Assistance dog charity visits De Montfort University to raise awareness of its work

By Michal Okonski

A Leicester-based charity visited De Montfort University on Tuesday(NOV15) to raise awareness of mental health assistance dogs.

RAD Assistance Dogs specialises in training dogs in mental health assistance with specialised
commands that help people struggling with a range of mental and physical disabilities.

“I like to call them lifesavers with fur,” Rachael Harris, operations manager at RAD, said.

“Some of our members wouldn’t leave the house without their dog,” she added.

RAD was founded ten years ago but gained extra popularity during the Covid lockdown
period and now has service users across the UK, training its dogs with them through
online Zoom call.

The charity is extremely proud of the work it does with owners’ own canines, who can be
any size or breed.

One of the dogs that students got to meet at the Students’ Union visit was Daisy-Mae, who is the
only known assistance Japanese Chin in the UK.

“Daisy-Mae’s size doesn’t stop her from being one of the most amazing assistance dogs we
have!,” said Rachel.

“She recently received a commendation from the PDSA after saving her owner from taking
her own life. Only 150 animals in the country have received that.”

Each dog’s training regime can be highly personalised to its owners needs, such as helping
them take their clothes off or performing deep pressure therapy to reduce the impact of a
panic attack.

“Daisy-Mae recently sensed that her owner’s oxygen levels got too low and tapped her in
the middle of the night to get her oxygen mask on. That saved her life. She’s incredible,”
Rachael Harris noted.

RAD’s details, and how to get involved, can be found at and
training your own dog through its sessions costs just £2 a month.