Client Rights

Eyes Ears Nose and Paws is a human services organization and we hold our responsibility to clients as a primary priority.  We believe the entire organization should be oriented toward these rights for each EENP client.

Respectful Interactions

Our applicants and clients have the right to be treated with respect and dignity at all times in their dealings with EENP’s employees, volunteers, and representatives.

Appropriate Placement

Our clients have the right to be partnered with an appropriate dog.  This means that clients can expect that their assistance dog partner:

  • has received regular and appropriate veterinary care;
  • has been screened to meet EENP’s health standards for placement;
  • has completed a training program that includes thorough socialization to a variety of people, animals, and situations, as well as extensive training in basic obedience, advanced assistance skills appropriate to the type of placement, and public access skills; and
  • has been individually matched to him or her based on the needs of the client; the skills and characteristics of the dog; and the individual personalities of both client and dog.

EENP will fully disclose any known health or behavioral issues to our clients before initial placement begins.

Team Training

Our clients have the right to proper training in how to work with and care for an assistance dog.  This means that clients will receive:

  • training in appropriate handling techniques;
  • specific instruction on maintaining the assistance dog’s skills;
  • instruction in caring for the assistance dog’s health; and
  • education about relevant law and on appropriate behavior for an assistance dog team in public settings.

Post-placement Support

Our clients have a right to receive feedback, guidance, and support as the partnership develops.  This means that clients can expect:

  • post-placement evaluations of team skills, including public access skills; and
  • regular, scheduled, and personalized support through the first year of placement.

EENP strives to be a resource to clients in all aspects of their assistance dog’s ongoing health and wellbeing.  Clients can ask for advice, support, or resources on any topic related to their partnership.  Specifically, EENP also provides to all clients:

  • follow-up support for the life of the assistance dog for any behavioral changes, training problems, or change in client needs;
  • advice on coordinating veterinary care; and
  • non-professional assistance in resolving problems pertaining to access rights with the assistance dog.

Successor Dogs

Our clients have the right to receive special priority when they need a new assistance dog partner.  Once partnered with an assistance dog, clients build their lives around this partnership.  That means they are particularly vulnerable to the loss of the partnership, whether expected or unexpected.  Clients who have been partnered with an EENP assistance dog can expect to receive priority from EENP for partnership with another (successor) assistance dog.  This means they will be put at the top of the waiting list and considered for a match with placement-ready dogs before new clients.  EENP may also choose to make an immediate placement before the next regularly scheduled Client Team Training Seminar, if appropriate.

Confidentiality

Our clients have the right to expect that personal files and information will remain confidential and will not be disclosed unless they have given express prior permission.  EENP has a separate Confidentiality Policy that covers confidentiality of client information in detail.  Clients can expect:

  • to receive a copy of the Confidentiality Policy;
  • to be oriented to how the Confidentiality Policy works;
  • to be asked for permission to share confidential information outside the Confidentiality Policy limits; and
  • to have their confidential information handled in accordance with the Confidentiality Policy.

Fundraising and Public Relations Participation

Our clients have the right to choose their level of participation in EENP’s fundraising and public relations efforts.  As a nonprofit organization, EENP relies heavily on public support and awareness to achieve its mission.  EENP regularly requests client participation in both fundraising and public relations, but clients have the right to request not to participate in fundraising and public relations activities in general, or to turn down participation in any specific request.  Clients can expect to have their wishes respected without any negative consequence to their relationship with EENP.

Non-discrimination

EENP affirms and fully endorses a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender orientation, national origin, veteran’s status, or disability.  Our applicants have the right to be considered for partnership with an EENP assistance dog regardless of any of these criteria, and our clients have the right to receive services without penalty due to any of these criteria.

Furthermore, our clients have the right to receive training and support and participate in EENP activities, events, and community without harassment on the basis of any of these criteria.  Prohibited harassment can take the form of words, actions, or both.  Examples of harassment include but are not limited to: epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, and threatening, intimidating or hostile acts.

Complaints and Grievances

Anyone who believes the rights of applicants or clients is being violated should report this in writing to the Program Director as soon as possible.  If the Program Director is involved in the violation, the complaint can be reported to the Executive Director or Board Chair.  The person notified will:

  • acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the complainant;
  • inform the complainant of the expected timeline for investigation of the complaint;
  • engage the proper resources to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation into the complaint;
  • maintain confidentiality to the greatest extent possible during the investigation; and
  • inform the complainant when the investigation has been completed and, if possible, of the outcome of the investigation.

Retaliation is prohibited against any person who in good faith brings a complaint or report of violation of client rights, or who participates in an investigation of a complaint or report.