Honey’s Garden For Medical Alert Dogs SA is enriching the lives of families across the country by providing quality task trained service dogs. We aim to increase the confidence and independence of those in need, and their families. We have successfully introduced medical service dogs, and Therapets for working facilities into South Africa. Our dogs save and change lives on a daily basis.
Many of the patients that we work with have had traumatic experiences with their disabilities and diseases. We have the upmost compassion for these incredible people, and offer a lifetime of support and assistance for any of their service dog needs. The dogs that we are currently able to provide include but are in no way limited to:
Diabetic Alert Dogs
Seizure Response Dogs
Psychiatric Service Dogs
Hearing Dogs for the Deaf
TheraPets (Facility Dogs)
(Our own or workplace orientated)
Multipurpose Assistance Dogs
(Includes but not limited to a variety of disabilities. E.g. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome / Aspergers / ADHD / Mobility impairments / Alzheimer’s / Cerebral Palsy)
Lucy Breytenbach (Director/Founder):
“Animals are my passion and my life, and I truly believe that dogs are one of Gods special gifts to us. It is known that dogs have the capability to comfort and protect people and that they are truly “man’s best friend”. Dogs will naturally console people, improve mental health and ultimately give unconditional love. Pets have been used as therapy for years, the lessons they can teach us are endless. The fact that their incredible sense of smell and ability to learn tasks can be utilized to help people in need, is the cherry on top of the cake! I don’t know about you, but I am beyond excited to see how they can continue to help us.
I believe that the option to have a medical service dog should be extended to everybody who needs it in SA and if we can make it as affordable as possible then we can help more people.”
Our training takes place at our facility in Cape Town, as well as out and about in local public spaces. This is so that we build confident reliable dogs who can work in any environment that they are placed in. We are able to place dogs across the country as long as families are able to attend an initial meeting or facilitate a video interview (to discuss needs and lifestyle so that we can match the perfect dog to their team), and spend 2 weeks at our facility upon completion of their service dog. This 2 week full time workshop will enable applicants to learn what is expected of them, and how to handle their service dog when they get home.
We carry out a graduation ceremony for the dogs and new owners upon completion of their public access test (near end of workshop). All families will leave with their dog and a starter pack with notes, information and goodies to get them started at home. We suggest that service dog teams join a weekly obedience school in their local area (we will gladly assist in sourcing a quality training school) in order to maintain confidence when working with their dog. We are also available to take questions and troubleshoot via video call should you require it, and you are always welcome to pay us a visit or join our local classes in Cape Town.
All dog handler teams are required to re-test every 12 months after graduating with their service dogs. This is so that we maintain excellent standards and are certain that the dogs are still working to the best of their ability. Families are not required to return to Cape Town for this, although you are welcome to come visit anytime.
Wherever possible, Honey’s Garden uses rescue dogs from a variety of re-homing organisations. We love giving dogs a second chance at life! We test all dogs that have the potential to be a service dog but often turn dogs away who take these tests. The qualities needed to be a service dog are strict and although we do not harp on what breed the dog is, they need to have the correct character and work ethic in order to have a future career as a service dog. As a full time occupation, it is not an easy career path for a dog, so we need to know that they will reliably assist their future families, and enjoy the work that they do. If you have a rescue organisation and would like more information on what qualities we search for in our future superstars, contact us today!
Please help our Non-profit Company continue to grow its meaningful work. Your support will be a life-changing act for a person in need, their family, a dog, and for you. Donate today to leave your paw print!
There are many other ways that you can help us: Become a puppy raiser, a volunteer, an advocate, a supporter, a sample donor (for T1 diabetics) or even just keep an eye on our wish list or follow and share our posts on Facebook!
Honeys Garden is a nonprofit, 2016/387235/08 organization whose mission is to place quality service dogs with people within South Africa who are under privileged, fighting with disabilities or diseases, and veterans who have lost use of limbs or hearing. We also help with animal rescue, and educate the public regarding use of service dogs in public places.