Showing posts with label service dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label service dogs. Show all posts
Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Celebrating International Assistance Dog Week

International Assistance Dog Week, observed from August 1-7, serves as a crucial opportunity to express gratitude to the remarkable assistance dogs and their trainers who contribute significantly to the well-being of individuals facing disability-related challenges. These dogs play an indispensable role as companions, helpers, and friends, offering a lifeline to those with physical or mental disabilities. The impact of assistance dogs goes beyond companionship; they empower their human partners by restoring a sense of independence and providing practical assistance in daily activities. This week not only acknowledges the dedication of these extraordinary dogs but also aims to raise awareness about the vital role they play in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. Let's extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the assistance dogs and their trainers for their unwavering support and dedication

Assistance dogs can dramatically transform the lives of their human partners by serving as their companion, helper and aide.  The people who they serve have debilitating physical or mental disabilities and the ability of these dogs to give a person back their independence is truly remarkable.

The goal of the IADW events is to:
  • Recognize and honor assistance dogs
  • Raise awareness and educate the public about assistance dogs
  • Honor puppy raisers and trainers
  • Recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

House of Representatives Introduces PAWS Bill to Help Veterans

Cole and Kaya
On Wednesday, March 16th , Representative Ron DeSantis (R- Fl) introduced Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers Act (PAWS).  This pilot program would give trained service dogs to veterans that have severe levels of PTSD and are under the care of a VA primary care doctor or mental health professional. It would authorize the VA to spend up to $27,000 per dog to obtain them from an accredited organization and covered under the VA health insurance plan (pet care insurance).
Rep. DeSantis stated “Thousands of our post-9/11 veterans carry the invisible burden of post-traumatic stress, and there is an overwhelming need to expand the available treatment options,” and “The VA should use every tool at their disposal to support and treat our veterans, including the specialized care offered by service dogs.”  A strong supporter of the bill is Corporal Cole Lyle, a six year Marine Corps veteran who currently has Kaya, a service dog, to help him battle PTSD. He stated that Kaya “helps him overcome the struggles of PTSD on a daily basis”. 
Studies have shown that service dogs can lessen anxiety/stress and reduce the need of medications in those suffering from PTSD. The PAWS Act would allocate $10 million to fund the pilot program. 
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Important Role of Service Dogs

The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.  Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. You may initially think of people with a vision or hearing impairment, but it can also include,  seizure alert, psychiatric disorders support, retrieving objects, closing doors, turning light switches off and on, and barking to indicate that help is needed.  Another type of service dog are those used by the military, local police, fire departments, and federal and state law enforcement agencies for functions such as bomb sniffing, drug enforcement, search and rescue, and fire investigation.

Many programs will use Golden Retrievers and Labradors for services dogs. They have many of the characteristics that make for a good service dog, but many other breeds have unique characteristics that can be helpful to the needs of their owner or handler. The dog will undergo very extensive training in the desired area of expertise before being placed with an owner. Although the bond between the owner and dog will be very strong, it is important to realize that these dogs are doing a job.  Our hope is that when they are not working, they also are a "pet". We are so lucky o have these wonderful dogs give such a beautiful gift to people who desperately need and rely on them for their day to day activities.  For many disabled people, their service dog may be their closest partner and friend.