Pet Ambassador Dog Program
Guide Dogs has long recognized the powerful impact that all types of program dogs have on the public. Whether appearing at speeches, providing animal therapy services or attracting the public to a puppy truck delivery, our dogs are invaluable tools for cultivating support for GDB, be it donations, volunteer assistance or providing leads to individuals who can benefit from our services.
We have chosen to identify dogs that help promote our mission with a Pet Ambassador Dog identification. There are two types of Pet Ambassador Dog identification for which dog and handler teams can apply: the Pet Ambassador Scarf and the Pet Ambassador Patch.
Pet Ambassador Scarf
Who's eligible to apply for a Pet Ambassador Scarf?
Speakers Bureau Volunteers (SBV) presenting speeches or appearing in public with a GDB career change dog, active or retired breeder dog, or retired guide are eligible to apply for a Pet Ambassador scarf for their dog. Dogs that already have identification such as Guide Dog puppies in training or active guides are not eligible for the program.
What are the application requirements?
There are both dog and handler requirements for the Pet Ambassador Scarf:
- Dog training/behavior requirements: Self-certification statement (which is included in the Speakers Bureau application) agreeing that your dog is well mannered and that you acknowledge that inclusion in the Pet Ambassador Program does not grant your dog access to public places under ADA law.
- Handler requirements:
Are dogs with a Pet Ambassador Scarf granted access to public places under ADA law?
Scarves may not be used as a tool to gain access into businesses, places of work, schools or other settings. However, scarves may be worn at organized GDB activities, during public outings or casual public interactions such as dog walks, and in public places that willingly admit well-behaved pet dogs.
How do I apply for a Pet Ambassador Scarf for my dog?
Once you have completed the dog and handler requirements listed above, complete and submit the Pet Ambassador Scarf application (may be submitted in conjunction with your completed Pet Ambassador Knowledge Test answer sheet).
Special Note: Violation of use of the GDB scarf will result in the scarf being revoked by GDB staff. Appointed GDB staff may request return of the scarf at any time.
Pet Ambassador Patch
Who is eligible to apply for a Pet Ambassador Patch?
Handlers of GDB career change dogs, active or retired breeder dogs, and retired Guide Dogs that are actively working with their dogs in a recognized therapy dog or canine volunteer program that has been approved by GDB (such as Dove Lewis, Pet Partners, a local Humane Society, etc.) may apply for a Pet Ambassador Dog Patch for their dog. The GDB Pet Ambassador patch can be placed on the identification jacket/scarf provided by the canine volunteer program. Guide Dog puppies in training and active guides are not eligible.
What are the application requirements?
There are both dog and handler requirements for the Pet Ambassador Patch:
- Dog training/behavior requirements: Certification from your local canine volunteer organization (e.g., Pet Partners) or host agency (e.g., Marin General Hospital).
- Handler requirements: Certification from local canine volunteer organization (e.g., Pet Partners) or host agency (e.g., Marin General Hospital). In cases where canine volunteer work is conducted through a host agency, the handler must be enrolled as a volunteer with that host agency. Special Note: Individuals participating with their dog in canine volunteer work with another organization are not considered a volunteer of GDB in that capacity.
Are dogs with a Pet Ambassador Patch granted access?
Access is determined by the certifying canine volunteer organization, and not by Guide Dogs for the Blind.
How do I apply to obtain a Pet Ambassador Patch for my dog?
Complete the Pet Ambassador Patch application and submit the required paperwork showing that the dog and handler are certified volunteers of a canine volunteer organization.