Laura from Stockport runs Wild Spirit Canines, an award-winning community interest company training assistance dogs for clients with physical and learning disabilities.

Laura’s life took a challenging turn at 19 when she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and later autism. These conditions made daily tasks difficult and caused significant physical and mental pain, derailing her dream of attending veterinary college. However, her life transformed when she trained her golden retriever puppy, Summer, to be her assistance dog.

“With my animal knowledge and online research, I trained Summer to help with my conditions,” Laura explains. “Training Summer was rewarding and beneficial, inspiring me to help others in similar situations.”
During lockdown, Laura completed her studies in Biology and Animal Behaviour, becoming a qualified dog trainer. Despite her qualifications, she struggled to find work until she discovered The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. Although initially doubtful about her age, health, and business skills, the programme provided the answers she needed.

In 2021, Laura founded Wild Spirit Canines, training assistance dogs during the pandemic. With support from her Prince’s Trust mentor, partner Noah, and Summer, Laura’s business thrived. She has trained over 600 assistance dogs across the UK and expanded her services to include grooming and dog boarding after relocating to Wales. Laura employs three staff members, all of whom have assistance dogs and disabilities.

“Having a support dog can change lives; I know that firsthand,” Laura states. “Clients now pursue education, work, and dreams because of their assistance dogs. Raising awareness of their impact is vital to me.”
Laura credits Summer for enabling her to reclaim her life and The Prince’s Trust for helping turn her passion into reality. “I’m really thankful,” she says.

Laura's Story