At SCAS, we’ve seen an increase in the number of enquiries specifically asking about mental health ‘assistance dogs’ and the role of dogs in providing emotional support. In the UK at the present time, there are no Assistance Dogs UK accredited assistance dogs charities that train dogs for people with mental health issues where this is the only disability.
Are emotional support dogs recognised as assistance dogs?
Currently, no. Please see this link for further information.
Discussions are currently underway to look at some of the issues around registering assistance dogs. There is a current initiative by the Office of Disability issues (DWP) to bring stakeholders together to create a public access test that would be available for both owner-trainer assistance dog partnerships and those trained by non-ADI/IGDG organisations. For further details and updates, please visit the ADUK website.