Assistance dogs change lives. They save lives. Their role is crucial to the wellbeing of many of us.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, or you follow me on social media, you’ll know I have a CGI assistance dog (in training, though her exam is on the 12th May!). I talk about her and post photos of her an awful lot. She is the furry love of my life.
Who Are CGI?
Canine Generated Independence (CGI) is a small group of owner trained assistance dogs. CGI is an incorporated not for profit organisation. There are approximately eighty CGI members and dogs within the UK. We’re supported by a team of six trustees. Each member is assigned a qualified dog trainer/animal behaviouralist. They work closely with us to ensure our training is on track and to help us with any advice or support that we need.
Are CGI Dogs Fake Assistance Dogs?
The most widely known assistance dogs are ADUK dogs. A number of times I’ve been asked if my dog is a blind dog… No. She can see perfectly well! Grr. ADUK is a coalition of seven charities that work within the UK providing physically disabled people with trained dogs. The work they do is fantastic. ADUK dogs are very sought after which therefore means they have rather long waiting lists and aren’t always going to be able to meet the demands. ADUK are quite specific as to what disabilities they offer dogs for. This leaves a large void that needs filling.
In the UK, assistance dogs can be trained by anyone. A CGI dog has exactly the same rights as an ADUK dog. There are a number of smaller charities and businesses that exist in this country.
Our dogs are all trained to a high standard and as a member of the IAADP, CGI follows their Public Access Test. We have to fill out a detailed log each week to ensure all training is being carried out correctly. A code of conduct must be agreed upon and adhered to, along with ensuring your dog’s vaccinations, insurance and health checks are kept up to date.
The Logo & What It Means
Our dogs wear the CGI logo as a symbol to reassure service users that dogs wearing their jacket have been trained to high standards and are capable of doing the job required of them. CGI offers its members guidance as to what level of training is needed and to advise members of the laws. Being a member of CGI also creates a community in which to support and encourage each other and not just with their dog training, but also in their everyday lives.
Funding, Support & Why It’s So Important
With a membership fee of just £36 a year, fundraising and sponsorship are critical to enable the continued running of CGI. It’s important for CGI to be able to keep their membership prices affordable in order to enable availability to as many people as possible. Whilst maintaining high standards, every staff member at CGI works on a volunteer basis. No one takes any wages or any money for personal gain. This is assured, furthermore, they are an incorporated non-profit organisation registered with HMRC. They’re totally transparent with their accounts.
This brings me to the giveaway. I’m going to be giving away a hamper packed full of retro sweets delivered straight to the winner. I need for this blog post to be shared as far and wide as you can. It would be brilliant to raise awareness of CGI and the work they do.
?? To be in with a chance of winning, please click the rafflecopter box below ??
Good Luck x