Why Pfotenpiloten exists
We work as an independent, non-profit organisation towards a future in which
- life with assistance dogs becomes increasingly barrier-free, allowing more people to lead more mobile lives,
- assistance dog teams are comprehensively supported – regardless of the bank account,
- well-trained and optimally cared for dogs find a fulfilling task in partnership with their humans,
- trainers can work optimally because they are supported, and their risks are minimised,
- Sponsors and the public understand and support the assistance dog concept.
On 20.07.2015 Pfotenpiloten was brought to life by twelve founding members. Our Board of Directors consists of three members.
Our Supervisory Board
From the time of Pfotenpiloten’s founding, a supervisory board was anchored in our statutes as an additional external perspective.
Your questions and ideas are in good hands with these competent women. They also represent the many ambassadors and helper elves who promote Pfotenpiloten.
Show your solidarity with #AssistenzhundWillkommen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube – also link @Pfotenpiloten (facebook.com/Pfotenpiloten/) in your Facebook posts.
“Tierisch engagiert” from Fressnapf, a German pet store chain, has supported this campaign since 2018.
We are very grateful for the support you have given us over the years.
Why we do not (yet) fund teams
Although it would seem ideal to simply fund teams and support people with disabilities in becoming more mobile *today*, only a tiny group would be helped. But the core of the problem lies in the lack of structures and the improvised character of the sector.
To enable systematic promotion in the future, we first focus on the basics. We build understanding, develop independent structures and work out reliable ways of quality assurance. Effective care that is fair to all stakeholders can be built on these foundations.
a lack of foundations – an improvised career path for trainers, a lack of information, a lack of quality assurance.
A long-term effective solution must consider all stakeholders: Not only the owners with assistance needs, but also the assistance dog, the trainers, and the public.
Once clear structures have replaced the current improvisation, the path becomes easier and safer for everyone.
We still have a long way to go! To build effective structures and solid foundations as an independent organisation, we need your help.
How we are different
Pfotenpiloten is a non-profit organisation that promotes
better foundations. In addition, we develop
diverse partnerships – but keep
a strong emphasis on
remaining independent of interest groups and stakeholders.
Our independence is central to
our work. That is why we do not train
teams and won’t do so in the
Although, of course, a focus is on assistance dog handlers
we also keep the needs of
the assistance dog, trainer, public and
funder/sponsor in view. We are convinced that
only a concept that suits everyone
can develop optimally.
Who supports us
The EU supported the first evaluation phase of L.E.A.D. This project met with lively interest and
brought together a broad spectrum of competent partners. We are now planning the implementation phase – and
need your help! Basic information on this European professional association for
You can find assistance dog trainers here.
The aim of our “Assistance Dogs Welcome” access campaign is to improve access rights for assistance dog teams. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) on the basis of a resolution
of the Bundestag and came to an end in 2021.
With our interactive exhibition “Living With an Assistance Dog”, we have been to events across Germany
– sponsored by Aktion Mensch. Continuing “on the road to success”! A second round of funding
will enable us to reach more people.
The Social Impact Lab Frankfurt made our start-up phase possible with an “Andersgründer” grant (funded by the KfW Foundation). Social Impact Labs have already successfully launched several hundred start-ups at their locations. www.socialimpact.eu
The multi-year development of objective and comprehensively documented technologies and processes to
evaluate assistance dog teams was supported by the Postcode Lottery. The team evaluation is
carried out by the Assistance Dog Foundation.
We support the Transparent Civil Society Initiative and are committed to transparency. Click here for detailed information about our organization, goals and initiatives in accordance with the Transparent Civil Society Initiative. For further information, please refer to our current annual and impact report in accordance with the Social Reporting Standard (SRS).
Our articles of association are published here and our certificate of exemption here.
Where we get involved
Pfotenpiloten is a member of the German Association, a forum of around 2,000 organizations that are committed to the welfare of animals who engage with
social work in Germany.
We take part in the consultations with associations organized by the German Institute for Human Rights in order to
bring the topic of assistance dogs into discussions again and again.
For many years, we have been involved in all six working groups for the European standard “Assistance dogs”, CEN/TC
452, and are actively involved in shaping this important groundwork. The development processes are expected to
continue until around 2025.