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Brentwood Borough Council

Press Release

New signs to welcome assistance dogs at the Town Hal

Date: 30 January 2020

Brentwood Borough Council has installed new signs to welcome assistance dogs as part of the newly refurbished Town Hall.

Following an initiative by Cllr Karen Chilvers, together with the advice of the charity Assistance Dogs UK, new signs have been set up to ensure that residents know their Assistance Dogs are welcome at the Town Hall.

Cllr Karen Chlivers said; “I am delighted that the council has taken the steps to recognise the importance of assistance dogs in this way. Many people face all sorts of health challenges for which a specially trained Assistance Dog offers great comfort and support. These animals know what is expected of them and Assistance Dogs UK estimates around 7,000 disabled people in this country rely on an accredited assistance dog to help with practical tasks, in addition to the emotional benefits and greater independence that such dogs bring.”

Brentwood Borough Council Leader, Cllr Chris Hossack adds, “I fully support this initiative and the work Cllr Chilvers has done to highlight the work of Assistance Dogs and we now have in place signs that recognise these dogs unique standing. My own dogs are of course part of the family, and our pets, but I am fortunate in that I do not have to rely on them to help me with my everyday life. Those facing such challenges need our full support and one part of that is to recognise the importance of Assistance Dogs.”

Ends

Details:

***  Assistance Dogs UK is a voluntary coalition of eight assistance dog charities that aims to promote the freedom, independence and rights of people with assistance dogs across the UK.

*** All ADUK member charities have successfully passed an extensive accreditation process that covers all aspects of their training and administration – ensuring they meet the exacting standards set by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and the International Guide Dogs Federation (IGDF).

*** As ADUK organisations have been accredited by ADI and IGDF, service users and members of the public can be assured that they meet very high standards in terms of dog and user training and dog welfare.

*** Guide dog and assistance dog owners have important rights under the Equality Act 2010 (EA). The EA provides for people with disabilities to have the same right to services supplied by shops, banks, hotels, libraries, pubs, taxis and restaurants as everyone else.

*** Under Part 12 of the EA it is also illegal for assistance dog owners to be refused access to a taxi or mincab with their assistance dog. Medical exemptions are available if drivers have a certificate from their GPs.

*** Guide dog and assistance dog owners have important rights under the Equality Act 2010. The EA provides for disabled people to have the same right to services supplied by shops, banks, hotels, libraries, pubs, taxis and restaurants as everyone else.

Accredited assistance dogs:

  • have been trained to behave well in public
  • have safe and reliable temperaments
  • are healthy and do not constitute a hygiene risk observed over a considerable period of time
  • are fully toilet-trained
  • are regularly checked by experienced veterinarians
  • are accompanied by a disabled handler who has been trained how to work alongside their assistance dog
  • are recognisable by the harness, organisation specific coat, id tag on their collar or lead slip they wear

This website will give you information about the processes that accredited organisations go through in training their dogs. We do not have any specific knowledge about processes used by assistance dogs not trained by accredited programmes. https://www.assistancedogs.org.uk/

Opposition Leaders

Cllr Barry Aspinell, Leader of Brentwood Liberal Democratsbarry.aspinell@brentwood.gov.uk07958 623233

Cllr Gareth Barrett, Leader of Brentwood Labour Group Gareth.barrett@brentwood.gov.uk 07799 117301

For more details please contact

Lorne Spicer, Communications Manager 07415 657557

Media Contact: Lorne Spicer

Tel: 01277 312630

Email: lorne.spicer@brentwood.gov.uk