Who are we?
We are a group of disabled people who have come together, agreeing to a high standard of assistance dog training. All our dogs are assessed and monitored continuously throughout their membership with CGI. All our partnerships receive force free, positive training advice from experienced qualified dog trainers who volunteer their time and expertise.
How was CGI born?
We were born from a need for assistance dogs. Five people with a range of disabilities, both physical and psychiatric, who were unable to find a charity within the UK able to provide them with assistance dogs, primarily because we needed dogs for things they do not provide for, such as mental illness and/or dual trained for mobility and medical alerts. We also found that if we were accepted by one of the existing charities, that we could have a wait of up to 5 years ahead of us. We were aware that there are some businesses training, and in some cases supplying dogs, but we found them mostly very expensive and therefore out of our budget. The only option left was to train our own. Thankfully one of the initial members happened to be a qualified dog trainer. We agreed to come together under one logo and to train our dogs to the high level required by the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP). This mirrored the same standards being used for assistance dogs throughout the world, and we were then able to open our doors and welcome more members to do the same. We started in the winter of 2015 and then launched to the public in March 2016 at Crufts with our initial dogs and handlers.
Helping disabled people to train their own assistance dogs. We will do this by:
Giving them access to qualified capable trainers.
We will educate the public sector about a disabled peoples rights under the Equality Act 2010.
We will commit to animal welfare and train and work only fit healthy dogs.
We will educate all our members about their legal responsibilities as a dog owner and an assistance dog handler.
We will stand together under one logo creating a reputation with service providers to be proud of.
We will regularly assess every dog that is registered with CGI.
Creating a family environment for members to support each other every step of the way.
Being provider members of IAADP
The logo represents the dogs belonging to the founding members, whilst also representing that many different breeds are suitable to train as assistance dogs for a wide range of different disabilities, requiring different tasks from our dogs. Each breed as individual as every person. The colour purple was chosen because it represents the founding members, often invisible, disabilities.
How is CGI managed?
CGI is a non-profit organisation, managed by a board of directors and trustees, all with various skills from dog training to health care, web design to business skills. Our management team have their own disabilities, many with qualified assistance dogs, and others with dogs in training. As a non-profit organisation, every single penny that is raised or donated is used to help support our mission statement and our members. None of our staff (trainers or management team) are paid for the work they do for CGI.