The legal and moral status of service dogs in England and Wales

Horton, Jessica (2021) The legal and moral status of service dogs in England and Wales. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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Service dogs sit within a liminal space in our society, contributing to the public good but without the legal recognition and protection of a worker and, therefore, none of the corresponding duties that are entailed with being recognised as such. There has been an increase in interest concerning service animals gradually over the last decade, with significant public interest occurring in the last five years. The high-profile attack on police dog, Finn in 2016 raised public awareness and resulted in the ensuing campaign for Finn’s law, otherwise known as the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act which was enacted in June 2019, and Finn’s law part two, the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act, which was enacted in June 2021.
This thesis draws on the work of Donaldson and Kymlicka, in addition to a survey and interviews that were conducted with service dog handlers, to consider the implications of considering service dogs as our co-citizens rather than as property. This thesis has explored citizenship theory in relation to service dogs, through using empirical research which has not been done before. Secondly, the empirical aspects of this research have addressed a gap in our current understanding and explored how it may be possible to use the joint experiences of service dog and handler to create positive legal and policy changes for service dogs.
Through an exploration of the literature and the empirical findings, a number of areas have been identified as potential areas of improvement to the current legal and social position of service dogs. These areas appeared to resonate with the handlers who took part in the empirical research and would also connect with the wider citizenship approach. Although these developments could be achieved through legislation, this would not be the only method to achieve their implementation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animal law, Socio-legal, Animal ethics, Animal work, Animal rights
Subjects: L400 Social Policy
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2022 10:36
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2022 10:45

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