International Assistance Dog Week (IADW) is August 4 – 10, 2013. This pet holiday was created to recognize all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability related limitations.
The goals of IADW are to:
- Recognize and honor assistance dogs
- Raise awareness and educate the public about assistance dogs
- Honor puppy raisers and trainers
- Recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities
The Americans With Disabilities Act guarantees people with disabilities the right to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas open to the general public. Service animal means any assistance dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Remember that an assistance dog is a working dog, and you do not want to do anything to interrupt the dog from performing its tasks.
Here are some tips to follow when meeting a working dog and partner:
- Speak to the person first and not the dog.
- Do not distract the assistance dog with food or greetings.
- Do not touch the assistance dog without permission.
- Do not ask personal questions about the handler’s disability or intrude on his or her privacy.