In case you haven’t heard, it’s now International Assistance Dog Week 2017! This year, the annual event runs from Sunday, August 6 through Saturday, August 12. We figured we’d take the opportunity to pass along a little information about International Assistance Dog Week (IADW).
Please share this article to help spread the word—and awareness about these amazing canine partners who do so much for people with disabilities!
International Assistance Dog Week Mission
IADW began as a way to celebrate the work performed by hearing, guide, and service dogs and the profound impact it has for people with disabilities. Its four primary goals 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 Importance of IADW Goals
The different types of assistance dogs perform a wide variety of tasks for people with a broad range of disabilities. Individual dogs are hand-selected and extensively trained to help people mitigate conditions that interfere with normal daily activities that others take for granted. They afford people with disabilities otherwise impossible levels of independence, as well as provide companionship, completely changing life for their human partners and their loved ones.
Assistance dog raisers, trainers, and programs—and of course the animals themselves—work hard for the benefit of those in need. The assistance dog community itself is well aware of how amazing they all are, but awareness is definitely lacking among the general public.
The professionals and dogs who change lives for people with disabilities deserve widespread recognition. Also, public awareness and education is essential to protecting the rights of individuals partnered with service, guide, and hearing dogs.
More About International Assistance Dog Week
This annual event begins on the first Sunday of every August. It was started by Marcie Davis, author of Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook and host of PetLifeRadio.com’s internet radio show “Working Like Dogs.” She’s lived as a paraplegic for more than 35 years and long benefited from the help and companionship provided by service dogs.
International Assistance Dog Week consists of numerous local events held all around the world, all coordinated to take place during the same seven-day period. For more information, or for promotional materials and ideas to help publicize an event, visit the International Assistance Dog Week website.