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UK to host assistance dog conference


JUNE WILL see a momentous day for the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP). For the first time in their fifteen-year history, the annual conference is to be held outside North America, it will be held in the UK!

The conference will be held on Wednesday June 25th at The Renaissance Hotel, Bath Road, Hounslow, West London just beside Heathrow Airport, a location chosen not only for ease of access to those coming from overseas but also because of the facilities for people with disabilities available there.

IAADP is an international, pan-disability charitable organisation for people partnered with assistance dogs, its' aims include providing support, information and advocacy on behalf of all partnerships.

Wendy Morrell, European Vice President of the organisation said: ‘It's really exciting to be hosting the conference here in the United Kingdom, something I have been aiming for since I joined the organisation a number of years ago. It will give the opportunity for British partnerships to meet and mix with their peers from home and abroad.’

‘We have a really exciting line up of speakers and presenters, many of the partnerships I have met whilst travelling in Europe and from Across the United States & Canada are hoping to come, and hopefully many British partnerships too.’

Rosemary Smart, Chief Executive of The Kennel Club has agreed to open the conference and attend the rest of the day. Here in the U.K., the Kennel Club support assistance dog organisations in a very tangible way via their Charitable Trust, and have shown real commitment to the assistance dog movement over a number of years.

The keynote speaker is Dr Roger Mugford, a psychologist and farmer who introduced the concept of behavioural therapy to the veterinary profession by founding The Animal Behaviour Centre in 1979. He invented the Halti headcollar plus other training and reward based behaviour aids distributed by The Company of Animals, of which he is Managing Director.

Other presentations include varied topics such as, Successor Dogs, Oral Health, an International Air Travel panel discussion, an international access panel discussion, a presentation on assistance dogs in Norway, a session on new equipment and a presentation on ParAgility.

Wendy added: ‘In this, the Year of the Assistance Dog, I am delighted that so many partnerships will have the opportunity to gather. The conference is also attended by trainers, program directors, puppy socialisers and all interested in the assistance dog industry. If you would like to attend:

Further details can be found at www.iaadp.org/conference.html