We are celebrating Pfotenpiloten’s 5th birthday!
On July 20, 2015, the founding members of Pfotenpilotenp gathered at the Social Impact Lab Frankfurt. The SIL (funded by the KfW Foundation) effectively accompanied and greatly supported our startup phase.
After many discussions and experiences made in the years before the founding of Pfotenpiloten, it was clear to us that something had to happen in the sector in order to give the concept of assistance dogs wings and enable more people access to and with a well-trained assistance dog.
These first five years have been an exciting time during which we were able to support many changes in Germany and across Europe.
At first, we looked for solutions by creating a “network” of trainers with quality standards. Soon we realized that the common challenges in receiving an assistance dog, access rights and funding stem from missing foundations and structures. In reality, it was not about funding or promoting a few more assistance dog teams, but to get to the root of the “problem”.
Since then things have developed rapidly: From our interactive exhibit “Life With an Assistance Dog”, our accessibility campaign “Assistance Dog Welcome” with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), the EU project L.E.A.D., to the development of the Assistance Dog Foundation – an incredible amount has happened in what has felt like five short years.
Therefore, once again, we wish to thank the members, employees, and volunteers of Pfotenpiloten, as well as the assistance dog handlers who help to shape Pfotenpiloten – as campaign ambassadors and through various contributions. We deeply appreciate your efforts.
Special thanks also go to our board of directors and supervisory board, to the members of the advisory board of the foundation, and to family and friends, for their generous support.
Our progress would also not have been possible without EU funding, the support of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Aktion Mensch, Postcode Lottery, Glücksspirale, and the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband, as well as many other partners.
In addition to the Social Impact Lab Frankfurt, special thanks go to Fressnapf’s “Tierisch Engagiert” project. Furthermore, we would like to thank the working groups of guide dog handlers in the DBSV, as well as supporters of ProRetina, EGDF, ADEu, and many individuals and organizations, large and small.
Together with our great supporters, we very much look forward to the next five years.