With fake Assistance Dogs accreditations and public access licences on therise, Assistance Dogs Australia, in partnership with Assistance DogsInternational, has developed a digital ID card for their accredited AssistanceDogs and handlers, to allow for quick and easy identification and verifiedaccreditation.

The digital ID, which can be stored on all mobile devices, includes both photoID and contact details of the handler as well as their certified assistancedog’s public access licence number, microchip details and accredited trainingorganisation.

Richard Lord, Top Dog at Assistance Dogs Australia and President of AssistanceDogs International, is hopeful the new digital ID will help reduce the numberof fraudulent documents that are seeing companion dogs gain public accesswhich threatens to dilute Assistance Dogs standing for inclusion in thecommunity.

“Our main goal is to make sure our clients have the documentation they need attheir fingertips to ensure their Assistance Dogs can do their job, which is tohelp their handlers live their everyday lives,” says Richard Lord.

“Assistance dog fraud is not new, but only in a few jurisdictions is itillegal to purport a dog as a bona-fide assistance dog when it is not. As aresult of this we have seen an increasing number of fraudulent identificationdocuments circulating over the years and are hopeful that this new digital IDcard is one step closer to us putting a stop to that. Our Assistance Dogsundergo routine public access training to maintain their license and it isparamount that those with fraudulent accreditation don’t jeopardise access forthose who need it the most.”

In addition to fraud reduction, the new digital ID card is also a welcome toolfor its users, many of whom have limited mobility function including renownedAustralian musician Tim McCallum.

“The ID card has been an amazing tool for me. To have our license on my deviceis so much better than carrying a letter or trying to get a card out of mywallet with the limited hand and finger function I have. It’s so easy todisplay and present when needed,” says Tim McCallum, Assistance Dogs AustraliaClient.

With several security protection devices built in which include two-factorauthentication, encrypted cloud storage, automatic ID card expiration, runningclock and current date to prevent screenshot forgery and more the digital IDcard is a safe and secure option for clients.

In addition to Australia the digital ID card is currently being trialled byAmerica’s Vet Dogs and Guide Dogs for the Blind Foundation and in Europe byVita Assistance Dogs in Germany with the goal of rolling it out to 135 globalaccredited members of ADI by the end of the year. It is receiving positivereviews from clients in addition to Airlines and other service providers.

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