If you have ever been in the store you have more than likely met Dakota. He is our sweet German Shepard and Salinity’s cutest mascot/door greater. And like a lot of dogs in the world he is being trained to be a service animal. A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. These tasks can range from help retrieving certain items such as owner’s phones or keys, alerting owner to dangerous situations, even calling 911 in the case of an emergency.
Any dog can be a service animal with the right training and certifications. When considering which dog, you should choose for this special job. You first must take into consideration of what your needs are. Let’s say you need something for mobility or stabilization a much larger breed should be considered. They have specially designed harnesses for larger breeds, so the owners can hold on and allows the dog to guide them through their daily life. Smaller breed dogs should be considered when the owner has an invisible illness such as epilepsy. Through training they can be trained to learn and alert their owners of oncoming seizures or Laying Across the Chest of a Seizing Handler to Help Reduce Duration of Seizure and Nuzzling or Licking a Seizing Handler to Provide Tactile Interruption of a Seizure.
These dogs not only bring safety but joy to their owners lives. And yes, you could spend thousands of dollars to find your perfect companion, but according to research there 3,500 animal shelters and 10,000 rescue groups in the U.S. full of animals in need of homes. The sad truth with these shelters are only 25% of these dogs will make it out to loving homes. The other 75% will spend there days hoping to be loved by a new family but will likely be sent to euthanasia. These numbers will continue to rise with the epidemic of stray animals in our nation and the horrific puppy mills that do not care for the well being of the puppies, but by choosing to adopt from your local shelters or rescue you would be saving a life, giving these dogs a purpose to live for and giving them a loving home they so much deserve.