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New sister organisation for ADI

We are pleased to welcome ADI members to a new sister organisation – Animal Assisted Intervention International (AAII). AAII grew out of many discussions within ADI about how best to support the growing number of organisations working in the field of Animal Assisted Therapy, Education and Activity (together called Animal Assisted Intervention – AAI). These organisations, many of them also involved in training assistance dogs, lacked an international focus for creating standards, developing professional standards and offering networking opportunities.

ADI set up a Working Group in 2009 to take a closer look at how best to meet this need, and what role ADI should play in supporting the newly emerging field of AAI. After lengthy discussion, ADI decided to support the creation of a newly independent not for profit organisation to bring together AAI programs. The prime reason for this decision to create a separate organisation was to ensure that a clear distinction between the assistance dog and AAI working models is maintained. However, there are also many common factors in the work promoted by ADI and AAII and it is hoped that the two organisations will maintain close contact – including holding joint conferences.

Special thanks must go to Peter Gorbing (ex President of both ADI and Assistance Dogs Europe (ADEu)), Elma Burg (Secretary of ADEu) and Danny Vancoppernolle (current Chair of ADEu and ADI Board member) for being the early driving forces behind the initiative to create AAII. Their skills, experience and energy has been invaluable. There is now an interim Board made up of people from Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, UK, Croatia, Germany and the United States. The first AGM of AAII will be held in Spa in Belgium in November and a full Board will be elected at that meeting.

Further information is available at www.animalassistedintervention.org