Hello, my name is Dr. Kara and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
I am certain that your fellow has been immeasurable help to you and truly has been a life saver.
Unfortunately the only dogs that can be certified assistance dogs in the UK are those that are assistance dogs for people that are physically disabled, such as deaf or blind people, those in wheelchairs or that have medical problems that the dog can alert them to such as diabetics with low blood sugar. These dogs must have gone through a training program that has been qualified by one of the charitable organisations registered as members of Assistance Dogs UK.
To quote the government website ...
"Assistance dogs trained by members of Assistance Dogs UK will have formal identification and have been endorsed by the Department of Health, on the basis that the dog's high standards of training, behaviour, health and welfare are such that it should be permitted to accompany its client, owner, or partner, at all times and in all places, within the United Kingdom."
At this time there is no program to train dogs for, nor is their any certification process for dogs that help with emotional distress, such as PTSD.
If you'd like to read more about what the UK position on Assistance dogs please see this link: http://www.assistancedogs.org.uk/faqs/
Best of luck with your fellow. Perhaps you and he could be the test case for getting dogs like himself certification in the UK. If you are interested then contact this organization:
Assistance Dogs (UK)
c/o Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
T: 01844 348100
F: 01844 348101
Email: [email protected]
If you are thinking of setting up an assistance dog programme in the UK and would like some help and advice, please do contact AD(UK) using the details above and we will do what we can to support you.