Lawmaker Wants Service Dogs As Option For In-home Supports
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 31, 2003
LONDON, ENGLAND--Local councils could save hundreds of pounds each week if they allowed people with disabilities to invest in service dogs, one member of Parliament said this week.
Edward Davey, a Liberal Democrat MP, says the dogs could also help some people with disabilities to go to work. Service animals have proven that they can help people with different disabilities to be more independent. Davey wants the government to rewrite its guidelines so that public money could be spent on service dogs, rather than human care providers, if a person chooses.
Social services currently fund human care providers for about 600,000 people with disabilities. But only 7,800 people receive payments that allow them to choose their services, which could include a service dog.
Davey pointed out that one woman who now uses a service dog used to need a 24-hour-a-day in-home support, costing about £1,000 ($1,650 US) each week. With help from her dog, the woman now needs just 35 hours of human support, saving her local council £650 ($1,070 US) a week.