About / Our Policies / Assistance Dogs Policy

Assistance Dogs Policy

Introduction

Assistance dog owners have important rights under the Equality Act (2010). As a service provider, we have a responsibility to make reasonable adjustments for assistance dog owners and must consider making changes to physical features that make it unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use our services. For further information please visit www.assistancedogs.org.uk/law.

We will always seek ways to accommodate assistance dogs in Recovery Centres and on events but the owner must be responsible for their dog at all times.

Aim

  1. To ensure we adhere to current legislation with respect to assistance dogs and make reasonable adjustments as appropriate.

  2. To provide guidance on accredited and non-accredited assistance dog training organisations, and the evidence we require to enable assistance dogs to attend our activities and/or sites.

  3. To inform our staff of the responsibilities of the assistance dog owner.

Scope

This policy is applicable to beneficiaries with assistance dogs who are attending H4H organised activities whether within our Recovery Centres or offsite. Events organised by third parties on behalf of H4H will have their own policy and are therefore out of scope.

Pets of any nature are not included in this policy and therefore it is not permitted for a beneficiary to bring a pet to a Recovery Centre or to an H4H recovery activity. This includes pets referred to as ‘companions’ or ‘therapy pets’.

Policy

The information below outlines our approach to assistance dogs at Help for Heroes:

We recognise Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK), a coalition of eight assistance dogs charities, which provides a kite-mark of excellence in assistance dogs training. They define assistance dogs as a dog that “…should support an individual’s legitimate disability or condition by means of a defined task”. The eight accredited ADUK member organisations are:

  • Canine Partners

  • Dog Assistance in Disability

  • Dogs for Good

  • Guide Dogs

  • Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

  • Medical Detection Dogs

  • Support Dogs

  • The Seeing Dogs Alliance 

Help for Heroes recognises that assistance dogs may be trained outside of the eight ADUK member organisations. Where a dog is not from one of the eight ADUK accredited organisations ADUK should be approached, in the first instance, to offer guidance on the credibility of the training organisation. Agreement to accept a dog from a non-ADUK member organisation must be made by the respective Recovery Manager.

Where a dog is in training and/or from a non-accredited training organisation we must contact the training organisation in advance to confirm the suitability of the dog to attend the proposed activity/environment.

Roles and Responsibilites

Dog Owners:

Assistance dogs are highly trained, and their owners will have had specialised training also.

  • The assistance dog is the owner’s responsibility at all times.

  • When an individual wishes to bring their assistance dog to an H4H activity/site then they must inform H4H in advance and present the information as outlined in Appendix 1.

  • If a dog misbehaves then the owner must be notified, and the behaviour may be recorded on the owners Eclipse record.

  • Repeated poor behaviour may result in the dogs training organisation being contacted as there may be a requirement for further training.

Staff:

  • Help for Heroes staff have a responsibility to ensure that reasonable adjustments are undertaken appropriately where possible, and to make suitable provision to support accessibility to H4H activities both within and outside of H4H sites however they are not responsible for the care of the animal

  • Staff also have a responsibility to adopt good health and safety practice and to report any concerns that they may have regarding the assistance dog and/or its owner.

Governance

A record of dogs and owners will be held to ensure adherence to this policy and to record evidence of the documentation detailed in Appendix 1.

Related documents

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP).

Appendix 1

Documentation required from the owner to admit an assistance dog to a Help for Heroes activity or venue:

  1. Registration document or book from dog assistance training organisation

  2. Insurance

  3. Evidence of vaccinations

  4. For overseas activities/events - pet passport and microchip details