Local Government Minister Rodney Hide today announced the addition of Perfect Partners Dogs Trust and Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust to the list of organisations authorised to certify disability assist dogs.
"A disability assist dog is trained to help people with disabilities and may enter and stay in places where other dogs are not allowed to go," Mr Hide said.
"Perfect Partners Dogs Trust selects and trains disability assist dogs for people with medically diagnosed disabilities including autism, diabetes, neurological disabilities, psychiatric disabilities and seizure disorders.
"Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust trains dogs to help people with autism, particularly children.
"The other organisations listed in the Dog Control Act 1996 do not cover these types of disabilities.
"The addition of Perfect Partners Dogs Trust and Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust to the list of authorised organisations will allow more disabled people to have disability assist dogs. "I am satisfied that both organisations have well established training practices and resources to support their clients. They have demonstrated that they meet the criteria set out in the guidelines for organisations to certify disability assist dogs," Mr Hide said.
The decision to authorise these organisations to certify disability assist dogs was made in consultation with the Minister for Disability Issues and the Office for Disability Issues.
"I am pleased that there are now more options for disabled people, supported by assist dogs, to move more freely in the community," said Minister for Disability Issues Tariana Turia.
Dogs trained by the authorised organisations are funded by the generosity of individuals, businesses, and corporations.
For more information on Perfect Partners Dogs Trust go to www.ppadt.org.nz and Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust go to www.assistancedogstrust.org.nz
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