Vethica, our main Datamars Pet ID brand in France, has solidified a successful partnership with Handi’Chiens and the Association for Guide Dogs for the Blind in Lyon and Central-East, France. It is a move which delivers a better service for the animals who assist others in need.

In 2019, Roland Donzelle, President of the Association of Guide Dogs in Lyon and Central-East France, contacted Datamars with a challenge. He was looking for a way to ensure guide and assistance dogs were not separated from their owners during medical or other emergencies. In the case that animals were separated, he wanted to ensure they were treated in the most appropriate manner as carers and service dogs.

Anne-Laure Alan, Datamars Marketing Digital Manager in France explains. “Roland wanted to use our tags and PetLink reunification platform to inform paramedics, rescue workers, doctors and other medical or first response staff about the special relationship between the owner and the dog, and the critical role the animal plays in the health and wellbeing of the person who may be in difficulty.”

Many paramedic staff do not know that the dog is special and that they require special management. It is very stressful situation when an owner gets separated from their assistance dog. For example, if a dog is not let into an ambulance, and is left alone, it is really important that it is not taken to the pound,” says Anne-Laure.

Datamars supplied 400 PetLink tags for Handi’Chiens and the Association for Guide Dogs for the Blind in Lyon and Central-East, France. Then, in parallel, the Datamars PetLink team developed a specific visual logo for the Petlink tags to clearly identify that the dogs are service animals and a QR code for quick contact.

Currently, 36 assistance dogs and 150 guide dogs have the activated PetLink tags. When the QR code is scanned with a smartphone, there is a more detailed explanation about the dog and the phone number is clickable to call directly to the relevant association. This means, if owners and dogs are separated, firefighters, police or people in other service function will be able quickly ascertain the special nature of the dog. Then the dog can be taken to safety and the relevant association informed to retrieve them.

Both Handi’Chiens and Association for Guide Dogs for the Blind in Lyon and Central-East France have now signed a convention with firefighters. Firefighters know that guide dogs will have a PetLink tag and know the best practice process to follow – to flash the QR code, retrieve the dog, bring it to safety, then call the association. If the dog is hurt during an accident, firefighters will take the animal to a veterinarian and let the association know so that they can follow up on the dog’s care.

Arduino Debellis, CEO for Datamars France, says the partnership between Datamars and Handi’Chiens and the Association for Guide Dogs for the Blind in Lyon and Central-East France is a great opportunity for PetLink to offer a service that goes beyond loss and reunification of cats and dogs.

“Thanks to this engagement, we can help people in need at times when they may be in particularly vulnerable and stressful situations, and we can help protect those animals that spend their lives protecting others.”

“We want to lend our support whenever we can because we have the technology and way to make it happen. In the future, we would like to broaden our services by including even more information for rescue and medical staff around how to care for assistance dogs. We would also love to extend this service to associations across right across France.”

“Prise en charge d’un chien guide d’aveugle par les pompiers en cas d’accident de personne”

See the video of Virgile and his dog Oreo: