September is National Service Dog Month --RSS Feed

By Tonya Villwock, Independent Living Services Coordinator, Branch Offices
National Service Dog Month is celebrated in the month of September and was established in 2008. This honored event was started as a way to raise awareness of the impact that service dogs make and to help fund accredited service dog schools across the United States. After learning that costs to raise and train a service dog from an accredited school can exceed $40,000, the late animal welfare advocate Richard Vincent Van Patten created a fundraiser that eventually became this annual awareness month. The pet food company Van Patten co-founded, Natural Balance Pet Foods, continues to promote National Service Dog Month and fundraises to benefit nonprofit, accredited service dog schools.

Man with service dog

Service dogs, including guide dogs, help their owners be independent by performing tasks for them. From retrieving dropped objects to offering physical support to alerting their owner when the owner is unsafe, service dogs are extremely important to their owners. These dogs guide, listen, balance, lead and love their owners. They also provide friendship, freedom and peace of mind. There are well over a dozen varieties of service dogs, including, but not limited to:
  • Allergy Alert Dogs
  • Autism Assistance Dogs
  • Brace and Mobility Support Dogs
  • Emergency Medical Response Dogs
  • Diabetic Alert Dogs
  • Hearing Dogs
  • Guide Dogs
  • Medical Alert Dogs
  • Medical Assistance Dogs
  • Medical Response Dogs
  • Psychiatric Service Dogs
  • Seizure Alert Dogs
  • Seizure Assistance Dogs
  • Seizure Response Dogs
  • Visual Assistance Dogs
  • Wheelchair Assistance Dogs

Important Fact! If you see a service dog working, do not touch it. When working, service dogs are not considered pets. Always ask the owner for permission to talk to or touch their dog.
Important Fact! If you work in an establishment where animals except service dogs are not allowed and you are unsure if a dog is a service dog, you can only ask two questions: Is the animal required because of a disability? And, what tasks has the dog been trained to perform?
Important Fact! Service dogs are NOT required to wear a vest, harness or jacket that labels them as a service animal.
If you would like more information about service dogs or the rights of service dog owners (or if you are an owner who believes your rights have been violated), please call us at 414-291-7520 V/Relay. 

| Thursday, 9/6/2018 - 5:03 PM | 0 comments
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