The only thing we love more than a dog is an assistance dog. Service dogs are a fundamental part of helping people with disabilities.
Soon, we’ll have all the more reason to celebrate these amazing service animals, during International Assistance Dog Week (IADW) — a week dedicated to recognizing all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations. This year, these amazing animals will be celebrated August 1 – August 7, 2021.
The need for these amazing animals has never been greater. According to the CDC, 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability and 26 percent (one in 4) of adults in the United States have some type of disability. Additionally, one in four American women lives with a disability.
Goals of IADW
- 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.
- In 2019, there were nearly 200,000 emotional support animals in the US.
- Over 65,000 emotional support animals were registered between 1995–2015.
- 50%–70% of dogs don’t make it through service training.
- Training a psychiatric service dog takes one to two years.
- Puppies spend 14–18 months with their trainers.
Want to learn more about service dogs? Working Like Dogs is a resource for people with working and service dogs, or who would just like to learn more about them.
Looking for ways to observe International Assistance Dog Week? Here’s where you can start:
1. Participate in your local event – we recommend doing a Facebook search for “international assistance dog week” in your area and seeing what opportunities may be available nearby. If no events are scheduled near you, consider hosting your own. Make it a community-funded project, where proceeds go to animal welfare.
2. Volunteer for animal welfare – use the week to help out animals in need. Consider volunteering at your local animal shelter, helping with an adoption drive, or even aiding in a rescue, if you come across an animal in distress.
Treat a service dog in your life
Here’s where Remy’s Kitchen comes in – we want to help reward these goodest boys and girls! If you know a service dog, consider gifting them Remy’s Kitchen goodies. Not only will it make their stomachs happy, but we suspect their owners will be touched by the gesture.