of this invisible disability. 

Eager to help support the charity, the pair decided to hold a fun dog show and have been granted permission to host the event at the green area to the front of Kingston College. It takes place on this Sunday, September 2 at 2pm with registration from 1.30pm.

Carole Bradley told The Avondhu that Carla, who is in charge of the fundraising for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, was delighted with the idea, and members from the charity are going to set up a stand on the day and attend with a dog. 

“We will also have a stand from Noreen from Slinkys Pet Shop in town. Both herself and Sandra Spratt (Spratts Veterinary Clinic) and Maxi Zoo are sponsoring prizes on the day.

“Mitchelstown Credit Union are kindly sponsoring rosettes for all the classes including the overall winner. There will be eight classes – puppy, small male dog, small female dog, terrier, big dog, dog judge would most like to take home, rescue Dog and of course an overall winner. We have secured a judge and we will have a raffle on the day. 

“In conjunction with the dog show, we will hold a dog photo competition and the Credit Union have agreed to display the photographs. Photos must be 7 x 5 with the name of the child, age and name of dog on the back.”

The competition will run from the Monday after the dog show, September 3 for the duration of the month.

According to the Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland Website, one in 65 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). At the moment the waiting list is closed with 250 children on the list urgently needing a support dog.

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland have achieved the first and only accreditation for an Autism Assistance Dog programme in Ireland with Assistance Dogs International.