A WOMAN has been told she can’t bring her assistance dog on a coach because its not got the right accreditation – even though it has been approved by the Canine Generated Independence.

Jennifer Weatherhead, 32, of Nythe suffers with postural orthostatic tachycardia syncope which is a condition that can make her fall unconscious any time.

Her dog Rosie has been trained so she can be pre-alert in the event of this happening – she depends on the dog for her life.

Jennifer was looking forward to spending time with her friends in London, a rare occasion that she gets to go away since being diagnosed but when she rang to book them both on a National Express coach she was told that they won’t allow her on.

She said: “To be discriminated against by a giant company such as National Express is disgraceful.

“How they can say discredit another association that helps so many people are mind boggling and utterly shameful.

“Without Rosie I wouldn’t be able to do anything, she knows me and the symptoms to spot to ensure my safety.

She added: “My dog is needed at all times to help me function.”

Jennifer’s Labradoodle has passed all of her tests and is approved for public access path in all areas, all documentation to prove this was emailed to the National Express.

The owner claims that they have discriminated against the organisation Rosie passed her tests with and has discredited her achievement.

A spokesperson for National Express said: “Safety is paramount to our business and whilst we always strive to deliver outstanding customer service and ensure everyone can make use of our services, we will not compromise on the safety of our customers and our people.

“Our current policy of requesting that assistance dogs travelling with us are trained by Assistance Dogs (UK) members enables us to verify a dog’s suitability to travel and ensure they would not pose a health and safety risk whilst on a coach.

“We are not aware of a similar scheme or body which verifies the training of assistance dogs trained by other organisations, but we will always listen to customer feedback.

“We have asked the customer in question for details of her own dog’s training and any verification of it by an accredited body, together with information regarding any other organisations that verify assistance dogs’ suitability to travel; so we can look into whether we can work with those organisations to develop our policy.”

However, according to the Equality Act 2010 under part 12 it states it is also illegal for assistance dog owners to be refused access to a taxi or minicab with their assistance dog.

Service providers also have to make “reasonable adjustments” for guide dog and assistance dog owners. In 2004 the law was extended to state that service providers have to consider making changes to “physical features” which make it unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use their services.

Assistance dogs are welcome by law in any public area.

A spokesperson from CGI said: “ Whilst there are organisations outside of ADUK that are able to provide one of its members with evidence of training and suitably such as we can at CGi, it is not required by law.

“A disabled person partnered with an assistance dog uses their dog to keep them safe and enable them to be independent. By not allowing a person’s assistance dog to travel with them it’s like telling a deaf person they cannot use their hearing aids - dogs like all disability tools are auxiliary aids.

Whilst all service providers have the right to expect a certain level of behaviour from any assistance dog regardless of who trained it. banning a dog” just in case” is not acceptable