Assistance Dogs International

Assistance Dogs International, Inc. is a coalition of not for profit organizations that train and place Assistance Dogs. The purpose of ADI is to improve the areas of training, placement, and utilization of Assistance Dogs as well as staff and volunteer education. Members of ADI meet annually to share ideas, attend seminars, and conduct business regarding such things as educating the public about Assistance Dogs, and the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with Assistance Dogs, setting standards and establishing guidelines and ethics for the training of these dogs, and improving the utilization and bonding of each team. ADI also publishes a newsletter for members and subscribers. If you are a not for profit provider of Assistance Dogs, ADI membership will be a benefit to you, and you can be a part of ADI’s mission.

ADI’S Mission

The objective of Assistance Dogs International, Inc. is to:

  • Establish and promote standards of excellence in all areas of Assistance Dog acquisition, training and partnership
  • Facilitate communication and learning among member organizations,
  • Educate the public to the benefits of Assistance Dogs and ADI membership


ADI uses terminology established by the industry that produces Assistance Dogs. The individuals who are partnered with these dogs have adopted this terminology. Terminology used in access laws varies from State to State and in the Americans With Disability Act. ADI is working to establish consistent terminology internationally.

Assistance Dogs

Assistance Dogs not only provide a specific service to their handlers, but also greatly enhance their lives with a new sense of freedom and independence.

The three types of Assistance Dogs are GUIDE DOGS for the blind and the visually impaired , HEARING DOGS for the deaf and hard of hearing and SERVICE DOGS for people with disabilities other than those related to vision or hearing . Although Guide Dogs for the blind have been trained formally for over seventy years, the training of dogs to assist deaf and physically disabled people is a much more recent concept. There are organizations throughout the world that are training these wonderful dogs.

Assistance Dogs can come from breeding programs, with volunteer puppy raisers caring for them until they are old enough to start formal training, or in many cases the dogs are rescued from animal shelters.

Disabled individuals with Assistance Dogs are guaranteed legal access to all places of public accommodation, modes of public transportation, recreation and other places to which the general public is invited.

Access Laws

ADI is working to establish consistent access laws with consistent terminology for individuals partnered with Assistance Dogs. Toward this effort, ADI has created a MODEL LAW, to be presented to State Legislatures.

Assistance Dogs of the West - Contact Us
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 31027 Santa Fe, NM 87594
Physical Address: 730 St. Michaels Dr Santa Fe, NM 87505
505.986.9748  fax: 505.989.9640  toll free: 866.986.3489
EMAIL ADW     Assistance Dogs of the West is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization