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Service Animals

Access for Guide, Service, Support and Therapy Dogs. These are NOT pets or petting animals, BUT highly specialized and professionally trained assistance animals which provide assistance to persons with, but not limited to, vision and hearing and intellectual impairments. These registered and certified assistance animals are to be allowed access to all areas within the built-environment, outdoor and transport sectors when accompanied by their respective owners / handlers.

The following are only a few of the key areas which may present some access issues.

  • Access to buildings / outdoor areas
  • Animal refuge area / drinking bowl
  • Signage or information to the refuge area
  • Animal abuse / discrimination / lack of awareness

If you believe that you have been discriminated against due to Denied Access For Guide, Service And Therapy Dogs, please feel free to fill out and submit our Disability Discrimination Complaint (DDC) Form, which we will review, then take to the relevant authororities.

You can also read the information and follow the links below the form to find out more about Guide, Service And Therapy Dogs and the companies and organisations that can assist you in South Africa.

Guide, Service And Therapy Dogs

"Service animals are defined as animals that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities." There are a variety of different types of animals that can be used as Service Animals, but he only Service Animal that is currently used in South Africa, is a "Service Dog."  Service Dogs come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. Mixed breed dogs are often used and are also very popular. These Service Dogs will need to be trained to learn how to help you the handler, and you will also need to train with the dog to learn how to communicate with the dog.

There are a number of different types of Service Dogs that can be trained in South Africa. This includes dogs that can assist persons with:

  • Mobility Impairments - These are known as Service Dogs & can also help persons in wheelchairs & also those with Diabetes.
  • Visual impairments - These are known as Guide Dogs & are used to guide people who are blind.
  • Hearing Impairments - These are known as Hearing Dogs & they can alert people who are Deaf.
  • Intellectual Impairments - These are known as Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, or Autism Support Dogs, these dogs can help persons with Autism or mental illnesses such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, etc.

Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task that a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability. There are various organizations, companies & individuals, who can help train your Service Dog, some of these places also breed & supply these dogs to be trained & can assist you to train them, while other organizations, companies or individuals, can only train or assist you to train your Service Dog, i.e. they do not supply the dogs.

Click on the links below to find out more about these companies, organizations or individuals that train or supply these different types of Service Dogs in South Africa which help persons with different types of disabilities or Impairments.