Puppies or adult dogs may need to be withdrawn at any time for reasons of unsound health or unsuitable temperament. Dogs also retire from breeding or working and shall be rehomed in an appropriate situation. 

Depending on the reasons for withdrawal, the dogs might be placed in another type of assistance dog programme, or as police dogs, detection dogs etc, or as family pets.  

Organisations must have a policy regarding the re-homing of dogs withdrawn. Potential adopters should be screened and a written agreement with each adopter must be present, well treated and cared for with any hereditary conditions notified. 

Should a rehoming arrangement fail, the organisation has a responsibility to arrange care. 

Organisations must ensure that if a dog’s quality of life becomes intolerable, any decision to euthanise the dog will only be taken after discussion and agreement between the client (where relevant), volunteer (where relevant), organisation and veterinarian.  

Ongoing organisation responsibility re guide dog health and welfare. 

In all circumstances the organization remains obligated to be the “safety net” for the dogs it produces.  

It may occur (for example due to the death of its owner/handler) that a dog becomes disassociated with an individual or a family and is placed in an animal shelter. If the organization becomes aware of a dog that it has produced which is found in such circumstances or other dire condition, whether the dog served as a guide or not, the organization shall claim the dog and take appropriate steps, such as rehoming, to ensure its welfare.  

Documentation on this topic may be acquired through IGDF and its members 

Refer to IGDF Standard 4 Breeding & Dog Supply and the IGDF and ADI Joint Position Statement on Dog Welfare

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Development journey towards IGDF membership for emerging Guide Dog Organisations