With this action, the three entities agree to jointly develop a project to legally regulate the figure of the “intervention dog” and specifically, the activities with this type of dog that are carried out in centers of both public and private entities .
The objective is to present the working document to the competent authorities of the Community of Madrid to enable it to be developed into a Draft Law proposal to begin the respective legislative procedures and that the figure of the intervention dog be regulated in this Community.
From here at the Canis Majoris Foundation, we consider it necessary to contribute and promote the legal regulation of dogs that participate in Animal Assisted Intervention programs (hereinafter IAA). We believe that only in this way is it possible to guarantee the maximum quality of the interventions carried out in this area and contribute to eradicating possible professional negligence and bad practices.
Within the scope of IAA we are currently in the following situation in Spain: in the last ten years, the implementation of this type of program has experienced a significant boom that has not been accompanied by any pertinent legal regulation. Using comparative law, we find that this regulation only exists in other countries such as Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. There is also jurisprudence in this regard in the Valencian Community, through Law 12/2003 of April 10 on assistance dogs for people with disabilities (Annex 1) and Decree 167/2006, of November 3 (Annex 2, which extended its application to dogs that perform IAA).
For this reason, the Foundation created a working group that has been operating since last year and which includes associations that are involved in the IAA sector, the Alfonso X el Sabio University and the Community of Madrid to legislate on this matter that would provide many benefits, including:
- Ensuring the optimal state of health of the animals and a rigorous protocol for sanitary control. To do this, they should always have the support of a veterinary professional, who would form part of the multidisciplinary team of any IAA program.
- This certified guarantee would include accreditation that the animal does not suffer from any infectious, contagious (zoonotic or epizootic) disease, especially zoonotic, including negative tests for leishmania, leptospira, brucella and biannual tuberculosis. In addition, it would have to include analysis of feces and urine. They must also be vaccinated against rabies, properly dewormed both externally and internally and with permanent control over the skin, mouth, eyes and ears.
- All dogs would have to be properly selected, socialized and trained by a specialized and officially recognized training center. In this sense, they should possess, as a minimum, basic training and pass a standardized behavior test to participate in said programs. Said accreditation would be reviewed on an annual basis.
- An exhaustive protocol of animal welfare must also be guaranteed. The conditions of pressure, activity and emotional control required in some of these programs require us to establish common patterns of well-being.
- A job not properly scheduled, or several jobs in different fields carried out in parallel, can lead to undetected stress problems, causing repercussions on general health.
In addition to this project, the three entities agree to foster collaboration between them to promote and enhance research, training, teaching, study activities, as well as the dissemination and celebration of events of scientific, academic and cultural interest.