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Deadline for Public Input on Use of Service Dogs

Government continues to seek feedback on how to protect the rights of people who rely on guide and service dogs. The deadline for submitting comments is July 31.

“My service dog has provided me with a level of independence and freedom that I never thought I could have,” said Anne Marie MacDonald, service dog user of Albert Bridge, Cape Breton.

“I hardly left the house on my own before I had Oprah — she is my lifesaver.”

Service dogs provide critical support for Nova Scotians. They include guide dogs for the blind or visually impaired, hearing dogs, seizure alert dogs, autism assistance dogs and mental health service dogs.

“We have received very important feedback during this consultation. It has reaffirmed the critical support service dogs provide for Nova Scotians who rely on them,” said Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab. “There is still time to provide comments and I encourage anyone interested to share their thoughts.”

A discussion paper and an online survey are available for input on the definition of service animals, training standards, identification standards and penalties for breaking laws that protect service dog users.

There are many ways Nova Scotians can provide feedback:
— online at http://novascotia.ca/just/serviceanimalconsultation.asp
— by emailing serviceanimals@novascotia.ca
— by mailing c/o Service Animals Consultation, Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Policy Planning and Research, P.O. Box 7, Halifax N.S., B3J 2L6
— Use of TTY through the Disabled Persons Commission at 902-424-2667, or toll free within Nova Scotia at 1-877-996-9954

The discussion paper is available in English, French, Braille, ASL and large font. Copies of the discussion paper are available at Access Nova Scotia centres.
        

Source: Release

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