A DISABLED man from Worcestershire has been successful in his plight to get his dog recognised as a carer by Worcestershire County Council. This isn’t the first time a dog supplied by Canine Partners, a charity that provides highly trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities, has been recognised as a carer by a local council.
David Beard is a double above knee amputee who has not been apart from Inca since they were partnered in 2000. Inca understands and responds to some 100 commands including taking the washing out of the machine and loading it into a basket; opening and closing doors; returning dropped items; getting shopping items David can’t reach as well as various emergency procedures.
Jonathan Monk, Worcestershire County Council’s Direct Payments Officer, said: "The purpose of Direct Payments is to give people choice and control over the type of social care services they receive. Instead of us choosing what service they should use, we provide them with the payments directly and they chose what service they want to spend it on.
"In Mr Beard's case, this is the first time we have ever recognised a dog as being a carer. However, I understand that Inca enables Mr Beard to maintain his independence and quality of life and our Direct Payments scheme will ensure this support continues."
David Beard added: "Inca is there for me 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and I could not be without him. It has been a long journey to be awarded direct payments, as previously I had very limited income and had to use part of my Disability Living Allowance to cover the costs of looking after Inca. Now that I am eligible for the scheme it has made a huge difference to me financially."