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Rights of assistance dogs and clients

The legislation of assistance dogs has several basic aspects:

  • training funding,
  • food and veterinary allowances,
  • rights of access to public spaces,
  • use of guides and muzzles,
  • payment of local fees.
  • Training financing

Currently, there is a big difference between training guide dogs and other types of helpers. Dog training for the blind is funded by the state, which contributes up to 210,000 to each trained dog, because these dogs are recognized as a medical device.

The training of assistants for the disabled or signal dogs is not funded from the same means as medical aids. Training organizations must therefore pay for their activities with sponsorships, grants or profits from profitable activities.

Nutrition and veterinary allowances

There are also differences between guide dogs and other types of four-legged assistants when it comes to dog nutrition and care allowances. According to Decree No. 182/1991 Coll. municipal authorities can contribute up to CZK 800 per month for dogs for the blind, this provision does not apply to other dogs.

Rights of access to public spaces

Unlike the financing of the costs of training and care for dogs, there is full equality between guide and assistance dogs for the disabled in terms of access to public spaces. Decree 137/2004 guarantees assistance dogs access to restaurants and canteens, barbershops, hairdressers, manicures, pedicures, cosmetic, massage, regeneration and reconditioning services.

Entry into other public spaces, such as offices, schools, medical facilities and the like, but no legal regulation guarantees either guide or other assistance dogs. Entry and movement in these areas is then in agreement with the representatives of the organization. The affected person with the dog can thus be practically expelled from the authorities, schools and other facilities.

Using guides and muzzles

The 2004 amendment to the Act on the Protection of Animals against Cruelty, which introduced the obligation to use a leash or muzzle when moving dogs in public places, entrusted the power to adjust these rules to individual municipalities. It therefore depends on the specific municipalities and cities whether to grant assistance dogs an exemption from this obligation.

Payment of local fees

While in previous cases we may have doubts about the perfection of the legislation, the Local Fees Act has included a provision since 2003 that exempt blind, helpless and severely disabled people who have been granted 3rd degree special benefits under the Social Welfare Act. security, as well as persons training dogs intended to accompany such persons.