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Assistance Dogs new digital ID cards

Assistance Dogs Australia launches digital ID in an effort to eliminate fraudulent assistance dogs

With fake Assistance Dogs accreditations and public access licences on the rise, Assistance Dogs Australia, in partnership with Assistance Dogs International, has developed a digital ID card for their accredited Assistance Dogs and handlers, to allow for quick and easy identification and verified accreditation.

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

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

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

“Assistance dog fraud is not new, but only in a few jurisdictions is it illegal to purport a dog as a bona-fide assistance dog when it is not. As a result of this we have seen an increasing number of fraudulent identification documents circulating over the years and are hopeful that this new digital ID card is one step closer to us putting a stop to that. 

Our Assistance Dogs undergo routine public access training to maintain their license and it is paramount that those with fraudulent accreditation don’t jeopardise access for those who need it the most.”

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

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

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

In addition to Australia the digital ID card is currently being trialled by America’s VetDogs and Guide Dogs for the Blind Foundation and in Europe by Vita Assistance Dogs in Germany with the goal of rolling it out to 135 global accredited members of ADI by the end of the year. It is receiving positive reviews from clients in addition to airlines and other service providers.

To learn more about Assistance Dogs Australia, visit

MEDIA RELEASE, August 2021

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