Peak Bodies

Assistance Dogs International

Assistance Dogs International Inc. is a coalition of members representing organizations and individuals training and placing Assistance Dogs.
Assistance Dogs International (ADI) does not provide or train dogs - it is a peak body for organisations or programs that train dogs. A list of ADI affiliated organisations is available from its Membership Directory. If you want to find an accredited program in your area check this listing.

The objective of Assistance Dogs International, Inc. is to:
  • Establish and promote standards of excellence in all areas of Assistance Dog acquisition, training and partnership.
  • Facilitate communication and learning among member organizations.
  • Educate the public to the benefits of Assistance Dogs and ADI membership.
ADI uses terminology established by the industry that produces Assistance Dogs 
  • The individuals who are partnered with these dogs have adopted this terminology. Terminology used in access laws varies from country to country and state to state. ADI is working to establish consistent terminology internationally.
  • ADI is working to establish consistent access laws with consistent terminology for individuals partnered with Assistance Dogs. 

Assistance Dogs Europe

For 80 years, a number of nonprofit organisations in Europe have been active in training assistance dogs and teaching many professionals and volunteers who are involved in this process. 

Assistance Dogs Europe is an umbrella organisation of the national Assistance Dog organisations across Europe. Assistance Dogs Europe is a chapter of Assistance Dogs International since 2007.

ADEu is actively lobbying in Brussels (together with European Guide Dog Association) to ensure that Assistance Dog Partnerships have full legal access to all public places throughout Europe.

Assistance Dogs UK member organisations at Downing StreetAssistance Dogs UK

Assistance Dogs (UK) is a coalition of assistance dog organisations that encourages the exchange of ideas and best practice amongst its members, raises awareness amongst the general public and promotes behavioural and legislative changes to ensure the freedom, independence and rights of its clients.

On this site you will find information about services offered by AD(UK) members, contact details, FAQ’s about assistance dogs, information that will be useful to service providers and news. Visit:

Assistance Dogs Institute

Bergin University of Canine Studies is the home of The Assistance Dog Institute, offering rewarding degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

Inspired and informed by the breakthrough work of Dr Bonita Bergin, it’s the world’s first and only academic institution dedicated to advanced education and research in the human-canine relationship, canine-related business and leading edge assistance dog training and partnerships.

Bergin University is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to award associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees & master's degrees. Its mission is to advance the human-canine partnership: 
  • through research and education 
  • offering high quality instruction in human and canine studies  
  • providing students scholarly, vocational or specialist studies 
The Bergin University is also accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI Inc.) and CHEA.

Canadian Foundation for Animal Supported Services 

CFASS vision is to be the philanthropic leader that supports the innovation, coordination, and integration of Animal-Assisted Support Services within Canada's health-care, social services and justice sectors.

Its mission is to ensure the sustainability, credibility, and availability of Animal Assisted Support Services by supporting related charities and those they serve. Its goals are to:

1. Unite Animal Assisted Support Services stakeholders to identify core values and common priorities to stimulate collaborative action in the spirit of cooperation and inclusiveness.
2. Inspire a consistent level of quality, safety, and satisfaction of those served.

Delta Society® is becoming Pet Partners®
‘Improving Health though therapy, service and companion animals’

Each year one million lives across America are touched by the comfort and healing of a therapy animal visit and over 72 million families experience health benefits by interacting with their pets - benefits Delta Society helped establish and continues to promote.

Service animals are life-changing partners, enabling people with disabilities to live more freely and independently. Therapy animals partner with their human companions to bring comfort and healing to those in need. Companion animals are our exercise partners, play partners, relaxation partners and snuggle partners. They partner with us to keep our blood pressure low, reduce stress, decrease loneliness, make us laugh, and enrich our lives.

In early 2012 Delta Society will begin to call itself Pet Partners and will implement a new brand strategy. 

The change will help the organization achieve greater public awareness and help more people live happier, healthier lives through positive connections with therapy, companion and service animalsThe new name Pet Partners reflects a new evolution in the role pets play in our lives.

International Association of Assistance Dogs Partners

International Association of Assistance Dog Partners is a non-profit, cross-disability organization representing people partnered with guide, hearing and service dogs.

Photo of Ed and his wife Toni with Guide Dogs Latrell and KeeblerTribute to Ed Eames - as Co-Founder and President of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners, Ed Eames left a lasting legacy after his death in 2009. Created by Ed and his wife Toni, the organization provides outreach, education and support for people with disabilities and assistance dogs. 

Ed and Toni co-authored this award-winning video, “Partners in Independence.” Together, they won writing awards for their columns in Dog World and Off Lead magazines. These advocates lectured at veterinary schools to teach students about the unique medical needs of assistance dogs. In celebration of Ed’s life and all that he contributed, this section is dedicated to him.

Intern Assoc of Human-Animal Organisations

The International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) was founded in 1990 to gather together national associations and related organizations interested in advancing the understanding and appreciation of the link between animals and humans.

IAHAIO’s main role is to provide a co-ordinating structure between all member countries. As worldwide interest and support for this young science increases, IAHAIO's role as a communication link is essential to convey latest research findings and encourage further program development.

International Guide Dog Federation

International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) was formed in 1989, following meetings over several years of Guide Dog organisations around the World.
The IGDF is comprised of approx 80 member schools, whose purpose is to serve people who are blind or vision impaired around the world, by training and providing Guide Dogs. 

Membership of the IGDF enables Guide Dog organisations around the world to join a community dedicated to serving people with vision impairment.  

IGDF facilitates a sharing of knowledge, experience, highest quality standards, methodologies and help for new or existing schools wanting to improve the quality of their operations.  All of this is focused on improving the safe independent mobility of blind and vision impaired people throughout the world.

National Association for Search & Rescue 

National Association for Search and Rescue, Inc. (NASAR) is a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing professional, literary, and scientific knowledge in fields related to search and rescue, including search and rescue dogs. 
NASAR is comprised of thousands of paid and non-paid professionals interested in all aspects of search and rescue - the humanitarian cause of saving lives - throughout the United States and around the world. 

Response to persons in distress has long been an honorable, charitable tradition and the professionals in search and rescue have carried on this tradition of helping others by dedicating time, information, skills, equipment and funding to the relief of suffering.

NASAR's primary mission is to develop and provide professional training and certification programs for your search & rescue community.

Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs

In 1989, Ferruccio Pilenga opened a School for Life-Guard Dogs. Pilenga, together with his inseparable Terranova named MAS (the only dog in Italy with a SICS Operative Water Rescue Certificate recognised by Switzerland, France and Italy Port Authorities and Coast Guards). 

Some breeds of dogs have a built-in instinct to recue people. The best known is the Newfoundland (i.e. Terranova) others are the Labrador and Retriever. 

Newfoundland dogs excel at water rescue / life saving due to their muscular build, thick double coat, webbed feet and innate swimming abilities.

Italian School of Rescue Dogs is the only institution in Europe to organise annual classes to train water rescue dogs in sea rescue by boats and helicopters. They collaborate closely with Italian Heli-Rescue Teams - Air Rescue, Airforce, Police, Customs, Firemen and Civil Defence.

Psychiatric Service Dog Society

The PSDS is a nonprofit organisation dedicated responsible Psychiatric Service Dog education, advocacy, research and training facilitation. 

They provide information for people disabled by severe mental illness, who wish to train a service dog to assist with the management of symptoms. They do not provide or train dogs for individuals. PSDS' mission is to:

- Educate mental health consumers, providers, and the general public about Psychiatric Service Dogs

- Empower consumers with Psychiatric Service Dogs to advocate on their own behalf
- Advocate for the legal rights of Psychiatric Service Dog handlers
- Help ‘gatekeepers of public access’ understand their obligations under the law
- Partner with other mental health organizations in advocating for rights 

- Document efficacy of Psychiatric Service Dog partnerships
- Understand how Psychiatric Service Dogs are being used and by whom
- Identify Psychiatric Service Dog teams 'best practices'
- Establish criteria for prospective Psychiatric Service Dog handlers
- Identify training strategies that work well with mental health consumer populations
- Identify barriers to Psychiatric Service Dog team success

Train & Facilitate
- Assist professional dog trainers in learning how to train a Psychiatric Service Dog
- Develop a nationwide resource of qualified Psychiatric Service Dog trainers
- Connect mental health consumers to a Psychiatric Service Dog trainer in their area
- Connect Psychiatric Service Dog Consumers with each other for peer support

Samsung Therapy Dog Centre

Samsung has a strong corporate social responsibility to the national and international communities’ it operates in. Its work with animal companionship, assistance and welfare programs are one of the ways it gives back to those communities and is the only program of its kind funded by a multinational corporation. Samsung believes the relationship between people and their pets helps make the world a less stressful, more caring place. 

Its programs, include an employee dog adoption centreguide dog schoolworking dog breeding centre; detector dog and rescue dog operation. For more information about Samsung's dog-related programmes, visit

Samsung Canine Centre for Companionship (SCCC)
Samsung operates a kennel facility where dogs are carefully bred and then adopted by selected Samsung employees who provide loving homes for life.

Samsung Assistance Dogs Services 
Samsung's Assistance Dog Centre trains dogs that provide assistance to people with hearing impairments and those undergoing therapy. The Centre is a member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and International Association for Human Animal Interaction Organisations (AHAIO).

Samsung Guide Dog for the Blind
Samsung also operates and finances Korea's first Guide Dog School for the Blind, which since 1993 has helped people with visual impairment regain independence and become more active members of society and is a member of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF).

Samsung Working Dog Breeding Centre
Samsung Working Dog Breeding Centre modelled after top Guide Dog and breeding centres around the world to increase the ratio of successful breeding hone and develop quality scientific procedures and techniques share gene pools from various organisations around the world. The centre breeds German Shepherds for rescue work, Labrador and Golden Retrievers for guide dog work, and English Springer Spaniels for detector work.

Samsung Detector Dog Operations
Samsung Detector Dog & Rescue Dog Centre works closely with the Korean military, police and emergency services to train dogs to detect narcotics and explosives. Once trained Samsung loans & donates dogs to organisations and provides ongoing training assistance.

Search & Rescue Centre
Samsung Search & Rescue Dog Centre (SSRDC) is one of the world's leading search & rescue associations. SSRDC has taken part in a number of international rescue efforts, including the 1999 earthquakes in Taiwan and Turkey. The centre works closely with the UK's Search & Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) for the latest training methods and techniques.

During a 24 month training period, dogs are taught obedience, social skills, search & rescue techniques, debris and wilderness searching for live and dead bodies and tracking. Trained dogs can assist in national emergencies such as building collapses, avalanches and airplane accidents.

For more information about Samsung's dog-related programs visit

Therapy Dogs International

Therapy Dogs International is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dog teams are needed.

To belong to Therapy Dogs International (TDI®all dogs must be tested and evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator. A dog must be a minimum of one year of age and be of sound temperament. 

 Each dog must pass a temperament evaluation for suitability to become a Therapy Dog, which includes the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC). 

The test will also include the evaluation of the dog’s behaviour around people with the use of some type of service equipment such as wheelchairs or crutches.


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