Animal Assisted Intervention International (AAII) grew out of many discussions within Assistance Dogs International (both the American and European chapters)
about how best to support the growing number of organisations working in the field of Animal Assisted Therapy, Education and Activities (together called Animal Assisted Intervention, AAI).
These organisations, many of them also involved in training assistance dogs, lacked an international focus for creating standards, developing professionalism and offering
The first formal meeting of the working group in Netherlands. From left to right: Danny VanCoppernole,
Sven Hultman, Conny Giesen, Graham Ford, Elma Burg, Teo Mariscal, Ingeborg Höök, Peter Gorbing, Melissa Winkle.
The first Board of Directors elected in Spa, Belgium, in November 2013. From left to right: sitting – Peter Gorbing (UK),
Teo Mariscal (Spain), Danny VanCoppernole (Belgium), Jennifer Rogers (USA),
Graham Ford (Germany); standing – Sven Hultman (Sweden), Elma Burg (The Netherlands), Melissa Winkle (USA), Lucija Katalenić (Croatia)
ADI set up a Working Group in 2009 to take a closer look at how best to meet this need, and what role ADI should play in supporting the newly emerging field of AAI.
After lengthy discussion, ADI decided to support the creation of a newly independent not for profit organisation to bring together AAI programmes. The prime reason for this
decision to create a separate organisation was to ensure that a clear distinction between the assistance dog and AAI working models is maintained. However, there are also many
common factors in the work promoted by ADI and AAII and it is hoped that the two organisations will maintain close contact – including holding joint conferences.
ADI invited a group of 10 persons from 9 countries to a first meeting, hosted by ADI’s regional chapter Assistance Dogs Europe (ADEu), in the Netherlands on October 26, 2009.
Three meetings were held during 2010, four during 2011 and a further seven during 2012. During this time the Working Group had members from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France,
Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA.
The many issues discussed included: purpose and mission, types of membership, statutes, creating a website, name and logo of the organization, and last, but not least,
standards for AAT and AAA. AAII was formally registered in the Netherlands on 7 February 2013 and an interim board was established.
Special thanks must go to Peter Gorbing (ex President of both ADI and Assistance Dogs Europe (ADEu)), Elma Burg, Secretary of ADEu and
Danny Vancoppernolle (current Chair of ADEu) for being the early driving forces behind the initiative to create AAII. Their skills, experience and energy has been invaluable.
They have now been joined by a Board officialy voted into office made up of people with outstanding talent.
Conferences and Meetings
- Spa, November 2013
- First International Conference – Denver, 2014
- Zagreb – Development Meeting – 2015
- 2nd International Conference – Prague, 14-15 May 2016