Sunday, May 27, 2012

BC Updating the "Guide Dog Act"

Here is a link to the proposal for the updated Guide Dog Act (legislation).

If the proposal is accepted, 'the Act' will now formally include specific kinds of assistance dogs, some types of therapy dogs (for Residential Tenancy Act-renters would be able to have a certified therapy dog) and retired guide dogs (as well as traditional guide dogs). Yay!

What it does not mention (so far) are diabetic dogs, psychiatric dogs and owner-trained dogs.

If you want to be able to certify your owner-trained dog, you'll want to get involved and at the very least, write a letter to the 
Solicitor General's office in BC 
and let them know how much your dog assists you in living life.

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Corporate Policy and Planning Office
PO Box 9283, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9J7

Phone: 250 387-0306
Fax: 250 387-2631

There are long wait lists for program dogs and not all programs will train a dog for all disabilities. (Psychiatric for one). Sadly, if this goes through as is, you will not be able to certify your owner-trained dog, no matter how much s/he helps you. At present there are only three organizations who do certify owner-trained dogs in BC. Get involved so you have at least these.