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Assistance dogs improve the quality of life for countless people who live with disability or illness, and a special day celebrates these four-legged friends every year.

Assistance Dog Day recognises and honours assistance dogs and their trainers, and aims to raise funds and increase awareness of the work they do. It is part of International Assistance Dog Week, a yearly event started by long-time paraplegic, Marcie Davis.

There are many different kinds of assistance dogs, from the well-known guide dogs and hearing alert dogs that help people with vision and hearing loss, to lesser-known helpers like seizure alert and medical alert dogs that can recognise the signs of heart attacks, strokes and epilepsy.

A range of events are held to celebrate Assistance Dog Day, including dog shows, sponsored dog walks, talks and dog graduation ceremonies. Many assistance dog training facilities hold open days and tours on this day to show the work that they do.

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