General FAQs

 

I'm looking to get a service dog. How can I get a dog from Assistance Dogs International?
Can you give me the names of your member programs?
What is the difference between a for-profit and a non-profit assistance dog program?
Can I donate my dog to Assistance Dogs International?
Does Assistance Dogs International do demonstrations?
Do you accept donations?
Do you have a glossary to explain terms used on the website?
What is the difference between an assistance dog and a service dog?
What is the difference between an assistance dog, emotional support dog, and therapy dog?

 

I'm looking to get a service dog. How can I get a dog from Assistance Dogs International?

Assistance Dogs International does not provide or train dogs. ADI is an organization made up of nonprofit programs that train and place assistance dogs. Click on program search to locate a program in your area that may be able to train a dog for you.


Can you give me the names of your member programs?

A list of ADI accredited programs is available by clicking on program search. Please contact each program individually to get more information.

 
What is the difference between a for-profit and a non-profit assistance dog program?

The key thing that defines the status of a program is the way that the program accounts for the money it generates. Non-profit programs generate their income in many different ways, but they all have an unpaid Board of Directors, who oversee the governance of the program. A non-profit program has an ultimate responsibility to ensure the income is applied to meet the stated aims of the program in an honest and accountable way. For-profit programs can operate without an accountable Board of Directors and/or the income is paid to shareholders and/or owners of the for-profit business.

 
Can I donate my dog to Assistance Dogs International?

Assistance Dogs International is a coalition of programs that provide assistance dogs to people with disabilities, not a program that provides dogs. Some ADI member programs accept donated dogs, so please contact an accredited program in your area for their policies regarding accepting donated dogs.

 

Does Assistance Dogs International do demonstrations?

Assistance Dogs International has a very small staff, so we are unable to travel around the world conducting presentations or demonstrations. However, many of our ADI accredited programs conduct demonstrations in their community. If you would like an assistance dog demonstration, please search for a program in your area. Most programs are happy to schedule demonstrations of their assistance dogs in training for your group or club.

 

Do you accept donations?

Yes, and all donations are tax-deductible. Assistance Dogs International is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization registered in the United States. You may also wish to donate to an ADI accredited program in your community.  

 

Do you have a glossary to explain terms used on the website?

Yes. Please view our glossary.

 

What is the difference between an assistance dog and a service dog?

An assistance dog is a generic term for a guide, hearing, or service dog that is specifically trained to perform at least one task to mitigate the effects of an individual’s disability. The presence of a dog for protection, personal defense, or comfort does not qualify a dog as an assistance dog. A service dog is a dog is trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities other than blindness or deafness.

 

What is the difference between an assistance dog, emotional support dog, and therapy dog?

An assistance dog is a generic term for a guide, hearing, or service dog that is specifically trained to perform at least one task to mitigate the effects of an individual’s disability. The presence of a dog for protection, personal defense, or comfort does not qualify a dog as an assistance dog. Assistance dogs are covered under the American Disability Act (ADA) and do have public access rights when working with their disabled handler. 

An emotional support dog is a dog that provides only emotional support to an individual with a mental health condition or emotional disorder. An emotional support dog is a companion animal that by the presence of the dog provides comfort to an individual with a disability. The emotional support dog does not perform tasks to mitigate a person’s disability. Emotional support dogs are not covered under the American Disability Act (ADA) and therefore do not have the same public access rights as an assistance dog and its handler.

A therapy dog is trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to many people in many different settings. Therapy dogs are not covered under the American Disability Act (ADA), and therefore do not have the same public access rights as an assistance dog and its handler.