(UK) Growing demand for autism therapy dogs; call for better regulation of providers

Aug 29, 2018, BBC: Autism dogs: Call for regulation as demand quadruples Charities training support dogs for children with autism are calling for more regulation after figures revealed a quadrupling in requests for help. The charities collectively recorded 3,795 inquiries in 2017 - compared with 946 in 2012. They said demand for the free dogs meant longer waiting lists for desperate families who may instead turn to unaccredited paid-for alternatives. The government said it wanted to create a UK standard. Assistance dogs are trained to provide companionship and help children with autism remain safe and calm and in busy situations. ... Because of the small number of trained dogs available, there are fears desperate parents are turning to non-accredited providers, which in some cases has led to families paying high prices for poorly-trained or untrained dogs.