Taking disability assist dogs on public transport
Disability assist dogs are allowed to travel the Auckland Public Transport network at all times without a muzzle.
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Disability assist dogs
These dogs, which are trained (or in training) to assist a person with a disability, may legally enter any public place.
Disability assist dogs can be recognised by the jacket they wear.
When disability assist dogs are working, please remember
- Do not pat or talk to the dogs, as they are at work.
- Disability assist dogs never wear a muzzle.
- Disability assist dogs and their handlers have access to priority seating areas on bus, rail, and ferry.
- Assist dogs currently active under a certifying organisation are required to wear a uniform vest or harness for that organisation.
- If you have a question, talk to the dog's handler. The handler will hold organisational identification that can be presented if required. The ID may be in the form of a photo ID card or app on their phone.
Organisations that certify disability assist dogs (as of October 2023)
Assistance Dogs New Zealand (ADNZT)
Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust (ADNZT) is a registered charitable trust, providing trained dogs to clients with a range of disabilities. "72% of our clients are children and young adults under 20 years old, and 50% of our clients live with autism and often multiple disorders".
Blind and Low Vision NZ (Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Incorporated)
For Blind Low Vision NZ guide dogs, approximately 120 puppies are bred each year, of which about one-third go on to become working guide dogs. It takes 2 years of rigorous training for the puppies to become guide dogs, involving an incredible team of skilled people.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand
Hearing Dogs National Charity exists to enhance the independence and wellbeing of deaf and severely hearing-impaired New Zealanders through the provision of specially-trained Hearing Dogs, to internationally recognised standards.
K9 Medical Detention New Zealand
K9 Medical Detection N.Z. mission is to improve the health of all kiwis by using genetically selected dogs working in a controlled clinical environment to assist in the early detection of cancer and other diseases.
K9 Search Medical Detection
K9 Search Medical detection assistance dogs help a range of people in so many different ways, they can be our eyes and ears, or be able to detect the slightest change in the human body and allowing them to alert the handler to take proper actions to avoid a serious medical event.
Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust
The Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust trains mobility dogs to offer practical support, companionship and security. They transform the lives of people living with disabilities, and your support can make an incredible difference.
New Zealand Epilepsy Assist Dogs Trust
The NZ Epilepsy Assist Dogs Trust is a charitable trust registered in 2007 for the purpose of training dogs in New Zealand.
Perfect Partners Assistance Dogs Trust (PPADT)
Perfect Partners Assistance Dogs Trust oversees the training and certification of disability assist dogs to enable people with disabilities to enhance their quality of life using the human animal bond. The relationship between disability assist dog and owner helps to overcome physical, emotional and social challenges.
If you and your disability assist dog are refused service on an Auckland Transport public transport service, please let us know as soon as possible, along with the time, date, service number and place (bus stop number if you know it).
We take refusal of carriage for disability assist dogs and their owners seriously and will follow up as soon as we are notified.
Disability Assist Dog identification tag
The Disability Assist Dog identification tag is a unique tag worn by a certified dog to provide easy identification of disability assist dog status. The Disability Assist Dog identification tag is not mandatory.
However, the tag will provide easy recognition of a disability assist dog, allowing access to civil defence centres in an emergency, and will also support rapid reunification if the dog and owner/handler become separated.
The Dog Control Act 1996 No 13 (as at 30 November 2022), Public Act – New Zealand Legislation provides for the authorisation of organisations to certify disability assist dogs.
Organisations currently listed in section two of the Act that are authorised to certify dogs as disability assist dogs are:
- Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust
- Blind and Low Vision NZ (Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Incorporated)
- Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand
- K9 Medical Detention New Zealand
- K9 Search Medical Detection
- Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust
- New Zealand Epilepsy Assist Dogs Trust
- Top Dog Companion Trust (no longer operational)
- Perfect Partners Assistance Dogs Trust